When someone we love is ill, we want them to get the very best treatment possible. We may travel a long distance to find exactly the right doctor and give hope to our loved one. Such was the case in Jesus’ time when many who followed Him were seeking healing.
Here Mark intertwines two stories, a dying girl and a sick woman. The woman had heard about Jesus’ miracles and most likely understood Him to be the Messiah. She had the simple faith to believe that power of God was not limited by clothing and reached out to touch his cloak (v. 27).
Jesus asked who had touched Him and sought out the woman who displayed such faith. He told her, “your faith has healed you” (v. 34). But there was another desperate person in the crowd. The passage began with Jairus, who requested healing for his 12-year-old dying daughter (v. 23). In a great act of submission, he fell at the feet of Jesus even though he was the ruler of the synagogue (v. 22).
After Jesus healed the woman, the news came that Jairus’s daughter had died. Jesus took into the house only those who needed to witness the power of God (v. 38), possibly due to their future roles in the church. He also excluded those who did not have faith, possibly so that they would not become scoffers at the resurrection of the little girl.
Mark seems intentional in intertwining the 12 years of life of the girl and the 12 years of illness of the woman. These two stories show how simple faith sustains us during great suffering, even in the face of death. When others doubt the power of God, we should keep trusting Him to do the impossible.
As we read today about Jesus’ healing ministry in Mark’s Gospel, let us thank the Lord for His compassion for the sick and the suffering, then and now. Let’s also pray for patience to wait for God’s timing and to accept it with gratitude.