One of my favorite writing professors always said, “Sometimes in order to tell one story well, you need to tell two.” Two stories, told side by side, create a deeper meaning than either could convey on its own. In Mark chapter 5, the stories of Jairus’s daughter and a hemorrhaging woman are told as a pair. We are meant to understand them together. But why?
In many ways, Jairus and the bleeding woman were as different as could be. Jairus was a respected leader in the synagogue, educated, comfortable, a family man. The bleeding woman was destitute, unclean, and isolated. What they had in common, though, was their need for Jesus and their belief in His power. Both came to Him—humbly—with hope that He could heal. And Jesus gave them equal attention.
In fact, Jesus interrupted His visit to Jairus’s dying daughter when the woman touched His hem. Instantly, she felt in her body that she was well and tried to slip away unnoticed. But Jesus sought her out and listened as she told Him (trembling) “the whole truth” (v. 33). Luke 8:47 adds that this was a public proclamation: “In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.”
Then Jesus said: “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering” (v. 34). The address “daughter” implied an intimate, provisional, loving relationship and a commitment to care. Jesus commended her faith. He offered her complete peace, freedom, and healing: social, emotional, spiritual.
While Jesus was still speaking to the woman, He received word that Jairus’s daughter had died. But this provided Him an opportunity to raise her from the dead and display His power on another level.
>> Are you in need of the healing work of Jesus? Maybe your ailment is physical, maybe it is emotional or spiritual. Bow humbly and hopefully at His feet. Bring your wounds to Jesus today. Touch His hem and believe.
Father, You are Lord of all. You have the power to heal afflictions of the body, mind, and soul. If it be Your will, we ask for healing for ourselves and our loved ones—from trauma, addiction, or illness.