Lectionary Year B
June 29, 2003
Mark 5:21-43

Step II: Disposition

A. Genre

(JFC) For Mark this account has many more details than expected. It weaves two miracle stories together right naturally and without much over-emphasis on the response of the by-standers. It includes some brief dialogue and some personal interaction along the way. The few conversations seem to fit the setting(s) quite naturally. The actions are reported rather matter-of-factly. We find some urgency at every stage of this drama.

B. Personal Interaction

(JFC) Will we ever get much consensus, re: whether we have one or two events narrated here? Is Jairus' name needed for the original account to be received as authentic? How did Jesus say, "Who touched my clothes?" Was He upset or, as usual, compassionate, if curious? Or, was He intending to converse directly with her as a teaching moment? Did the official's daughter really die? Is the tension among the crowd(s), the woman, the disciples and Jesus accurately detailed here? Is the power exchanged an acceptable element in such stories? What does it mean that Jesus apparently speaks in Aramaic? Of course His order to keep it quiet is puzzling. And, we might wonder why He ordered food for her to eat.

C. Organization

(JFC) The first of the possibly two stories is in verses 21-24 and 35-43, while the other one is in verses 25-34. Jairus' name occurs in the 22nd verse. Jesus asks in the second half of the 30th verse, "Who touched . . ?" The girl is said to have died in verse 35c. The tensions are recorded in verses 30f, 33, 37-40 and 43. Her eating is ordered in verse 43.

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