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

Step V: Distillation

A. Summary of Salient Features

(JFC) The theological apex of this story comes as Jesus cures two persons. Such healings are some of the frequent ways Jesus demonstrates God's positive use of divine power. His getting right on with doing what these people need and confirming what they (and the girl's father) do for their part of the healing also exhibit God's prioritizing making people well and whole. Jesus and His actions and words, in that order, are the primary theological elements in these verses. Also of major import are the two persons' faith, the woman with the hemorrhage and the father of the sick-unto-death-girl. They certainly trusted Jesus to meet their needs. Secondary factors include the disciples, the synagogue official, the ill women, the crowd(s) and the dialogues in which Jesus engages.

B. Smoother Translation

(JFC) 21 And crossing over Jesus [in the boat] again to the other side there was gathered a big crowd about Him, and He was beside the sea/lake. 22 And came one of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, and seeing Him he fell at Jesus' feet 23 and he begs/requests/asks Him much saying that, "My daughter is very sick, if You could come and lay Your hands on her she would be saved and live." 24 And He went with him. And a large/huge crowd was following and was crowding/pressing in upon Him. 25 And a woman was there having been hemorrhaging for twelve years 26 and she suffered much under many physicians and she spent what for her was all (she had) and nothing was getting better but more unto the worse she appeared, 27 she had heard about the Jesus, she came in the crowd up from behind Him and touched His garment; 28 for she said "If I take hold of even His garment, I shall be saved/made well." 29 And immediately the flow of blood ceased and she knew in her body that (she was) cured from the illness. 30 And immediately Jesus knew in Himself that from Himself power went out (and) turning around in the crowd He said, "Who touched my clothing?" 31 And the disciples said to Him, "You see the crowd pressing in upon You and You say, "Who touched me'?" 32 And He looked around to see who did this. 33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was happening to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole story. 34 And He said to her, "Daughter your faith has cured/saved you; go in peace and stay well from that illness of yours." 35 While Him was still speaking there came from the synagogue others saying that the daughter of the official had died; they said, "Why further trouble the teacher?" 36 But Jesus was refusing to listen/pay attention to the message they were speaking (so) He says to the synagogue official, "Do not fear, only believe." 37 And He did not allow anyone with Him to follow except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38 And they came to the house of the synagogue official, and He observed confusion and crying/weeping and wailing loudly, 39 and entering He says to them, "Why are you stirred up and crying? The child is not dead but only sleeping." 40 And they laughed at Him. But He expelled them all taking along the father of the child and the mother and those with Him and He came in where the child was. 41 And He took hold of her hand He said to her, "Talitha cum", which is translated, "Little girl, to you I say, 'Get up'." 42 And immediately she did get up and was started walking; now she was twelve years old. And all were surprised in great amazement. 43 And He ordered them strictly so that no one should know this, and He said to give her something to eat.

C. Hermeneutical Bridge

(JFC) Helmut Thielicke wrote in 1946 and was translated into English in 1970, Death and Life, which seems more pertinent today than when it first appeared. In it he posits how we hide death, birth and all sickness, refusing to admit and/or share their atrocities. He acknowledges how both sin and prayer need to accompany such experiences of life and he nearly concludes, "Viewed Biblically, death is the symptom of an inscrutable distortion of life. Life created by God is indestructible of itself - or more precisely - of God's self so long as it remains under the influence of the divine breath and in fellowship with God." The two sick persons in our Gospel lection this week sought to remain connected with God who heals.

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