Mark Lesson 15 (2022)
“DAUGHTER, YOUR FAITH HAS HEALED YOU!”
(Faith is the Answer)
Key Verse: 5:34
“He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be free from your suffering.’”
During the last two Sundays, we’ve learned how Jesus calmed the storm and drove the thousands of demons out of the man in Gerasenes. These two events manifested the divine power of Jesus (4:35-5:20). Now, Mark records two other miracles in this chapter, the healing of a suffering woman from chronic bleeding (25-34) and the raising of Jairus’ daughter from death (21-24; 35-43). In these two events, besides the divine power of Jesus, Mark highlights the absolute faith of the woman and Jairus. Jesus said to the woman, “Daughter, your faith has healed you.” (34) He also said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” (36) Jesus’ healing of a woman in today’s passage is a kind of parenthesis in action while Jesus was on his way to heal Jairus’ daughter. So, we will study these two events separately. This morning let’s think about what kind of faith the woman had and how it worked out for her healing process. We can also learn the importance and power of faith in our lives.
Look at verses 21-23. “When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. He pleaded earnestly with him, ‘My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.’” As Jesus returned to Capernaum, the crowd of people surrounded him again while he was still by the lake. They seem to have eagerly waited for his return, expecting to see more miracles. Some of them might have brought their sick friends and family members so that Jesus could heal them.
Among them was a man, named Jairus, one of the synagogue leaders. Synagogue leaders were not priests but lay leaders who were responsible for the worship services and the synagogue facilities. He might have been the president of the board members of a local synagogue in Capernaum. He was a man with wealth and a good reputation. Yet, he had an emergency; his beloved daughter was sick and dying. In desperation, he hurriedly came to Jesus to ask for his help, for he had heard that Jesus had the power to heal all kinds of diseases. He believed that if Jesus touched his dying daughter, she could be healed.
However, his coming to Jesus wasn’t something that was expected from a Jewish religious leader. Why? It’s because, among most Jewish religious leaders, Jesus was not in their favor then. Instead, they considered him a threat and planned to get rid of him secretly. (3:6) I am sure Jairus knew what would happen to his reputation and even position if he sided with Jesus. It was not an easy decision to make. Yet, Jairus decided to come to Jesus to ask for his help. It didn’t matter to him even to lose his job and reputation if he could save his beloved daughter. What a beautiful father he was! He indeed had faith in Jesus. Moved by Jairus’ faith, Jesus didn’t hesitate to go with him. (24a)
Look at verse 24b. “A large crowd followed and pressed around him.” Since Jairus was a well-known community leader in town, people got even more curious, so they followed Jesus as he walked along with Jairus. Perhaps, this crowd of people slowed his process toward Jairus’ house (pic#1).
Jesus’ life and ministry were full of stress and pressure. How easy it is for us to be overwhelmed with stress and anxiety. “Oh my, I have too many things to do.” We get tired quickly and become anxious. Blood pressure goes up and down. But it seems Jesus knew how to manage his own stress and pressure. Of course, Jesus was always prayerful. Yet, he appeared to know how to be fully present at the moment, not worrying about other things. “One thing at a time!” Jesus was full of wisdom and life skills.
As Jesus was on his way to Jairus’ house, Jairus felt relieved a little bit as long as Jesus was moving toward his house, even though the milling crowd of people slowed the process. However, Jesus was stopped by another significant hindrance. Now what? Look at verses 25-26. “And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better, she grew worse.” Mark stresses the desperate condition of the woman with details of her history. First, she had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. No matter how well you may be able to eat, if you are bleeding continually, it could jeopardize your health. And her bleeding did not stop for the last twelve years. It must have left her very weak. She might have felt dizzy all the time. Her constant bleeding made her life miserable.
Adding to her misery, it appears that the doctors took advantage of this poor lady. Verse 26 states, “She had suffered greatly under the care of many doctors.” At that time, medical insurance was unavailable, so anyone who visited doctors had to pay out of their pockets. She saw many different doctors for better treatment until she spent all she had. Yet, instead of getting better, she grew worse. She suffered a great deal not just from bleeding but also from mental and emotional trauma, losing everything she had. She must have felt she had been deceived and robbed by doctors. After all, her bleeding was embarrassing socially. It deprived her life as a woman. She had to ostracize herself from other people and even from the worship in the synagogue, being considered unclean. She must have felt that her life was nothing but suffering and curse. She suffered a lot and was alone. No one could help her, not even synagogue rulers or religious leaders. What would you do in such a hopeless situation? Cry? Turn to alcohol?
What did she do? Look at verses 27 and 28. “When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, ‘If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.’ Immediately her bleeding stopped, and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.” It’s possible that she heard about Jesus’ healing of many sick people, including incurable illnesses like paralysis and leprosy. When she heard about Jesus’ miraculous healing power, she began to believe that her bleeding could stop if she could touch not necessarily his body but just the edge of his cloak. We don’t know how she could manage to go through the milling crowd of people and touch his cloak. But she did. Yes, it was for her a struggle of life or death. “If I just touch his cloak, I will be healed. If not, I am done.” It was an act of faith, even though her faith seemed superstitious.
However, her bleeding stopped as soon as she touched Jesus’ clothes. A miracle occurred just as she believed. When I was in the military service in Korea in 1976, I was invited to a nearby church to sing a special hymn with other soldiers. At that time, Pastor Kyung Jik Han, also called Billy Graham of Korea, was leading a revival meeting. For some unknown reason, I felt tired and nervous that evening. I think I prayed for God’s help. As soon as our team started singing, I felt a warm and peaceful sensation on my back until our performance was over. I believed that it was a powerful presence of the Holy Spirit. As soon as the woman touched Jesus’ cloak, her bleeding stopped, and she felt a sensation in her body, and she knew she was freed from her suffering. Indeed, it was an unprecedented experience.
Look at verse 30. “At once, Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, ‘Who touched my clothes?’” Jesus’ consciousness of that power going out from him suggests that his healing ministry cost Jesus much spiritual energy. It’s no wonder that after ministering to many people, Jesus felt exhausted and had to find time for refreshing in a remote place. I am sure that Jesus, who is all-knowing, knew who touched his cloak. By the way, he was on his way to Jairus’ house to heal his daughter. So, he had to get there as soon as he could. Since he knew he had healed somebody, he could ignore it and move on. Yet, Jesus turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” We wonder why.
Look at verse 31. “‘You see the people crowding against you,’ his disciples answered, ‘and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.” The disciples didn’t understand why Jesus made such a big deal of someone touching his cloak when so many people surrounded him. They were suggesting that he should hurry and not waste his time. Yet, Jesus knew that it was not accidental but intentional that someone touched his cloak. Jesus must have already known what had happened to this lady when she touched his cloak. And he was looking for her so that he could bless her even more than physical healing. When God blesses us, he blesses us abundantly, sometimes more than we expect. John 1:16 states, “And from the overflow of his fullness we received grace heaped upon more grace.”(TPT)
I don’t think the woman knew that yet. Look at verse 33. “Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth.” She knew that she could not hide behind the crowd any longer. And her first response was fear. But she told him the truth in front of everyone, perhaps sobbing, “Lord, I have suffered much with the bleeding issue for twelve years. I knew I could become whole if I touched your cloak.”
Look at verse 34. “He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.’” Jesus didn’t rebuke her even though her faith in him seems to have been mixed with superstition. Instead, he blessed her by saying that it was her faith, not her touching, that channeled his healing power. The fact is that her faith in him demonstrated the importance and power of faith in our lives. Her faith in Jesus saved her, not just from her bleeding problem but also from her deep despair and hopelessness.
If anybody had reasons to be angry, frustrated, and sad, she had the most. Yet, she believed she would be healed if she touched Jesus’ cloak. Wow! Indeed, faith in Jesus was the answer to her confusion, sadness, and even plague-like sufferings in her life. No wonder Jesus praised her faith by saying, “Daughter, your faith has healed you.” Often, we see seemingly normal men and women find themselves strangely unhappy in their personal lives. They experience overwhelming anger, sadness, and a sense of frustration. Most of them don’t know how to put their faith in God even though they have been around the church for a long time.
Her faith reminds us of the definition of faith described in the Scripture. Hebrews 11:1 states, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” If I paraphrase this statement, I can say, “Faith is being positively confident about what we hope for or our future.” If we are pessimistic about our future all the time, there is nothing that even God can do for us. We must be positively confident. That’s faith. The woman in today’s passage was in the worst situation possible, yet she was utterly optimistic about her future, believing, “If I can touch his cloak, I will be healed.” Of course, we should be realistic, but we shouldn’t be pessimistic in any circumstances. Faith is being positively confident in Jesus for our future.
It’s noteworthy that Jesus called her “daughter” instead of “woman.” This is the only place in the Gospel narratives where Jesus called someone “daughter.” That’s why it seems so special. Jesus called her “daughter” probably to show that her faith in Jesus not only resulted in her physical healing but also brought her into his spiritual family. Jesus continued to bless her by saying, “Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Her physical healing was immediate. But her emotional, mental and social recovery would be gradual until they are complete. She does not need to be afraid of anything in the process of her recovery. Indeed, Jesus’ words of blessing reveal that her faith in him will continue to bring wholeness into her life emotionally, mentally, socially, and spiritually. We are sons and daughters of God through our faith in him. Yet, faith is not a one-time thing; it’s a lifelong process.
Life is too complicated and unpredictable, too complex and challenging for us to face with only our feeble power, especially in a time like today. We need something or somebody who has power beyond and above ourselves. Jesus is God who has limitless resources, and he is trustworthy. The woman in today’s passage shows that faith in Jesus is the answer. In their frustrations, many people turn to temporary solutions, such as drugs and alcohol. But faith in God is the proper answer. Through today’s passage, Jesus seems to invite all of us to the world of faith. The world of faith is deep and wide and has so much to explore and learn. The journey of faith is exciting and rewarding. We will not be disappointed. Jesu said to the woman, “Daughter, your faith has healed; go in peace, and be freed from your suffering.” May we continue to put our trust in Jesus our Lord daily until we become complete.