July 2, 2000

Mark 5:21-43 (CEV)

Once again Jesus got into the boat and crossed Lake Galilee. Then as he stood on the shore, a large crowd gathered around him. The person in charge of the Jewish meeting place was also there. His name was Jairus, and when he was Jesus, he went over to him. He knelt at Jesus' feet and started begging him for help. He said. "My daughter is about to die! Please come and touch her, so she will get well and live." Jesus went with Jairus. Many people followed along and kept crowding around.

In the crowd was a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years. She had gone to many doctors, and they had not done anything except cause her a lot of pain. She had paid them all the money she had. But instead of getting better, she only got worse.

The woman had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him in the crowd and barely touched his clothes. She had said to herself, "If I can just touch his clothes, I will get well." As soon as she touched them, her bleeding stopped, and she knew she was well.

At that moment Jesus felt power go out from him. He turned to the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?"

His disciples said to him, "Look at all these people crowding around you! How can you ask who touched you?" But Jesus turned to see who had touched him.

The woman knew what had happened to her. She came shaking with fear and knelt down in front of Jesus. Then she told him the whole story.

Jesus said to the woman, "You are now well because of your faith. May God give you peace! You are healed, and you will no longer be in pain."

While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from Jairus' home and said, "Your daughter has died! Why bother the teacher anymore?"

Jesus heard what they said, and he said to Jairus, "Don't worry. Just have faith!"

Jesus did not let anyone go with him except Peter and the two brothers, James and John. They went home with Jairus and saw the people crying and making a lot of noise. Then Jesus went inside and said to them, "Why are you crying and carrying on like this? The child isn't dead. She is just asleep." But the people laughed at him.

After Jesus had sent them all out of the house, he took the girl's father and mother and his three disciples and went to where she was. He took the twelve-year-old girl by the and and said, "Talitha, Koum!" which means, "Little girl, get up!" The girl got right up and started waling around.

Everyone was greatly surprised. But Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened. Then he said. "Give her something to eat."


1. Last week we had the Geresene demoniac healed. The upshot of all that was that the healed person wanted to travel with Jesus (moving from non-Jewish territory to Jewish territory) but Jesus told him, "No." He was to go to his non-Jewish home and tell how good GOD is. This week we have the healing of a 12-year-old girl and a woman with a 12-year-old ailment. Here in the Jewish territory Jesus orders folks to not tell what happened with these healings. How do you put this difference in responses by Jesus together in your own mind and heart? Is there a call to specify instances and circumstances rather than having a program Jesus is slavishly following?

2. As we come to the 4th of July celebration of Independence, how do we handle this call for Interdependence. To take the issue of universal health care for the daughters of a powerful/rich man as well as an un-named, unclean, and poor woman is a big jump but one that might be taken if we note that when Jesus is around all the usual categories by which we divide ourselves disappear. To not take seriously our founding documents which speak of the general welfare of citizens as well as the common defense of citizens is defenseless both patriotically and faithfully.

3. As you come to a time of reflection upon the times in your life when you have had to deal with next-to-death times, how do you understand the breaking of all our usual categories. When I had prostate cancer there was nothing I could do on my own (other than the usual faithful disciplines). It took years of research and honing of surgical skills to bring me through. As one who is able to stand because others stood for me, it is time for me to stand for others. Do you see yourself in that same situation? Who will you stand for? Are you willing to work for some form of universal care for all our citizens or will you give over to the frustrations inherent in such an important, yet radical, change?

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