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Just believe

  • Leviticus 11:1-12:8
  • Mark 5:21-43
  • Psalm 38:1-22
  • Proverbs 10:8-9

22Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jarius, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23He 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. 24So Jesus went with him.

Mark 5:22-24

Jarius was a synagogue leader, which from my understanding, is a layman whose responsibilities were administrative. There was usually only one synagogue leader so they would be responsible for looking after the building, the administrative work and supervising the worship. This leader had an important role at the synagogue. Jesus had been causing quite an uproar amongst the people and church leadership, so Jarius had heard what Jesus was teaching and doing. Jarius would have likely heard quite a bit of scuffle about this miracle worker.

And Jarius’ daughter was dying. Church leader or not, his daughter was dying, and I can’t even imagine the desperation that brings on. Jarius had come to the end of all he could do, there was no hope left. She was dying.

Then in Verse 25…

25And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26She 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 5:25-26

She had her menstrual period for 12 years. Uhhhhh….ladies, can you imagine? Ugh. Praise God, I’m past that time in life, but oh my goodness, do I remember the inconvenience of that! This could have been a post childbirth issue that never quite healed up, or she could have been like many women I know, that their menstrual cycles just don’t ever regulate. For us today, it’s quite an inconvenience and you can bet your sweet britches that I’d be seeing every doctor I could find to get this fixed!!

But in Jesus times….it was more than a complication. Post childbirth regulations and menstrual purification regulations were quite a sentance. In today’s Old Testament readings we see a portion of this:

“A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period…..If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding.

When the days of her purification for a son or daughter are over, she is to bring to the priest at the entrance to the tent….

In this way the priest will make atonement for her.

Leviticus 12:1-8

There’s a whole chapter in today’s readings dedicated to the uncleanliness of a woman after childbirth. When any animal is unclean or any human is considered unclean they were to be exiled from their community.

So for this poor woman, it had been twelve years of uncleanliness and isolation.

Twelve years in quarantine.

Twelve years of shut-downs.

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.”

Mark 5:27-28

Can you hear it? Can you hear her tears? If I can just touch his clothes. If I can just get close. If he will just look at me. If SOMEONE will just look at me. If someone will just HELP ME! I can’t take this anymore!

The synagogue leader and the outcast woman had one thing in common.

Desperation.

They were both at the end of their options.

They were both at the end of their rope.

All they had left was faith in this Jesus fellow that everyone was talking about. What else was left, ya know? It’s worth a shot, right?

While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. Why bother the teacher anymore?

Mark 5:35

Can you say PEER PRESSURE!! It was his people that were pressuring Jarius to doubt. Notice that its Jarius FRIENDS bringing on the confusion to what Jarius believed to be true. And you know what….it was WHILE JESUS WAS STILL SPEAKING! These doubters couldn’t wait to cloud the testimony!

Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

Mark 5:36

Lord, I thank you that you overhear the haters in my life that want to cause me to doubt. I thank you that you can be heard above the noise, if I just listen. For any reader that may be at the end of their hope today, I pray that you speak to their heart. I pray with you that each of us “Don’t be afraid.” I pray for the faith of the woman and the belief of the leader, give me that kind of hope. Give my readers that kind of hope. We need to hear you above the noise.

Have you lost hope friend? What needs healed in you today?

Do you really believe? Can you really trust in this Jesus?

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