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Monday, January 28, 2013

Today’s Reading | Mark 5:21–43

When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.” He went with him.

And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, ‘Who touched me?’ ” He looked all around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. When he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha cum,” which means, “Little girl, get up!” And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat. (NRSV)


This passage from Mark 5, the story of the woman with a discharge of blood, contains all the wonderful elements of faith, hope, and love. The woman is hopeful that maybe Jesus can heal her. In faith, she reaches out from herself and touches him. In love, Jesus responds to her hope and faith. But in order for this story to work there has to be more than these three elements. It is not enough that the woman believes. It is not enough that Jesus loves. In the equation, there must be the power to eradicate the brokenness. There must be the ability to actually remove the problem. 

This is where Jesus is different. He does have the ability to take away the sin of the world, because he is God. Sometime we can think that with faith, hope, and love we can solve the problem—but that is not enough. The good news that we possess, the good news that Mark is telling us, is that Jesus does have the power; that through his life, death, and resurrection he has broken the curse of sin and has set us free from its power. He has overthrown the kingdom of evil and incorporated us into God’s kingdom, whereby our hope, faith, and love can continue to break the cycles of sin and eradicate the problems. 

Friends, today, let us be reminded again that our loving Savior, Jesus, is mighty to save. 


God, thank you for sending your Son into the world to break the power of sin. By your Spirit, help me to live out this good news. Amen.

Written by Daniel Holladay, Administrative Assistant to Children, Youth, and Family Ministry and the Day School

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