In today’s passage we get the introduction to one amazing healing miracle by Jesus and the whole story of another. In both cases, we see people who might think that it is too late for Jesus to do something, only to find that nothing is impossible with God.
The Text (Mark 5:21-34)
21 Now when Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered to Him; and He was by the sea. 22 And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet 23 and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” 24 So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.
25 Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, 26 and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. 28 For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”
29 Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?”
31 But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’”
32 And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. 33 But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”
Jesus has just left a Gentile region on the east side of the Sea of Galilee, and now He heads back across to the western shore near His home base at Capernaum. His reputation as a great healer is already known in this region, too. An important religious leader rushes to Jesus, begging Him to come and heal his gravely sick daughter. This is a desperate situation and time is running out for this great man’s little girl. Yet Jesus stops along the way to save another desperate person. A poor woman with an incurable hemorrhage (bleeding that won’t stop) reaches out to touch Jesus’ garment. Like the ruler whom Jesus has already agreed to help, she believes that Jesus can only heal by physical contact. Other miracles show in the gospels show that this is not true. For example, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead with just the sound of His voice (see John 11), and we just saw Him cast the demons out of the crazy man the same way. But He accommodates their weaker faith and meets this desperate man and woman in their hours of need.
Healing miracles like these show us both the power and love of our Savior. He always had compassion for those who came to Him in honest faith. Jesus always welcomed those who admitted their need for Him. This poor woman must have thought her situation was utterly hopeless. She had been sick for 12 years and no doctors had been able to help her; their “treatments” had only made her condition worse and had taken lots of her time and money. She was willing to do whatever it took to get to Jesus. Like the rich man, she did not care what the crowds or Christ’s disciples thought of her actions. She just wanted Jesus. And her faith in Him made her well, not just physically, but spiritually. When Mark says that she told Him the “whole truth,” he is describing her sincere confession, repentance, and surrender to the Lord. The woman gets healed and then saved a few moments later.
This story shows us that it is never too late for Jesus to intervene in any situation. We must press on in our prayers for Him to do great things and never lose hope. That would include physical healing and care for ourselves, loved ones, and others whom God puts in our spheres of influence. But it would also include spiritual miracles like salvation. If a person is still alive, it is not too late for Jesus to save them. It is not too late for a wandering Chistian to come back to the Lord. We must persevere in our prayers, believing like this woman that all things are possible with God. He does not promise to answer all of our prayers in the way or timing that we want (as tomorrow’s passage will show); we must balance our faith requests with an understanding and acceptance of God’s providence, or divine plan. But Jesus always encourages us to do our part, by living and praying with a daily trust in our Father’s power, wisdom, and goodness. Keeping track of prayer requests through something like a prayer journal can build our faith as we see just how many times He gives us what we ask for. Try it out this summer and see what God does!