Jesus and the Daughters
The Message (MSG)
A Risk of Faith
21-24After Jesus crossed over by boat, a large crowd met him at the seaside. One of the meeting-place leaders named Jairus came. When he saw Jesus, he fell to his knees, beside himself as he begged, "My dear daughter is at death's door. Come and lay hands on her so she will get well and live." Jesus went with him, the whole crowd tagging along, pushing and jostling him.
25-29A woman who had suffered a condition of hemorrhaging for twelve years—a long succession of physicians had treated her, and treated her badly, taking all her money and leaving her worse off than before—had heard about Jesus. She slipped in from behind and touched his robe. She was thinking to herself, "If I can put a finger on his robe, I can get well." The moment she did it, the flow of blood dried up. She could feel the change and knew her plague was over and done with.
30At the same moment, Jesus felt energy (Gk.δυναμιν) discharging from him. He turned around to the crowd and asked, "Who touched my robe?"
31His disciples said, "What are you talking about? With this crowd pushing and jostling you, you're asking, 'Who touched me?' Dozens have touched you!"
32-33But he went on asking, looking around to see who had done it. The woman, knowing what had happened, knowing she was the one, stepped up in fear and trembling, knelt before him, and gave him the whole story.
34Jesus said to her, "Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you're healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague."
35While he was still talking, some people came from the leader's house and told him, "Your daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher any more?"
36Jesus overheard what they were talking about and said to the leader, "Don't listen to them; just trust me."
37-40He permitted no one to go in with him except Peter, James, and John. They entered the leader's house and pushed their way through the gossips looking for a story and neighbors bringing in casseroles. Jesus was abrupt: "Why all this busybody grief and gossip? This child isn't dead; she's sleeping." Provoked to sarcasm, they told him he didn't know what he was talking about.
40-43But when he had sent them all out, he took the child's father and mother, along with his companions, and entered the child's room. He clasped the girl's hand and said, "Talitha koum," which means, "Little girl, get up." At that, she was up and walking around! This girl was twelve years of age. They, of course, were all beside themselves with joy. He gave them strict orders that no one was to know what had taken place in that room. Then he said, "Give her something to eat."
One of our Bible stories for tomorrow is Mark’s good spell about Jesus, Jairus, the Bleeding Woman, and Talitha. It’s not about raising the dead (Jesus said the little girl wasn’t dead), it’s a story about faith and power -- two stories actually, with one squeezed into the other perhaps as a literary device to show that precious time is being lost. Jairus comes to Jesus in faith, and so does the Woman. In both stories, faith triggers the release of healing power. In the Woman’s case the release is unintentional on Jesus’ part, so his statement, “Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole” (KJV) is true. Talitha, who had no faith, was saved by her father’s faith.
In Mark’s gospel, Jesus‘ miracles are not magic spells shot from the end of a wand, but works of power (δυναμιν) triggered by circumstances, sometimes Jesus’ compassion, sometimes faith. δυναμιν is power, energy: dynamo, dynamics, dynamite.