9: Healing His Daughters (Mk 5:21-43)
again crossed over the lake, probably back to Capernaum. Through Jesus’ healing
a woman and a little girl, this passage shows us how the busy servant is also a
loving father. The narrative is interesting in its changing viewpoint. First,
while Jesus was on the way to heal Jairus’ daughter, the healing of the woman
interrupts the story. Then, while Jesus was still speaking in regards to
the woman, news from Jairus’ house brings the focus back to Jairus’ daughter.
“Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in
peace, and be healed of your affliction” (5:34).
Did You Know…?
Rulers of the synagogue (5:22): Laymen whose
responsibilities were administrative, not priestly, and included such things as
looking after the building and supervising the worship. Sometimes the title was
honorary, given to prominent members of the congregation with no administrative
“Lay your hands on her” (5:23): The act of the
laying of hands appears in the Old Testament in various contexts, one of which
was during the act of blessing (Gen 48:14). In the New Testament, Jesus laid hands
on little children (Mt 19:13, 15) and on the sick (Mk 6:5). In Acts, laying of
hands was accompanied by prayer (Acts 6:6; 8:15; 13:3).11 In the True Jesus
Church, church ministers lay hands on someone as a sign of interceding for
God’s power. This is often done for someone praying for the Holy Spirit or for
“Flow of blood” (5:25): This may have been a
chronic menstrual disorder or a uterine hemorrhage. Her condition made her
ritually unclean, excluding her from normal social relations since anyone who
came in contact with her would become unclean.
“Wept and wailed loudly” (5:38): It was
customary for professional mourners to be brought in at the time of death. In
this case, however, there might not have been time to hire them, so perhaps
these were the girl’s relatives.
“Talitha, cumi” (5:41): Mark records the
exact Aramaic words Jesus spoke. The word talitha (“little girl”) is an
affectionate term, stemming from a root meaning “lamb.” Aramaic was the
language Jesus and His disciples ordinarily spoke. He probably also spoke
Hebrew (to read the Old Testament writings) and Greek (the lingua franca of the
1a. How were Jairus and the woman similar and/or different in faith?
1b. When you pray to God for help, do you pray specifically for
something to happen, or pray generally for God’s will to be done? Compare your
prayer to Jesus’ prayer (Mk 14:36).
a time when:
2a. you asked for God’s mercy on behalf of someone else.
2b. someone prayed for your needs.
2c. you prayed to God for your own needs.
2d. How often does each type of prayers take place in your life?
does the shift in the story’s viewpoint (from Jairus’ daughter to the woman and
back) tell you about the nature of Jesus’ work?
a time when you felt like Jesus’ son or daughter.
1. Jairus was a respected member
of the community (cf. Did You Know 1), but he humbled himself before Jesus.
When other people respect you, how do you humble yourself before the Lord?
2. Why did a large crowd follow
and press around Jesus?
3. Why do you think the woman
came up behind Jesus instead of asking Him for help?
4. Jesus felt power gone out from
Him. What does this tell you about the effort needed in His work?
5. What does the disciples’
reaction (31) say about their faith and understanding of Jesus?
6. Why did Jesus take the time to
look around to see who had touched Him and to speak to the woman?
7. Why did the woman tremble with
8. The woman was probably older
than Jesus. Why did He call her “daughter”?
9. If you were Jairus, what would
you be feeling when Jesus was detained on His way to heal your daughter?
10. What does the people’s
reaction (cf. 35, 38, 40) say about their faith and understanding of Jesus?
Compare this to Martha’s reaction in Jn 11:32.
11. If you were Jairus, what
would you be feeling at this time, knowing that your daughter died while Jesus
12. Jesus said to Jairus, “Do not
be afraid; only believe”(36). Afraid of what? Believe in what? How does this
relate to what He said in 4:40?
13. Jesus said, “The child is not
dead, but sleeping” (39). What teachings can we draw from this?
14. Why did Jesus take only
Peter, James, and John to Jairus’ house? Why did Jesus let only the three
disciples and the girl’s parents witness the miracle? Why did He give strict
orders not to let anyone know?
15a. Compare what Jairus had
asked Jesus to do for his daughter to what Jesus actually did.
15b. How has Jesus helped you
beyond what you asked for?
15c. How does Jesus pay attention
to the little details of your life?