A word for the heart

with Alan Bailey

Mark 5:21-43 - The Gospel of Mark

Bible study


Welcome to this Bible Study. Read what I have written slowly. If you have a Bible look up the reference verses given, and allow the Holy Spirit to minister to your soul through them.

Mark 5:21-43

As we make our way through this book of Mark, we see an array of human need—people in all kinds of conditions. In a way, our present day reveals the same thing—people with problems and needs all around us. Only Jesus could make a difference back then and only He can meet our deepest needs today.

Stamp of Russia, 2000: a commemorative issue for 2000th anniversary of the Birth of Jesus. Raising of Jairus’ daughter by Wassilij Dimitriewitsch Polenow

We see in this passage a sick woman and a dying twelve year old girl.

Verses 21-24 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around Him. While He was beside the lake, one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at His feet and 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.” So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around Him.

The first year of Jesus’ ministry drew crowds wherever He went. The main reason for this was the healing so many received. Sick people heard of His reputation and so did all they could to find Him and gain His attention. Jairus was eagerly looking for Jesus because his twelve year old daughter was dying. He indicated his faith in Christ in the words he used. He had every confidence that Jesus would save his little girl. The crowd came too, all curious and wanting to get as close as they could.

Verses 25 & 26 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She 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.

What a sad case was this particular woman! It was a grim experience indeed that she had been through. She must have constantly hoped for improvement but only got worse. The future must have looked anything but optimistic.

Verses 27-29 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.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

We can only imagine the discomfort and frustration this lady must have felt over the years. How many times had she been disappointed and let down. Yet this occasion was different. Look at her determination. See how confident she is. So trusting that even contact with His clothing would be enough, she thought. The touch of faith was rewarded.

Verse 30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from Him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

The reaction of Jesus demonstrates that her healing was not based on some kind of superstition or quackery. Actual power was at work. Somehow, Jesus felt some kind of response to loss of power.

Verses 31-34 ”You see the people crowding against you,” His disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’” But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at His feet and, trembling with fear, told Him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace, and be freed from your suffering.”

It is quite clear that it is true faith in Christ that is rewarded. Therefore, someone had exercised faith and Jesus wanted her to own up to it. The poor soul was afraid that she had done something wrong and with all eyes on her she fearfully confessed what she had done. Of course, Jesus was compassionate toward her and gave her warm assurance of His care for her. A touching moment in more ways than one.

Verses 35 & 36 While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher any more?”
Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

We need to notice that the Lord was never confused or alarmed by any developments. In all situations He remained calm and in control. This is an indication of who He was. More than mere man. He knew just what He would do in this case and so reassured Jairus, encouraging his faith.

Verses 37-39 He did not let anyone follow Him except Peter, James and John, the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at Him.

There were several occasions when Jesus had only these three disciples with Him. They were a kind of inner circle, seeing and learning something more than the others. It was customary for mourners to come to a death and loudly weep and wail. The Lord’s statement that the girl was not dead was not to be taken as technically the case. He was saying that she was not beyond being ‘awakened’ back to life.

Verses 40-43 After He had put them all out, He took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with Him, and went in where the girl was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha Koum!” (which means,” Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). She stood right up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

There are only three recorded cases of Christ raising the dead. The son of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-15), Lazarus, brother of Mary and Martha (John 11:38-43) and this instance. Note that Jesus did not want this event talked about all over the place. Increasing crowds were the problem. Also note that Jesus understood that the girl needed nourishment.


We are looking at the ministry of a person who was different. Different from all others who had some special claim to make about themselves. There were false Messiahs and various cult leaders over this New Testament period but all pale into nobodies when compared with Jesus. How could He raise the dead if He was mere man? Surely it must be seen that He was in touch with the Father, the Creator. His works verified His spoken claims. He was consistent in every way.

These eye witness reports of Jesus’ words and deeds should bring us to our knees in acknowledgement of who He is. Saviour and Lord, worthy of our worship.

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