“Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace, free from your affliction.” (Mark 5.34 REB) (please also read the rest of Mark 5.21-43 – see below)
For twelve years Jairus has been enjoying the company of his little daughter. For twelve years the woman has been enduring constant internal bleeding. Jairus is the local synagogue president. The woman would have been considered ritually ‘unclean’ and so not allowed in the synagogue. Jairus is part of the religious establishment which was already taking a negative attitude toward Jesus. The woman’s attitude to Jesus seems to have been positive.
What unites them is desperation. Jairus is so desperate that he’s willing to break ranks with the establishment and beg Jesus for help. The woman is so desperate she’s willing to risk being condemned as a lawbreaker by going out in public and actually touching Jesus.
How desperate am I? Desperate enough to set aside my pride, my tribal loyalties, my sense of superiority? Desperate enough to risk being looked down on and condemned by others?
O. Hallesby says that faith and desperation are the two essentials for fervent prayer. Most of us can manage the ‘desperation’, but feel intimidated by the ‘faith’ side of the equation! Hallesby (in his book ‘Prayer’) reassures us that if we have enough faith to turn to Jesus and ask for help, that’s enough.
Father, help me break through the barriers that keep me away from you and from asking for you help – barriers of my own making, or of others’ making. May I experience the truth of these words today: “Your faith has healed you. Go in peace, free from your affliction.” Amen.
(Today’s One-Year Bible readings are Leviticus 11:1 – 12:8, Mark 5:21-43, Psalm 38:1-22, and Proverbs 10:8-9)