Pursuing Answers to Questions of Faith & Life

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

12 Years of Bleeding, 12 Years of Living-- Mark :24-34

The previous sermon from Mark 5:24-34 where the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years was a blessing to study. God showed me some things I had not noticed before, applying them in ways I had not seen.

There was one thing that I was not willing to put in the sermon. It’s because it’s highly speculative and one of those, “I wouldn’t be surprised to find out in heaven that….” kind of moments. I was struck by Mark’s emphasis of numbers in the passage. The woman had been bleeding for 12 years, the daughter was alive for 12 years. That could easily be to emphasize to Jairus, Jesus’ power.

Again, what I’ll be saying is highly speculative and is likely to be wrong (i.e. don’t build a theology on it), but we serve a God who surprises us sometimes with His connections.

In 5:40, Jesus kicked out the mourners and took the father (Jairus) and the girl’s mother into the room where her body was. I addressed the story of Jairus and his daughter on Father’s Day. I had always assumed and read the account as if the girl’s mother was just waiting at home for Jairus to return with Jesus. Of course, she wouldn’t want to leave the girl’s side. That is the likely explanation—sometimes, simpler is better.

However, I was struck by the fact that the woman had been suffering her bleeding for 12 years and the little girl was 12 years old. What if, the bleeding woman was the girl’s mother and Jairus’ wife, who had complications from delivery that never fully healed?

Mark does not call her as such and most of the descriptions of her describe her as if she is cut off and depending on her own resources; without the protection of a husband. But I had thought that if she had been married before the bleeding started, that the husband may have put her out. Someone in Jairus’ position may have felt even more pressure to do so as a leader in the synagogue. How could he be such a leader if everything his wife touched was unclean, rendering him unclean?

So her coming to Jesus and experiencing healing, even going in peace and wholeness would have restored her to the community. Where could she go to? What if it also restored her to her husband and just follow him home to their daughter? What if in these healings, Jesus was restoring the life of the whole family? Raising not only a daughter back from the dead, but a marriage?

It was a touching thought, totally speculative, but one of those things that I want to ask about when I get there.

What would this add to our understanding of the passage? I can't say for sure. Why would it be hidden and concealed if true? I don't know that either. Like I said, just a thought that came to me that made me say, "hmmmm".

There’s a couple of others, like the location of the ram caught in the thicket, but if you want to know about that one, you’ll have to ask!

Pursuing Answers to Questions of Faith & Life

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