Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
In Mark 5:21-43 we are in the habit of noticing how Mark tells of the healing of a woman in between parts of his story about Jesus raising the synagogue leader’s daughter from the dead. We use this situation to observe how Jesus can accomplish several things at once.
What we frequently ignore is the overall setting. Jesus has arrived at the shore of the Sea of Galilee with his disciples. He’s surrounded by people who are hungry for his teaching about the kingdom of God. Mark tells us several times in short order that it’s a large crowd. The people are pressing toward him, crowding him, following him.
Any normal human being who wants to gain a following is going to do one and only one thing in this setting. He will give the crowd what they want. He will preach and teach, maybe heal a few people in the crowd, and he will make sure everyone knows what he is doing. That’s the way we gather followers. That’s the way people make a name for themselves. That’s the path to fame and fortune.
Jesus does quite the opposite. He is told of the daughter’s condition. He leaves the crowd. When they get to the house, the crowd is shut out. Even the friends and family who have gathered to mourn are closed out. With the girl lying dead on the bed, and accompanied by her parents and Peter, James and John, Jesus raises the girl from the dead. There are only seven people in the room.
The New Testament doesn’t describe a Christ who is begging for attention. It describes a Christ who cares for individuals, who gives his life for them. It describes a Christ who has given his life for you and for me. It tells of a way of salvation that passes through death and into resurrection, not the way an earthly ruler would choose to go. Jesus is no earthly ruler. He’s the divine Lord of all, who cares even about the little girl at her home, away from the crowd. He’s the Lord who lavishes his care on all who believe. He’s much more than a guy with a Messiah complex. He is the true Messiah, the anointed deliverer.
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