Mark 5:1 to 6:6 can be compared to a clubhouse sandwich. Mark 5:1-20 and Mark 6:1-6 are stories of rejection. First, in Mark 5:1-20, Jesus was rejected by the people of Gerasene. In the second, Mark 6:1-6, Jesus was rejected by the people of Nazareth (his hometown). In between these rejection stories is the Gospel for the 13th Sunday in the Ordinary time (Mark 5:21-43). This Gospel is a narration of two miracles in one story. One of the miracles is the healing (or raising) of Jairus’ daughter. The other story is about the healing of unnamed woman who is suffering from hemorrhage for twelve years. The latter miracle story has been inserted in the middle of the former.
Maybe Mark is sending his readers something that is very important. Seemingly, Mark wants to emphasize Jesus’ concept of justice and equality. Here, Jesus healed both Jairus’ daughter and the unnamed woman. For Jesus everybody is included, whether you are a high ranking official’s daughter or a poor woman. Jesus shows that God allows the sun to shine to everyone, that is, the grace of God is for everybody. This is Jesus’ justice and equality.
Another point Mark wants to convey is about faith. The two miracle stories are also about faith. First, the woman said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured (v28).” In effect, when she had touched Jesus’ clothes she was immediately healed. Then, Jesus said to the woman, “Daughter, your faith has saved you (v 34).”
Second, one could also notice that Jairus, a synagogue official, fell at Jesus’ feet and pleaded, “Please, come lay your hands on my daughter that she may get well and live (v 23).” This is very rare. Jairus could be in trouble because he believed in Jesus who is considered by the Scribes and Pharisees as their enemy. Still, Jairus took the risk which indicates his faith.
While they were still on the road to Jairus’ house, people warned them that Jairus’ daughter was dead. But they ignored it and Jesus said to Jairus, “Do not be afraid; just have faith (v 36).” Jairus’ daughter was healed or raised and lived.
Justice, equality and faith are the three messages of our Gospel. Both Jairus and the woman took the risk and had faith. They received justice and equality because of their faith. Faith empowers people to attain justice and equality. Without faith people would be stagnated or immobilized.
Jesus himself has faith to his Father that is why he had endured his sufferings and accepted death on the cross. Through his faith he was able to drink the chalice. He surrendered to the will of his Abba.
This is also the invitation for us, that is, to have faith. With faith, even in the middle of sufferings and persecution a person could give thanks to God because he/she believes that God could wipe the tears in his/her eyes. He/she believes that God could change his mourning into dancing. Like in Psalm 30, this faith will enable him/her to pray with the psalmist, “You changed my mourning into dancing … O Lord, my God, forever will I give you thanks (Ps 30:11-12).”
Lord Jesus, you said that if a person has faith the size of a mustard seed, he/she could move a mountain and nothing is impossible (Mt 17:20). So, we pray, “Lord, give us faith that is constant and pure.”