My ESV Study Bible has this to say about this second series of oracles....
21:10 Babylon. The message of the first oracle is that human treachery leaves God's people with no earthly hope.
21:11-12 Edom. The second oracle of the second series depicts prolonged darkness enveloping a frightened world.
21:13-17 Arabia. The third oracle shows human ferocity scattering fugitives in a darkening world.
22:1-25 Jerusalem. The fourth oracle shows the light of the world growing dark.
In our Mark passage we again see Jesus' power over sickness and death. When the woman touched Jesus and when Jesus touched the dead little girl, those touches should have rendered Him ceremonially unclean. But Jesus is greater than any purity laws, and instead of Him becoming unclean, He makes the woman clean by His power and raised the girl to life.
We can't even imagine the kind of suffering this woman endured. For twelve years she has not been allowed to touch someone without making them ceremonially unclean. How often during those twelve years did she receive a loving touch from someone? We don't know, but surely it was not often. This woman was desperate for Jesus' healing - both physically and spiritually. We need that same desperation in order to be saved. We need to know that we are sick with sin, that we cannot heal ourselves, and that our only hope is a divine Healer.
I love that He doesn't let the woman go without having her confess her faith.
I also love how Jesus refers to death as but sleep. We, as believers, know that death truly is but sleep, and that we will awake to the glory of eternal life with Him.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Isaiah 23-25, Mark 6:1-29
"Such touching the Lord does not want to permit to be secret; as an example to us. Therefore He urges the woman with His questions that she must come forward and permit herself to be seen, also tell everything that had been done to her publicly before everybody, in order that He may have cause to praise such faith and teach us all what a cheerful service it is for Him, if we console ourselves with His help and expect nothing but good from Him. Therefore He praises the woman so highly and speaks to her so encouragingly: Be of good cheer, daughter; thy faith hath helped thee. There the disciples themselves must admit that the Lord has not asked in vain, and that it was not an ordinary touching, but something out of the ordinary, upon which much depends for the Lord and for ourselves. -But it is a peculiar speech which Jesus here makes, if we would think of it. He confesses that a power has gone forth from Him. As the woman now stands before the Lord and confesses the benefit, He does not show that such power has gone forth from Him, but ascribes it to the faith of the woman, although not she herself, but the Lord had helped her. This the Lord does for this reason, to indicate how well that pleases Him if thou expect everything good from Him and seek help from Him. As though He would say: Watch closely and learn cheerfully to believe, no matter in what trouble you happen to be; for I would much rather help you than you are able to ask it. I would much rather deliver you from death than that you desire life, as He here gives evidence with His action, where it is so easily done, and He so gladly permits the power to go from Him." -Martin Luther
The Greek for "healed" actually means "saved". As Tammy mentioned, here in Mark the woman needed to be healed from both physical and spiritual suffering.
Where we are at the moment, we may not need relief from physical suffering, but no matter where we are spiritually we are always in need of healing.
I pray that I would be able to go in peace as the woman did, and to tell others how Christ has healed me.
I read the Isaiah passages in the Message because sometimes I find it easier to understand in my Grade 1 focused brain. This stood out for me: 22:4
In the midst of the shouting, I said, “Let me alone.
Let me grieve by myself.
Don’t tell me it’s going to be all right.
These people are doomed. It’s not all right.”
So often we hear "you can believe what you want and I'll believe what I want and everything will be all right" or "we are all entitled to our own opinions" or "love is love" and we as Christians, as believers of scripture need to say "Don’t tell me it’s going to be all right. These people are doomed. It’s not all right.” Of course that is easier said than done.
God can do big things but sometimes our faith can be so small. If I had suffered for 12 years would I have believed that a man could heal me from something that no one had ever been able to? Would I believe that just stroking his clothes would grant me this healing? I don't think so. Thankfully, my lack of faith does not get in the way of God blessing me far beyond what I deserve of think he is capable of.
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