The Reading: Mark 5:21-24, 25-34, 35-43
“Little girl, I say to your arise.” (v.41) RSV
Last week’s thoughts may have been a bit of a bombshell to your understanding of the Christian walk. Indeed it may have even seemed blasphemous. But remember that Jesus was accused of blasphemy by the received theology of his day. It is a shock to many a devout believer that we are not mere servants who don’t know what our Master is doing, but are heirs, sons, princes. We have the authority of the Master to do his work, yes, and even greater works!
We have been looking at the calming of the storm (Mark 4:35-41), but Jesus applies this same authoritative use of words of command in all his ‘miracles’, whether it be over demons or nature or sickness. Today we have read about the healing of the 12 year old daughter of Jairus (a ruler of the synagogue). The request is made, and the situation deteriorates with the delay caused by the pressing need of the women with a 12 year old flow of blood (vv.25-34). But Jesus is undaunted.
When he arrives at the home of the ‘dead’ girl he puts out all the unbelievers who only confirm that the little girl is irreversibly dead. He takes with him the girl’s parent together with his strongest disciples: Peter, James and John. In the room, he does not kneel down and ask his Father to heal her, but as his Father’s ambassador he speaks on behalf of God, indeed, as the mouthpiece of God, and gives instructions to be obeyed.
Faith needs commands. Are we prepared to take authority and command? “Little girl, get up.” She responds, and rises. How often have we spent ages, even years praying for something or someone, and have had no apparent response. Why? Perhaps it is because God has been whispering in our ear. “You do it. I’m not going to do it for you.” Are we prepared to speak to the weather, or to our child, or work colleague, or to a disease? If so, then we need to hear what God is saying. It’s not a matter of forcing (and failing!) to make our own will come true. Pray and listen. What is he whispering? When you know, go and do it.
Father, this seems too much to believe. Help me to digest this new aspect of ministry. Help me to listen to you, and then to be bold enough to act upon it. Amen
1 How did Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead?
2 How did Jesus heal the demon-possessed boy?
3 What would have given them the authority?