“Jesus went with (Jairus) … A woman was there”.
Mk 5:24, 25 NIV
Many people assume that the Christian faith is really just for a few “religious types”. Ordinary people just get on with their lives and don’t bother with “this sort of thing”.
The story of the woman who came and touched the hem of Christ’s garment is worked by Mark into the middle of the incident of Jesus dealing with the dying daughter of Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue. “Jairus and the woman with the haemorrhage could hardly be more different from one another, in sex, status, public recognition, identification in the story itself, and manner of ministry by Jesus. Her simple (even superstitious) faith also contrasts strongly with the attitude of members of Jairus’ household once his daughter has died. The central element of believing or not believing, in the sense of implicit trust in Jesus himself and the power he bore, is sharply focused once again in these two, interwoven, stories” (D. English, The Message of Mark, p114).
What we see in this sharp contrast is the wideness of God’s mercy. It is not known only by a select few “religious types”. Nor is it offered only to the outcasts of society. The woman here, because of her condition, was regarded as ritually unclean – in the same way as lepers were. Therefore she comes to Jesus from “beyond the pale” of orthodox religion. Jairus came from the heart of the traditional church. And both were equally able, through their faith in Jesus, to receive and welcome his healing and saving power in their lives.
Whatever your religious background, there is room for you in the grace of God and the love of Jesus. Come as you are, and find his accepting welcome.
Lord, accept me into the embrace of your mercy.