A woman was bleeding for twelve years - Mark 5:27-30

Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Mark 5:27-43

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A woman was bleeding for twelve years - Mark 5:27-30

The woman's unstopped flow of blood made her ritually unclean (Lev. 15:25-28). By touching Jesus she normally would have made him unclean (Lev.15:19-23). The glorious irony is that his power made her clean. 5:34 Jesus' words emphasized the importance of faith. (Note also 5:36; 1:15; 2:5; 5:36; 9:23, 24; 10:52; 11:22-24; and the lack of faith in Jesus' home town in the next paragraph in 6:6.) Jesus' praise of her faith stands out especially because of the contrast of this woman and Jairus. Jairus is named, a man with a wife and child, a religious leader, and an owner of a large home. The woman is unnamed, alone, unclean, on the edges of society, ill for twelve years (the daughter is twelve years old), and penniless. Yet it is the woman's faith that Jesus praises. Mark's word for made…well that is used here and in verses 23 and 28 is the same word that is often translated saved. Mark probably intended his readers to think of both physical healing and a spiritual restoration that comes only by faith in Jesus. Jesus never called anyone else daughter in the gospels. The woman is one of those members of the family of God mentioned in 3:35.

Your daughter is dead - Mark 5:35

The peace which Jesus had given the woman in verse 34 was quickly disturbed by the announcement in verse 35 that Jairus' daughter is dead. The hope that Jesus could have healed her while she was still alive had been crushed. They called Jesus the teacher and they did not believe that Jesus or any teacher could conquer death. Again they did not understand who Jesus was.

Do not be afraid - Mark 5:36

"Do notbe afraid; Just believe." Jesus' words could also be translated, Stop fearing, just keep on believing. However they are translated, it is clear that Jesus again offered faith as the alternative to a godless fear. The frequent reports in Mark's gospel of people fearing highlight the fact that fear may be a natural response to the display of God's kingdom power, but in itself it is not the faith Jesus came to elicit.

The inner core of the disciples - Mark 5:37

Peter, James, and John. This is the inner core of the disciples that Jesus kept with him at special moments. (Note 9:2: 14:33.)

Weeping and wailing - Mark 5:38

This kind of weeping and wailing was typical mourning at an ancient Palestinian death. Sometimes professional mourners were even hired to add their cries of sorrow to those of the family. In this instance the short time since the death makes it probable that the mourners were all family and friends.

The girl was only asleep - Mark 5:39-40

When Jesus said the girl was only asleep they mocked and laughed at him. When Jesus went in he took only his closest disciples and the parents with him. He would not perform this miracle within the sight of unbelieving ridicule. The verb put outside is a strong word that was frequently used by Mark to describe the casting out of demons (1:34, 39, 43; 3:15, 22, 23; 5:24; 6:13 and others).

Talitha - Mark 5:41

"Talitha, koum!" Occasionally Mark reported the actual Aramaic words that were spoken. See Aramaic in the glossary. He did that here. Mark translated them into Greek meaning, Little girl, I say to you, get up.

Astonished - Mark 5:42

Astonished with overwhelming amazement. Mark did not use the word fear in this verse, but he piled up other words to create almost the same impression. It could be literally translated with an emphatic redundancy, They were astonished with overwhelming amazement. Like the disciples in the boat and the townspeople in Gerasa, the family members were in awe. Jesus had removed the cause of their fear. By doing that Jesus caused them to tremble. No one had ever seen anything like this before. Mark continued to force the question on his readers, "Who is this man?"

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