For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well (Mark 5:28).
The Gospel of Mark introduces Jesus with a prologue of fifteen verses. The next section of the book (1:16 – 3:6) contains five important scenes of exorcism or healing, followed by five controversial actions of Jesus. The section ends with the plot of the Pharisees and Herodians to kill Jesus.
As the second section unfolds (3:7 – 6:6), the opposition to Jesus intensifies – beginning (and ending) with his own family – and with increasing opposition comes increasing chaos. People are crowding Jesus, falling before Jesus, and falling on Jesus. In the middle of it all come two people: Jarius, a synagogue ruler, and an unnamed woman. The woman needs healing for herself, the ruler needs healing for his daughter. The two stories are set up to be read in comparison. “Jarius is a man of distinction, honor, and has a name. The woman is “unclean” and is unnamed. Jarius can approach Jesus from the front and ask Jesus for help. The woman must approach from behind and steal it. Jarius is rich. The woman is destitute. Jarius has a family. The woman will never have a family.” Jarius’ daughter is twelve years old. The woman has been ill for twelve years.
For all their differences, these two have three things in common: both believe in Jesus, neither escape anxiety, and both find peace.
Life will always have times of chaos and in those times faith will always be challenged by anxiety. But those who focus on their confidence in Jesus will find both removed and peace restored.