Sunday, June 20, 2021

Proper 8 -Series B

Proper 8 - Series B study
Mark 5:21-43
For Sunday 26 June, 2021

Related Scripture Readings
Lamentations 3:22-33
Psalm 30
2 Corinthians 8:7-15

The Lord Jesus Is Faithful, and in Mercy He Raises You Up from Death to Life

The Lord is faithful. His steadfast love never ceases, and “his mercies never come to an end” (Lam. 3:22–23). To keep us in repentance and to make our faith grow, He causes grief for a while, but He does not cast off forever; in due time, “he will have compassion” (Lam. 3:31–33). Therefore, “hope in him,” and “wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord,” for “the Lord is good to those who wait for him” (Lam. 3:24–26). 

That is what the woman did who had “a discharge of blood,” and also the ruler whose daughter “was at the point of death.” Each waited on the mercy of the Lord Jesus, and each received His saving help (Mark 5:21–28). The woman had suffered much for 12 years, and the ruler’s daughter had already died before Jesus arrived. Yet at the right time, the woman was immediately “healed of her disease,” and the little girl “got up and began walking” (Mark 5:29, 42). 

Such is “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,” who humbled Himself unto the extreme poverty of death “so that you by his poverty might become rich,” even unto life everlasting (2 Cor. 8:9). 

Mark 5:21-43

Heavenly Father, during His earthly ministry Your Son Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead. By the healing medicine of the Word and Sacraments pour into our hearts such love toward you that we may live eternally; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

Alternate Prayers of the Day

Almighty and merciful God, we implore you to hear the prayers of your people. Be our defense against all harm and danger, that we may live and grow in faith and hope, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

Lord, grant us to believe without doubting that You can heal every illness. Give us patience, as well, that we might be unmoved while waiting for You to act in Your own good time and in accord with Your gracious will.

See also Matthew 9:18–34 and Luke 8:40-56

In these two mighty acts the majesty of Him whom men dare to contradict is apparent. Jesus is Lord not only over the sea and the demons but over death itself; and His vigilant compassion can hear and answer the unuttered petition of the woman who dared only to touch His garment. He who has eyes to see and ears to hear cannot rank Him with John or Elijah or one of the prophets (8:28); He must be confessed as the Christ. (8:29)

The sequence of incidents around the lake (4:35-5:43) reaches its climax with a narrative unit in which two miracles occur, in the second of which the revelation of Jesus ἐξουσια reaches a new height with the raising of the dead. Following his control over wind and water and over the most intimidating of demonic power, this pericope leaves the reader with the impression that nothing can be impossible for Jesus, and the question Τις ἀρα οὑτος ἐστιν; (4:41) becomes ever more insistent.

Jesus heals Jairus' daughter and a woman with a chronic ailment. Like Jairus, we often worry that the Lord's delay in answering our prayers may end up in catastrophe. But the Eternal One, who overcame death by rising from the dead, never runs out of time. In fact, His gracious promise is that we shall share eternal life with Him. 

Both stories center on females, and both mention a span of 12 years; the girl was 12 years old, and the woman had suffered from a hemorrhage for 12 this the same family? Mother and daughter?

Greek Text (NA27)

Jesus Heals a Woman and Raises Jairus's Daughter

21Καὶ διαπεράσαντος τοῦ Ἰησοῦ [ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ] πάλιν εἰς τὸ πέραν συνήχθη ὄχλος πολὺς ἐπ᾽ αὐτόν, καὶ ἦν παρὰ τὴν θάλασσαν.
And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea.

>      ἐν τῷ πλοίῳ (en to ploio|in the boat) - ἐν τῳ πλοιῳ should probably be omitted with p45 D Θ f1 28 it sys. The majority of the UBS Committee thought the omission in some MSS either accidental or an assimilation to Luke 8:40.

22 Καὶ ἔρχεται εἷς τῶν ἀρχισυναγώγων, ὀνόματι Ἰάϊρος, καὶ ἰδὼν αὐτὸν πίπτει πρὸς τοὺς πόδας αὐτοῦ
Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet

> ἀρχισυναγώγων (archisunagogon|synagogue rulers/leaders) - A ruler of the synagogue was a layman whose responsibilities were administrative and included such things as looking after the building and supervising the worship. Though there were exceptions (Acts 13:15), most synagogues had only one ruler. Sometimes the title was honorary, with no administrative responsibilities assigned. The designation was sometimes used as an honourary title for distinguished members of the synagogue. The plural could indicate that Jairus was one of the elders of the synagogue.

> ὀνόματι (onomati|by name) - Some have suggested that ὀνοματι Ἰαιρος should be omitted, but the evidence for omission is small (D and a few Old Latin MSS).

> Ruler of the synagogue - see Luke 8:41 -The layman responsible for the local house of worship. Today, an Elder or Deacon. 

23 καὶ παρακαλεῖ αὐτὸν πολλὰ λέγων ὅτι τὸ θυγάτριόν μου ἐσχάτως ἔχει, ἵνα ἐλθὼν ἐπιθῇς τὰς χεῖρας αὐτῇ ἵνα σωθῇ καὶ ζήσῃ. 
and implored him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.”

> “…lay your hand on her.” Jesus had healed with a touch before and would several additional times. Put your hands upon her...Jesus was perfectly capable of effecting cures simply by saying a word.

24 καὶ ἀπῆλθεν μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ. καὶ ἠκολούθει αὐτῷ ὄχλος πολὺς καὶ συνέθλιβον αὐτόν. 
And he went with him. And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him.

25 Καὶ γυνὴ οὖσα ἐν ῥύσει αἵματος δώδεκα ἔτη 
And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years,

• And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. The dead girl is twelve years of age. Is this a mother/daughter relationship? A double healing within the same family?

• This and the next two verses contain an example of something very rare in Mark, a long sentence built up by means of subordinate participial clauses.

αἵματος (haimatos|of blood) - The precise nature of the woman’s problem is not known. Her existence was wretched because she was shunned by people generally, since anyone having contact with her was made ceremonially unclean (Leviticus 15:19–33). This woman's long and fruitless search for a cure was therefore motivated not only by physical distress but by her social and religious isolation.

• A discharge of blood likely a uterine hemorrhage. - Abnormal menstrual blood flow is addressed in these verses. Once the abnormal flow ceased, the woman was to mark off seven days. On the eight day, she presented the required doves or pigeons to the priest. 

26 καὶ πολλὰ παθοῦσα ὑπὸ πολλῶν ἰατρῶν καὶ δαπανήσασα τὰ παρ᾽ αὐτῆς πάντα καὶ μηδὲν ὠφεληθεῖσα ἀλλὰ μᾶλλον εἰς τὸ χεῖρον ἐλθοῦσα,
and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.

>  ἰατρῶν (iatron|physicians/doctors) - The Jewish Talmud preserves a record of medicines and treatments prescribed for illnesses of this sort.

> The woman had tried all sorts of remedies. The Talmud listed 11 cures for such ailments, all of which we would consider superstitious today. She likely tried such remedies. Yet how many today resort to alternative forms and practises of medicine and medications when they become desperate? When nothing else seems to work why not try the unconventional? What else is there to lose?  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  

27 ἀκούσασα περὶ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ, ἐλθοῦσα ἐν τῷ ὄχλῳ ὄπισθεν ἥψατο τοῦ ἱματίου αὐτοῦ• 
She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment.

> ὄπισθεν (opisthen|[from] behind) - Her desire for secrecy was dictated, not only by natural modesty, but by the fact that her complaint made her permanently ritually unclean so that she was generally shunned.

28 ἔλεγεν γὰρ ὅτι ἐὰν ἅψωμαι κἂν τῶν ἱματίων αὐτοῦ σωθήσομαι. 
For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.”

> ἅψωμαι (hapsomai|I may touch) - Although it needed to be bolstered by physical contact, her faith was rewarded (verse 34 and Acts 19:12).

>touched His garment,” See Matthew 14:36 - May refer to the tassel that Israelite men were to wear on the four corners of their outer garment - see Numbers 15:38-39 Deuteronomy Jesus gets closer to the cross people grow further away from Him…

29 καὶ εὐθὺς ἐξηράνθη ἡ πηγὴ τοῦ αἵματος αὐτῆς καὶ ἔγνω τῷ σώματι ὅτι ἴαται ἀπὸ τῆς μάστιγος. 
And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.

30 καὶ εὐθὺς ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐπιγνοὺς ἐν ἑαυτῷ τὴν ἐξ αὐτοῦ δύναμιν ἐξελθοῦσαν ἐπιστραφεὶς ἐν τῷ ὄχλῳ ἔλεγεν• τίς μου ἥψατο τῶν ἱματίων; 
And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?”

> ἐξελθοῦσαν (exelthousan|having gone out) - The woman was healed because God graciously determined to heal her through the power then active in Jesus. The words need careful translation. ἐξ αὐτου qualifies δυναμιν, it does not go with ἐξελθουσαν. The sequence might suggest an almost mechanical sense of physical 'transfer' of δυναμις from one body to the other (Luke 6:19, where in response to a touch δυναμις παρ αὐτου ἐξηρχετο και ἰατο παντας), though Mark is careful to counter this impression both by stressing that it was not mere physical contact that mattered (since many others were pressing against Jesus at this time) and that the basis of this healing, as in other synoptic miracles, is in fact πιστις (34). Underlying the physical contact is a 'transaction' at a deeper level. It is this that takes the woman herself by surprise when she finds that what she planned as a secret one way contact proves in fact to be two-way, and is thus brought into the open.

> ἥψατο (hepsato|touched) - See also verse 27. Some commentators think that Jesus knew all the time who had touched him and asked simply to make her confess her faith. Others comment that it may be that he did not know and sought the information, not because he wished to make the miracle conspicuous – which would be inconsistent with his injunction to secrecy – but because he desired to draw away from his clothes to himself an imperfect faith which was seeking his help apart from a personal relationship with himself.

> Vv.30-31 “power…from Him.”  He felt the faith...Does not mean Jesus performed this miracle unawares or involuntarily.  Difference between healed and saved…

> "Who touched My garments?" Not an accusatory question but an invitation for the woman to confess her faith. 

> Is this similar to the Father's question of Adam and Eve in the garden, "where are you?"

31 καὶ ἔλεγον αὐτῷ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ• βλέπεις τὸν ὄχλον συνθλίβοντά σε καὶ λέγεις• τίς μου ἥψατο; 
And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’”

> συνθλίβοντά (sunthlibonta|pressing against) - See also verse 24. The disciples' disrespectful protest (softened by Luke and omitted in Matthew) is more evidence of the reliability of Mark.

32 καὶ περιεβλέπετο ἰδεῖν τὴν τοῦτο ποιήσασαν. 
And he looked around to see who had done it.

> περιεβλέπετο (perieblepeto|he was looking around) - Jesus would not allow the woman to recede into the crowd without publicly commending her faith and assuring her that she was permanently healed.

33 ἡ δὲ γυνὴ φοβηθεῖσα καὶ τρέμουσα, εἰδυῖα ὃ γέγονεν αὐτῇ, ἦλθεν καὶ προσέπεσεν αὐτῷ καὶ εἶπεν αὐτῷ πᾶσαν τὴν ἀλήθειαν. 
But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth.

> τρέμουσα (tremousa|trembling) - Since a woman with a flow of blood was unclean according to the Law, she feared rebuke from the Man whom her touch had defiled. But Jesus, who had touched and healed the unclean leper (1:41), cannot be defiled. The woman's illness involved impurity and thus left her open to the charge that she had defiled Jesus by touching Him. 

34 ὁ δὲ εἶπεν αὐτῇ• θυγάτηρ, ἡ πίστις σου σέσωκέν σε• ὕπαγε εἰς εἰρήνην καὶ ἴσθι ὑγιὴς ἀπὸ τῆς μάστιγός σου.
And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

> Θυγάτηρ (thegater|Daughter) - No one else in the gospels is addressed by Jesus as θυγατηρ; the nearest parallel is the use of τεκνον for the paralytic in 2:5. Here, as there, the effect is to offer reassurance.

> πίστις (pistes|faith/trust/belief)

> σέσωκέν (sesoken|has healed/saved) - The Greek for “healed” actually means “saved.” Here both physical healing (be freed from your suffering) and spiritual salvation (go in peace) are meant. The two are often seen together in Mark’s Gospel (2:1–12; 3:1–6).

>Your faith has made you well…” Jesus speaks as a father..."Daughter…your faith has saved you…go in peace…you are healed."To be clear, this woman's faith was not the main cause of her healing. Rather, her faith was the means whereby healing was received from the outpouring of Jesus power and grace. 

> εἰρήνην (eirenen|peace) - The OT formula of reassurance and blessing, ὕπαγε εἰς εἰρήνην (Judges 18:6; 1 Samuel 1:17; 2 Samuel 15:9), confirms that she may now enjoy at last the shalom which she has long needed, and the further assurance ἴσθι ὑγιὴς ἀπὸ τῆς μάστιγός σου makes it clear that her cure is not a merely temporary remission.

>  μάστιγός (mastigos|affliction) - See also verse 29. From this exhortation we may infer that the benefit which she had obtained was fully ratified when she heard from the lips of Christ what she had already learned from experience: for we do not truly, or with a safe conscience, enjoy God's benefits in any other way than by possessing them as contained in the treasury of His promises.

35 Ἔτι αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος ἔρχονται ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀρχισυναγώγου λέγοντες ὅτι ἡ θυγάτηρ σου ἀπέθανεν• τί ἔτι σκύλλεις τὸν διδάσκαλον; 
While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler's house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”

>Teacher” Jesus spent many hours teaching. He was far more than an instructor, however, as His miracles forcefully underscored.

36 ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς παρακούσας τὸν λόγον λαλούμενον λέγει τῷ ἀρχισυναγώγῳ• μὴ φοβοῦ, μόνον πίστευε. 
But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.”

> παρακούσας (parakousas|having overheard/paid attention to) - The verb could here mean 'ignore', but it is probably better to understand it in the sense 'overhear'. Most MSS read ἀκουσας but it is more likely that ἀκουω, as a more familiar verb, was substituted for παρακουω than vice versa.

37 καὶ οὐκ ἀφῆκεν οὐδένα μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ συνακολουθῆσαι εἰ μὴ τὸν Πέτρον καὶ Ἰάκωβον καὶ Ἰωάννην τὸν ἀδελφὸν Ἰακώβου. 
And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James.

> συνακολουθῆσαι (sunakolouthesai|to follow/accompany) - For these disciples as the inner circle of the Twelve see 9:2; 14:33, and (with the addition of Andrew) 13:3.

>Peter, James, John.” The three disciples had as His inner circle. Why three? By the testimony of two or three witnesses the matter will be determined? Probably so. 

38 καὶ ἔρχονται εἰς τὸν οἶκον τοῦ ἀρχισυναγώγου, καὶ θεωρεῖ θόρυβον καὶ κλαίοντας καὶ ἀλαλάζοντας πολλά, 
They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly.

> ἀλαλάζοντας πολλά (alalazontas polla|wailing loudly/much) - It was customary for professional mourners to be brought in at the time of death. In this case, however, it is not certain that enough time had elapsed for professional mourners to have been secured. και κλαιοντας και ἀλαλαζοντας πολλα explains θορυβον, to which it is in apposition. The presence of noisy mourners is a clear indication that there was no doubt about the girl's death.

39 καὶ εἰσελθὼν λέγει αὐτοῖς• τί θορυβεῖσθε καὶ κλαίετε; τὸ παιδίον οὐκ ἀπέθανεν ἀλλὰ καθεύδει. 
And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.”

> καθεύδει (katheudei|is sleeping) – See also Luke 8:52. Although there are alternative interpretations, it is more natural to take the words to mean that, though she is dead, yet, since he is going to raise her up, her death will be no more permanent than sleep. For Mark, the words had also – besides their particular significance in this context – a general significance, as a reminder to Christians that death is not the last word but a sleep from which Christ will wake us up at the last day, and therefore a rebuke to those who in the presence of death behave as those who have no hope.

>Not dead but sleeping.” The girl had, in fact, died, but Jesus was about to awaken her as easily as from natural sleep. Because of the Lord's mastery over death and the resurrection promise the NT repeatedly speaks of death in terms of "sleeping".

40 καὶ κατεγέλων αὐτοῦ. αὐτὸς δὲ ἐκβαλὼν πάντας παραλαμβάνει τὸν πατέρα τοῦ παιδίου καὶ τὴν μητέρα καὶ τοὺς μετ᾽ αὐτοῦ καὶ εἰσπορεύεται ὅπου ἦν τὸ παιδίον.
And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child's father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was.

> κατεγέλων (kategelon|they were laughing at) - This is the only place in the NT where Jesus’ presence evokes laughter and derision, just where He manifests Himself as Overcomer of death, which silences laughter.

41 καὶ κρατήσας τῆς χειρὸς τοῦ παιδίου λέγει αὐτῇ• ταλιθα κουμ, ὅ ἐστιν μεθερμηνευόμενον• τὸ κοράσιον, σοὶ λέγω, ἔγειρε. 
Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.”

> Ταλιθα κουμ (talitha koum|Talitha koum) – Aramaic for '[little] girl stand up) - Mark is the only Gospel writer who here preserves the original Aramaic—one of the languages of Palestine in the first century A.D. and probably the language Jesus and his disciples ordinarily spoke (they probably spoke also Hebrew and Greek). Several variants have arisen owing to the unfamiliarity of the Aramaic words, and the chance similarity of ταλιθα to the name Ταβιθα in the raising formula in Acts 9:40. κουμ ( א B C etc.) represents the masculine form of the imperative, which could be used for male or female subjects; the strictly feminine form κουμι in most later MSS and versions is probably a deliberate correction.

> "Talitha cumi” Aramaic "young one (feminine), arise." The power of these simple words from Jesus' lips was such that those witnessing their effect never forgot them. How quickly at the word of the Lord does the spirit return, the reviving body rise up, and food is taken, that the evidence of life may be believed."

> μεθερμηνευόμενον (metherumneuomenon|translated means) - The original words were remembered and valued as being the actual words used by Jesus on a memorable occasion.

42 καὶ εὐθὺς ἀνέστη τὸ κοράσιον καὶ περιεπάτει• ἦν γὰρ ἐτῶν δώδεκα. καὶ ἐξέστησαν [εὐθὺς] ἐκστάσει μεγάλῃ. 43καὶ διεστείλατο αὐτοῖς πολλὰ ἵνα μηδεὶς γνοῖ τοῦτο, καὶ εἶπεν δοθῆναι αὐτῇ φαγεῖν.
And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement.

> εὐθὺς (euthus|immediately) - It is exceedingly difficult to decide whether εὐθυς was inserted by copyists in imitation of εὐθυς in the previous sentence, or whether it was deleted as inappropriate and otiose. The UBS Committee finally made its decision on the basis of the general excellence of the Alexandrian text, but considered it necessary to use square brackets in order to indicate the uncertainty of the reading.

> ἐκστάσει (ekstasei|amazement) - In the LXX the dative of a cognate noun is used with a verb to represent the infinitive absolute used with a finite verb in Hebrew (Genesis 2:16-f).

43 καὶ διεστείλατο αὐτοῖς πολλὰ ἵνα μηδεὶς γνοῖ τοῦτο, καὶ εἶπεν δοθῆναι αὐτῇ φαγεῖν.
And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

> γνοῖ (gnoi|should know) - In the vicinity of Galilee Jesus often cautioned people whom he healed not to spread the story of the miracle. His great popularity with the people, coupled with the growing opposition from the religious leaders, could have precipitated a crisis before Jesus’ ministry was completed (1:44; 5:19; 7:36; 8:26).

>no one should know…” - Secrecy Jesus exercised His authority to guide the spread of His popularity, which had brought Him into conflict with political and religious authorities. Outside the jurisdiction of Jesus' main opponents, He actually encourages a man to proclaim His miracles see Mark 5:19-20

Image: Schnorr von Carolsfeld woodcuts © WELS for personal and congregational use

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