When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” So Jesus went with him. Mark 5, verses 21-24.
Two stories intertwine in this next section. First comes the story of the daughter of Jairus (or is it the story of Jairus?). Then there is the story of the unidentified woman of faith.
What do you want your faith to do?
If you don’t know the stories, stop now and go read verses 21-43 (then do it again at the end). They’re both stories of faith interposed in stories of physical healing. I don’t know that it’s possible to read them and not come away with two things. One: Jesus can physically heal. He could in the first century and He can now. And the second thing is that healing through faith is more powerful than that physical healing because faith healing cures the soul as well as the body.
So, again, what do you want your faith to do? Are you looking more for to be physically or materially healed, or do you want something different? Not more, not better, just different. Jairus was a synagogue leader who believed that Jesus could heal his daughter. The woman was a nobody with nothing to offer except all she had (and that wasn’t much). Both of them believed that Jesus could heal simply because He was the Lord. They wanted a physical healing, one for a family member and one for herself. What they got was much more.
Do you want to be healed and live?
There’s NOTHING wrong with wanting to be physically healed. Several of my good friends have cancer right now and they want to be healed; who could blame them? My mom passed away several months ago and while I never heard her complain about it, I think she knew she was declining to death over the week or so before she actually passed. She didn’t want to die, but she knew it was happening. Who wouldn’t want to be healed?
And yet who, also, could deny that is better to have peace of mind inside than to have the best health on the planet. I know when I’m at my physical best (and that isn’t often) I feel so much better when I first feel better inside. It’s about peace of mind, peace of heart. In the timing of today’s verses, don’t forget that Jesus had just healed the demon-possessed man of the tombs and, in doing so, the greatest gift He gave to the man was peace; freedom from torment inside. When the man had that, he was healed so he could live.
I don’t know which of the stories is ‘better.’ We need to be physically healthy as much as we need to be spiritually healthy. Here on the Third Rock, both spirit and body are united. In death, they are separated until, at the end of time, Jesus reunites them. We need one as much as other yet I can’t help but think the better of the two is to be healed inside.
Lord, I’m sick and broken. Heal me from the inside out.
Read Mark 5, verses 21-43.