What I’m Thinking: Reaching Out

In these two interconnected stories of healing in Mark 5, people keep reaching out – and it makes all the difference.

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking about the end of chapter five of Mark’s Gospel (Mark 5:21-43), in which Jesus’ healings of two people became intertwined.

Returning from a trip across the Sea of Galilee, Jesus found Jairus, one of the leaders of the local synagogue, waiting for him. Jairus’ daughter was ill. Jairus said to Jesus, “If you lay your hands on her, then she will be made well.”

Hurrying to Jairus’ house, Jesus was surrounded by a crowd. Among them was a woman who made sure to reach out and touch his cloak. As she did, she was cured of a long time ailment. Jesus was aware of this despite the fact that lots of people were touching him in the crowd. He assured her that her faith had made her well.

Arriving at Jairus’ house, they heard the news that the girl had died. Jesus insisted upon entering the home, coming to the child’s bedside, and indeed reaching out and taking her hand. “Talitha cum,” he said, “Little girl, get up” – and she did, completely well.

One of the things these stories have in common is the act of reaching out. Jairus reached out to Jesus, not sending messengers but leaving his home and coming to the lakeside where he hoped Jesus would appear. The woman reached out in the midst of the crowd, just to tap the edge of his cloak. Jesus reached back, asking to know who she was so that he could commend her faith. And at the last it was Jesus who did the reaching out, reaching out for the girl’s hand so that she, too, could find her healing.

Reaching out, extending ourselves, is something that we do and it is something that Jesus does. It is something that human beings do in extending themselves towards God and it is something that God does, reaching towards human beings. We find all of that in these two interwoven stories, these two encounters with Jesus, these two examples of Jesus’ compassion and healing.

So in faith, reach out. Reach out whether you have hopes that God will notice. Reach out whether you think that things are at the end. Reach out and know that God is reaching out to you as well.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , , | Posted on June 21, 2021

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