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Studying Mark's Gospel: Beyond All Hope, Part 2

Lesson 8: Beyond All Hope, Part 2 (Mark 5:21-43)

 

LAST WEEK IN REVIEW

 

Jesus and His disciples had experienced a thoroughly exhausting yet powerful time. It was one of opposition, victory, and sadly rejection. The first person to meet them as they arrived on the other side of the sea was none but the remains of a man who had been severely tormented by a multitude of demons. The demons bowed in homage to Jesus and identified who He was, begged Him not to torture them, even though they had tortured this poor man. Jesus showed great mercy to him and cast the demons out of him and into a nearby herd of swine. Rather than being the demons’ deliverance, it resulted in their destruction as the sea choked them all, one by one. The reaction of the townspeople to this was foolish, for they begged Jesus to leave their area immediately. Ham and eggs were much more important to them than the salvation of the man and of themselves! Although rejected by these Gentiles, Jesus had a new follower in the once-demon possessed man who was healed and completely restored. Rather than allowing him to become one of His disciples and accompany them, Jesus sent him off as the first missionary to the Gentiles, which was significant for Mark’s readers as they too had been reached by a Jewish missionary, bringing them the good news of the awesome mercy and compassion of God. We saw in this man a picture of our own history, as we were at one point beyond all hope, yet God worked wondrously to bring us to Himself because of that same mercy and compassion.

 

In the second half of Mark 5 we will see the theme continued of Jesus ministering to those who seemed beyond all hope: a begging father who beyond even imagination risked all to reach out to Jesus for the sake of his darling dying daughter; and also an indirectly begging woman who likewise took a tremendous risk to seek help from Jesus for an help with an impossible to cure health problem. Let’s see what we can learn as we examine these peoples’ experiences as well as our own.

 

DAY ONE:  A Begging, Anguished Father

Please carefully read Mark 5:21-24 and answer the following questions.

 

1.  What was the reception Jesus received when He returned to the other side of the Sea of Galilee (v. 21)?

 

2.  Rather than a demon-possessed man, who met Jesus this time (v. 22)?

 

3.  The name Jairus means “whom Jehovah enlightens,”[i] and indeed it is very fitting because most of the religious leaders had rejected Jesus, as we have already seen. Jairus would have been a Pharisee, for as the Temple was under the leadership of the Sadducees, the synagogue was the realm of the Pharisees.[ii] The duty of the Ruler of the Synagogue was to select the readers or teachers in the synagogue, to examine the discourses of the public speakers, and to see that all things were done with decency and in accordance with ancestral use.[iii] Thus to come to Jesus would have been very humbling for him, and not only that, but it could have endangered his position.[iv] How did this prestigious man address Jesus, and what was Jesus’ response (v. 23, 24)?

 

4.  Jairus’ daughter was clearly dying; the Greek phrase here literally says she was “at the last extremity” of her illness. Yet somehow Jairus had heard of Jesus, and believed that even in such a hopeless situation, He could heal her. God honors our faith, small though it may be. What are some things that the following passages tell us about this?

 

Matthew 17:20; Matthew 21:21

Mark 9:23-24

Romans 1:17; Romans 3:22-28; Romans 5:1-2

Hebrews 11:1-6

 

Scripture Memory:  As a special holiday treat, this week we will be memorizing a short but awesome verse, Mark 5:36. Review the passage several times throughout the day each day this week, and by the end of the week, you should have it memorized completely.

           

“Don't be afraid. Just trust me.” Mark 5:36c (nlt)

 

DAY TWO:  A Begging, Suffering Woman

 

Please carefully read Mark 5:25-29 and answer the following questions.

 

1.  Jesus set out with Jairus, a great crowd thronging around Him as usual. Who sneaked her way into the crowd, and what was her story (v. 25, 26)?

 

NOTE: Medicine in Jesus’ day was needless to say primitive. This woman suffered from not just her affliction but from the treatments of the day.[v] Interestingly, Luke the beloved physician left out this little detail in his account of the same incident!

 

2.  What tremendously risky thing did she do, and why (v. 27, 28)?

 

NOTE: The nlt states that she touched the fringe of His garment. We’ll look at why this is vital to understand tomorrow. The tense of the phrase in verse 28 means that she kept saying this to herself as she pressed her way through the crowd.

 

3.  What wonderful thing happened when she did touch the fringe of His garment, or prayer shawl (v. 29)?
 

4.  We can’t know what led this woman who had suffered so to believe that she would be healed by Jesus like this; possibly there was a notion held by some that a healer had power in his clothing, so she reached out to Jesus by faith.[vi] Her healing, like all of Jesus’ miracles, was instant, complete, total and undeniable.[vii] The Greek word used here for affliction literally meant a scourge or whip, a repeated and torturous condition. She took her affliction to the right place, though: “It was indeed a sad tale of hopeless despair. Now, bleeding, broken, and bankrupt, she turned to Jesus.”[viii] How do the following passages comfort us in facing our own trials and afflictions?

 

Exodus 4:31

Psalms 22:22-24; Psalms 119:50, Psalms 119:92

Isaiah 63:9

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

 

Scripture Memory:  Try to fill in the missing words in the blanks below, by memory if at all possible, and then review the passage several times today.

 

“Don't be ____________________. Just trust me.”  Mark 5:36c (nlt)

 

DAY THREE:  A Healing, Loving Savior

 

Please carefully read Mark 5:30-34 and answer the following questions.

 

1.  What did Jesus realize, and how did His “great men of faith” respond (v. 30, 31)?

 

A RISK-TAKING WOMAN

 

Why was what this woman did so risky? There were two important reasons:

 

She was Considered Unclean

 

A menstruating woman or one with other bleeding was considered to be unclean as long as they continued to do so (Leviticus 15:25-27). This meant that anyone that touched her or that she touched would also be unclean. Being in this crowd would have made many unclean, including Jesus. A woman in her condition would be unable to go to the temple to worship, or be around anyone she might touch. She would be a social outcast. “In her extremity of need—incurable illness and socio-religious isolation—she was a living ‘dead’ person for 12 years. Her restoration to wholeness of life anticipated the dramatic raising of Jairus’ daughter who died after living for 12 years.”[ix]

 

She Dared Touch a Prayer Shawl

The woman touched the fringe of Jesus’ prayer shawl, or Greek kraspedon; a margin, i.e., a fringe or tassel, border, hem. According to the Mosaic law every Jew was obliged to wear a fringe or tassel at each of the four corners of the outer garment, one thread of each tassel to be blue. These tassels were to be to them a perpetual reminder of the law of God, and of their duty to keep it (Numbers 15:38-39; Deuteronomy 22:12.) This was the “hem” that the woman touched, perhaps supposing there was some peculiar virtue in it.[x]

The Torah requirements stated that they needed to wear blue tassels to remind them of the sky; this dye was tremendously expensive (about $10,000 an ounce in today’s value), so having only one of these tassels dyed was acceptable. The number of dyed tassels then would represent status, authority, and holiness—the more blue tassels, the more status. It was against the law to touch a man’s prayer shawl unless one was a member of a man’s family. Thus this was a desperate act of this woman, because this would have serious consequences if she were not healed.[xi]

 

2.  Jesus wouldn’t take the disciples’ sarcasm for an answer, but knew what had happened. He sought out the woman (Greek, he kept looking and scrutinizing the crowd; the article and participle in Greek in vs. 32 are feminine in nature, further indicating He knew who did it) who had hidden in the crowd. Eventually she came forward. What did the woman do (v. 33)?

 

3.  Rather than a rebuke, what did she hear from the Lord (v. 34)?

 

4.  When Jesus called her “daughter,” He made her a part of His family, which meant there was no penalty for touching his prayer shawl, and took away her fears. This is the only time in the gospels that Jesus directly called someone “daughter.”[xii] What a blessing it is to also be made part of His family and see the penalty that meant eternal death to us removed! How did Paul later describe this relationship in Romans 8:14-17 and Galatians 4:1-7?

 

Scripture Memory:  Try to fill in the missing words in the blanks below, by memory if at all possible, and then review the passage several times today.

 

“Don't be ____________________. Just __________________ me.”  Mark 5: 36c (nlt)

 

DAY FOUR:  A Disastrous, Discouraging Situation

 

Please carefully read Mark 5:35-38 and answer the following questions.

 

1.  Jairus must have been about to burst from anxiety as he waited for Jesus to finish ministering to the woman who had suffered for twelve years, to minister to his daughter, who was twelve years old. Up until age 11, a girl was considered a child; from age 12 to 12½ they were considered a “young daughter;” and at age 12½ they were considered an adult and old enough to marry.[xiii] This is rather unnerving for this author whose daughter turned age 13 in 2005—but we must remember that the average life span in Jesus’ day was about 40 years![xiv] What news that Jairus dreaded reached him just at that moment (v. 35)?

 

2.  Before Jairus could react to the news, what short but profound encouragement did Jesus give him (v. 36)?

 

3.  At that moment, Jesus left His disciples except for the “inner circle” of Peter, James and John, and went with Jairus (v. 37). What scene met them that no doubt broke the heart of the already anguished father (v. 38)?

 

NOTE: The Greek word for wailing comes from a monotonous wailing sound, alalazontas. Soldiers entering battle would cry out “Alala!” to freak out their enemies. It is also the word Paul used in 1 Corinthians 13:1 to describe clanging symbols.[xv]

 

4.  This situation had definitely turned from hopeless to being beyond all hope now. Yet Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just trust Me.” How many times we too have heard that same small still voice in the midst of hard or seemingly impossible situations! What are some things that the following passages remind us about our need to walk in faith when faced by fear?

 

Deuteronomy 20:3-4; Deuteronomy 31:6; Joshua 1:9

Psalms 5:11-12; Psalms 27:1; Psalms 56:11; Psalms 91:1-5

Proverbs 3:5-6, Proverbs 3:21-26

Revelation 1:17-18

 

Scripture Memory:  Try to fill in the missing words in the blanks below, by memory if at all possible, and then review the passage several times today.

 

“Don't ________ ____________________. ________________ __________________ me.”  Mark 5:36c (nlt)

 

DAY FIVE:  A Dead Daughter Resurrected!

 

Please carefully read Mark 5:39-43 and answer the following questions.

 

1.  It seemed as if those who brought the news to Jairus weren’t too thrilled about his going to Jesus for help, and they basically told him not to bother (or bother with) Him![xvi] The Greek word for trouble literally means to skin or flay, meaning to vex or bother. What did Jesus say to this crowd of hired mourners, what was their response, and what did Jesus then do (v. 39, 40)?

NOTES: Two different words are used to describe Jairus’ daughter: (1) paidion, which has 51 occurrences in the kjv which translates it as “child” 25 times, “little child” 12 times, “young child” 10 times, and “damsel” four times; it described a young child, a little boy, a little girl, or of a more advanced, mature child. (2) korasion, the word kore (a maiden); there are eight occurrences of this in the kjv, translated as “damsel” six times and “maid” twice. It means a girl, damsel, maiden, young lady, someone older than a child but not a full adult yet. The wording of verses 39-40 as well as Luke’s account of the same event indicates that the girl was not just in a coma, but clearly dead.[xvii]

2.  Entering the girl’s room with the devastated parents, who were hoping against all hope, Jesus took Peter, James, and John who would serve as legal witnesses of this event.[xviii] Describe the touching scene of verse 41.

NOTE: As we saw in our studies in Nehemiah, the Jews had adopted Aramaic while in Babylon.  In Galilee most people spoke Aramaic and Greek, as well as many speaking Hebrew; since the girl’s primary language would have been Aramaic, Jesus spoke Aramaic to her.[xix] Talitha was not the girl’s name, but rather is the feminine form of the word meaning a lamb or a youth.[xx] Not a bad name too!  

3.  What thing beyond all possible hope happened in verse 42, and what was the reaction of everyone except Jesus (and the girl)? What two things did Jesus then tell the parents (v. 43)?

NOTE:  Mark reminded us that the girl was old enough to walk in verse 42. Also by telling the parents to give the hungry young lady something to eat not only showed that the girl was alive and could walk and eat, but was now completely well![xxi]

4.  The nkjv states that the parents were “overcome with great amazement”; the niv “completely astonished”; the nlt “absolutely overwhelmed”; and the amp “utterly astonished and overcome with amazement.” In other words, however you translate their reaction it would be an understatement! Amazement in Greek is the word ekstasis, from which comes the English word ecstasy; her parents were beyond the point of ecstatic! Jairus believed despite what common sense told him and the devastating grief that was trying to grip his heart. It is somewhat similar to something that Abraham faced. Read Romans 4:17-21 and Hebrews 11:8-12 and describe how he was able to get beyond his own seemingly hopeless situation.

Scripture Memory:  Can you write out this week’s passage by memory here below? Give it a try, and keep reviewing the passage several times throughout the day.

 

Mark 5:36c:

 

DAY SIX: Following Christ

 

1.  All we can say after reading a chapter like Mark 5 is wow! Of course even that is an understatement in response to God’s awesome Word and works. One thing we saw common in both the woman with the hemorrhage and Jairus is that they took a risk to reach out to Jesus in faith. How would you describe your faith in Christ? Would it be labeled safe and comfortable, or risk taking and trusting God to work in great ways in and through your life? Is it bland, boring, or brave? By nature some people are bolder than others, and some receive the gift of faith; but those of us who aren’t and don’t certainly can identify with Mark 9:23-24: “Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’ Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, ‘Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!’” (nkjv)  What are some of your faith “success stories,” or times you had to learn by watching misplaced faith kind of crash and burn? Is there something you’d like to believe God for that your group can be praying for you about? Please share some thoughts here about these things.

 

2.  Perhaps you face a situation or problem that truly seems to be beyond all hope. Think about these words of Warren Wiersbe in light of any trial or affliction you are facing today, and record some thoughts about how the things in this wonderful chapter have ministered to you especially:

Unbelief laughs at God’s Word, but faith lays hold of it and experiences the power of God....Yes, God’s Servant is the conqueror over danger, demons, disease, and death. This series of miracles illustrates how Jesus met and helped all kinds of people, from His own disciples to a pair of demoniacs; and it assures us that He is able to help us today. This does not mean that God always must rescue His people from danger (see Acts 12) or heal every affliction (see 2 Corinthians 12:1-10); but it does mean that He holds the ultimate authority and that we need never fear. We are “more than conquerors through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).[xxii]

3.  We have seen in Mark 5 three great works of Jesus in ministering to a hopeless man, a hopeless woman, and a hopeless father. I think you obviously can identify with one gender or another here, but which story most parallels your life’s more difficult experiences? What are some things that you gleaned from them that we may or may not have even looked at that spoke to you? Please record your thoughts here and share them with your group if you wish.

 

Scripture Memory:  Hopefully you now can write out this week’s passage completely by memory.  Do so now, and keep on reviewing it so you will be ready to share it with others in your group time.

 

Mark 5:36c:



[i] Unless elsewhere noted, all Greek word/phrase translations are based on the following:  A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.  In Oak Harbor:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1932, 1933, 1997;  James Strong, The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible:  Showing Every Word of the Text of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurrence of Each Word in Regular Order, Electronic Edition (Ontario:  Woodside Bible Fellowship; in Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1996); M.R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament (Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2002); Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Studies in the New Testament:  For the English Reader (Grand Rapids:  Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Co; in Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1984, 1997); and Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary:  New Testament, Electronic Edition (Chattanooga:  AMG Publishers, in Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1992, 1993, 2000).

[ii] Richard L. Niswonger, New Testament History (Grand Rapids:  Zondervan Publishing Co., 1988), pp. 55-57.

 

[iii] James Strong, The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible:  Showing Every Word of the Text of the Common English Version of the Canonical Books, and Every Occurrence of Each Word in Regular Order, Electronic Edition.

 

[iv] For more on this, see James A, Brooks, Mark. In David S. Dockery, The New American Commentary V. 23 (Nashville:  Broadman Press, 1991), pp. 93, 94; and Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary (Downer’s Grove:  InterVarsity Press, 1993), p. 148.

 

[v] M.R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament (Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2002).

 

[vi] John D. Grossmick, Mark.  In John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck eds., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, New Testament (Wheaton:  Victor Books/SP Publications, 1983), pp. 124, 125.

 

[vii] John MacArthur, The MacArthur Bible Commentary (Nashville:  Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2005), p. 1213.

 

[viii] John Phillips, Exploring the Gospel of Mark (Grand Rapids:  Kregel Publications, 2004), p. 121.

 

[ix] John D. Grossmick, Mark, p. 125.  Also see Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary (Downer’s Grove:  InterVarsity Press, 1993), p. 148.

 

[x] J. F. Freeman and H.J Chadwick, The New Manners and Customs of the Bible Electronic Edition (Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1998).

 

[xi] Edgar Elliot, Ph.D. New Testament Synthesis I:  Tape 3.  Newburg:  Trinity Theological Seminary, 2003.

 

[xii] Edgar Elliot, Ph.D. New Testament Synthesis I:  Tape 3; also see John D. Grossmick, Mark, p. 125.

 

[xiii] William L. Lane, The Gospel of Mark.  In Gordon D. Fee ed., The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids:  William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1974), p. 197.

 

[xiv] Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary, p. 148.

 

[xv] A.T. Robertson.

 

[xvi] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, Vol. 1 (Wheaton:  Victor Books/SP Publications Inc., 1989), p. 94.

 

[xvii] Walter W. Wessell, Mark.  In Frank E. Gaebelein ed., The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 8 (Grand Rapids:  Regency Reference Library, 1984), p. 663.

 

[xviii] John D. Grossmick, pp. 125, 126.

 

[xix] Grossmick, p. 126; Keener, p. 149.

 

[xx] John MacArthur, The MacArthur Bible Commentary, p. 1213.

 

[xxi] Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Studies in the New Testament: For the English Reader (Grand Rapids, MI:  Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Co; in Bellingham:  Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1984, 1997).

 

[xxii] Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, Vol. I, pp. 128, 129.

 

© 2005 by Harvest Christian Fellowship. All rights reserved. Written by Thomas Klock for Men’s Bible Fellowship, 2005-2006. www.Harvest.org