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Jesus The Miracle Worker

A Detailed Look at Mark 5:21-6:1-6


Mark 5:21-6:1-6 can be outlined as such:
1. Jarius’ Need and Jesus’ Response (5:21-24a)
a. The need: Jarius’ daughter is dying (v.22)
b. The request: “Please come and put you hands on her…she will be healed”
(v.23)
c. The response: Jesus went with him (v. 24)
2. The Miraculous Interruption On The Way (5:24b-34)
a. The need: a woman subject to bleeding needed healed (24b-26)
b. The request: “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed” (v. 27-28)
c. The response: immediate healing (v. 29). Jesus questions as to who
touched him and the woman reverently falls at His feet.
d. The pronouncement: Jesus pronounces the woman’s faith was the catalyst
for healing and sends her on her way in peace and freedom from suffering
(vv. 30-34).
3. The Announcement of Death and The Miracle of Life (5:35-43)
a. The need: Jarius’ daughter is now dead (v. 35)
b. The response: Jesus instructs the crowd to ignore the announcement of
death and encourages them to not be afraid but believe (v. 36). Jesus then
selects 3 disciples and goes to the house where the daughter is lying and
the people are crying (vv. 37-38).
c. The pronouncement: the daughter is not dead but asleep which results in
crying turning to laughing (v. 39)
d. The result: Jesus takes the 3 disciples and the parents into the home and
the little girl, at the command of Jesus, rises and is healed and those
present were astonished (vv. 40-43)
4. Amazement of the People (6:1-2a)
a. Jesus leaves where He was and goes to Nazareth where He teaches in the
synagogue and the people are amazed (v. 1-2a)
b. There is no mention of anyone presenting a need to Jesus.
5. Offense of the People (6:2b-3)
a. The people do not present needs but had a multitude of questions about
commonness of Jesus. They did not see Jesus as an original or as anything
special, that is, He was a carpenter, Mary’s son and a brother.
b. The people were offended (v. 3b) “at him.” We can imply they were
offended by the fact that this common Jesus was being used in uncommon
ways. Could this refer to the unique events surrounding His birth and life
or were the people simply conditioned to believe that a common man had
to remain common?
6. Amazement At Lack of Faith (6:4-6)
a. The pronouncement: “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in
his own house is a prophet with honor” (v. 4)
i. We can infer that some of the questioning crowd consisted of
Jesus’ relatives. We can also infer even some in Jesus’ house did
not believe in Him.
b. The people were amazed at Jesus’ teaching but Jesus’ is amazed at their
lack of faith in His person (vv. 4-6)
c. V. 6a implies that a lack of faith is cause for fewer miracles being done.
i. The phrase, “except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal
them” infers that not all people lacked faith but were willing to let
Jesus touch them.

Mark 5:21-6:1 presents us with a unique glimpse into the nature of faith and
faithlessness. The chapter divisions can cause us to look at this segment as polarized but
in reality these events work together to create a contrasting structure. Mark 5:21-43
presents us with two miracles that demonstrate the power of human faith in the
miraculous.

Jarius, a religious leader (v. 22), came to Jesus and presented a need: his daughter
was dying. Jarius also proposed a solution, “put you hands on her so that she will be
headed and live” (v. 23). In this proposal Jarius is demonstrating a powerful human faith
in Christ’s ability to heal. This leads me to ask a question, did Jarius believe in Jesus as
Messiah or had he heard of the miracles and simply believed the reports? Or put another
way; was the catalyst for the proposal found in the belief Jesus was Messiah or an
exceptionally powerful teacher? We can infer, at this point, that Jarius knew something of
the miraculous events that surrounded the ministry of Jesus but as to whether he had
come to accept Him as the Messiah can not be inferred. The need led to the proposal,
which is cause for Jesus to go with Jarius (v. 24a).

While traveling to Jarius’ house there is, what I call, a miraculous interruption. A
woman, subject to bleeding, who had suffered both physically and financially at the hand
of physicians pressed through the crowd and touched the clothes of Jesus (vv. 24b-26).
Mark gives us insight to this woman’s knowledge of Jesus, “When she heard about
Jesus” (v. 27a) In the immediate context we can assume this means she had heard about
His coming her way. However, it may be implied that she not only heard about His
geographical location but had also heard about the miracles. This hearing was cause for
action, that is, “she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak” (v. 27b).

Comparing Jarius to the woman several inferences can be made. First both had
great needs and both had somehow heard of how Jesus could meet those needs. Hearing,
we know, is a prerequisite to faith (Romans 10:7) but it is not the end of faith. Jarius and
the woman heard but were also willing to take action. Their actions demonstrated their
faith in Christ as a healer. After all, are we not admonished by James to demonstrate our
faith through our actions (James 2:18-20)? We will see in Mark 6:1-6 that hearing must
be the end of our response to Jesus but our hearing must lead us to action.

If we compare the actions of Jarius and the woman with those in Jesus’ hometown
we discover a contrasting structure revealing human faithlessness. The crowds gathered
in the synagogue to hear Jesus teach. When they heard him teach they were “amazed”
(Mk. 6:2). The NIV uses the word “amazed” while the KJV uses “astonished.” The use of
either word might imply that the gathered crowd was somewhat surprised that this
Nazarene taught with wisdom and performed miracles. The Living Bible paraphrases
Mark 6:2 in this way, “…the people were astonished at his wisdom and his miracles
because he was just a local man like themselves” (emphasis mine). Their surprise at His
effectiveness, nevertheless, was not cause for them to move beyond hearing and toward
action: their hearing faith did not become active faith. Therefore, one can imply the
crowd’s lack of action is equal to their lack of faith. The crowd presented no needs to
Jesus and neither did it propose any faithful solutions but simply questioned the
commonness of this man.

This then brings us to the question as to what was the cause of limitation in Jesus’
hometown ministry. We should note the time spent in Nazareth was not without miracles
but the quantity of miracles was limited. Was this limitation imposed by Jesus or by the
residents? If this limitation were the imposition of Christ then we might imply Jesus was
not fond of or willing to perform miracles. If, on the other hand, we see the limitation
being imposed because of a lack of human faith we imply that Jesus was willing to do
miracles. If this is true and Jesus was willing to do miracles then human faithlessness in
either His word or deeds could be a stumbling block to the miraculous.

Mark contrasts the faithful action of Jarius and the woman by illustrating the
miracles received. The hearing of Jesus was cause for presentation of needs. The
presentation of the need demonstrated a willingness to act upon their faith. The faithful
action brings about an action by Jesus, that is, the miraculous. This is contrasted with the
human faithlessness of the Nazareth crowd. They heard, they were amazed but their
amazement was not the stuff of progress but rather the cold shoulder of surprise. Their
inability to move beyond Jesus the carpenter to Jesus the healer and Messiah limited an
unlimited God.