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INTRODUCTION TO WEEK 4 AND OUR COMPANIONS JARIUS AND THE BLEEDING WOMAN

Curious to Learn More About This Story?

Touch became a luxury in the times of pandemic. So used to hugging, my arms suffer suddenly from an emptiness and that is heavy to bear.

We’ll have two friends to walk us through the pain of absence.

I call the first one Selah (‘stop and listen’), but the Bible withheld her name, which means that the story applies to us all (and seems to be more relevant today than ever before).

We meet a woman suffering from bleeding for 12 years. Consequently, the woman lives in a state of perpetual uncleanness and whomever, and whatever she touches, becomes ritually unclean. For 12 years, she not only bleeds but also cannot be touched. All she had was spent on doctors, but it only made things worse. Jesus is her only chance. The woman is so desperate that she decides to approach Jesus from behind, touch him in secrecy and escape without telling anybody what she has done (making unclean every person she touched while moving through the crowd). The plan seems to be even easier to fulfil as Jesus is just busy helping our next friend – Jairus.

Jairus focuses the attention of the entire crowd. His 12-years-old daughter is dying, and he came to beg Jesus for help. He’s well-known, as he is the ruler of a local synagogue. Jairus has a plan for how Jesus should heal his daughter, namely by coming to their home and placing his hands on her.

Jesus is already known as a healer and miracle-maker. Is he going to heal Jairus’ daughter? The crowd is waiting for another miracle.

From a human perspective, Jesus is at the pinnacle of his ministry: he is well-known, crowds follow him, and so far, his teachings are usually embraced and welcomed by the masses. If he obtains the favour of local authorities, that could boost Jesus’ career.

And that’s precisely when the bleeding woman touches him.

The Master senses that and demands from the miraculously healed woman to admit what she has done. If she confesses, everybody will learn that Jesus has just become unclean. Whomever he’d touch would become unclean as well.

The crowd would lose hope to see another miracle. The disciples would lose hope in introducing Jesus to a more influential part of society. Jairus would lose hope in healing his daughter. And the healed woman could be stoned for breaking the law.

But she steps out and “tells Jesus everything”.

Jairus is heartbroken. He was so close, but his servants bring the worse news: the girl is dead. The father faces another dimension of uncleanness, as his entire house has been affected by death.

Jesus, however, assures the full restoration (body and the place in society) for the bleeding woman and returns Jairus’ daughter to life.

We tell that story when asking for the renewal of our eyes. Though touching and untouching may involve the whole bodies (or even entire nations as a matter of fact), our eyes play a crucial role in how we recognise touchable and untouchable in our lives.

Asking for pure eyes, to see purely.

To engage with this Bible Passage – click here



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