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Pastor’s Ponderings on True Faith


The reading from Mark 5:21-43 is a pair of stories about faith and Jesus’ power over life and death. The woman with the hemorrhage showed great faith despite obstacles. The story of Jairus and his daughter demonstrated great faith on the part of a religious leader. Both came from different social classes. Jairus was a well-to-do mem

ber of the religious establishment-a group that often-opposed Jesus. The woman with the hemorrhage was poor and a social outcast. The difference in social classes did not matter to Jesus. He treated both equally.

In each case, the “establishment” could not offer a solution to the problem, but Jesus could, despite opposition and laughter. Jairus was desperate because his child was dying; so desperate he knelt at the feet of the one person who could help him-Jesus.

The woman with the hemorrhage also sought a solution from the one person who could help her. All the doctors she saw failed her. Society failed her because her bleeding made her unclean along with everyone and everything she touched. She believed that by just touching the clothes of the one man who could help her, she would be healed, and her healing changed her, her heart, her body, her life and her soul.

Jairus had to “lower” himself when he sought healing for his daughter. He had to move beyond the rules and expectations of the religious elite.  He had to do what his heart told him to do. He used his social status and power to approach Jesus, and then he emptied himself of them. He came to Jesus in humility and earnest faith.

Most of you have heard of the saying that “desperate times call for desperate remedies”. Desperate times also call for a desperate faith-a faith we saw in both of these parables. Faith in itself is meaningless, but faith in an all-powerful God means everything. Jesus enters our lives in our hopeless moments and brings us hope. He comes with his healing power when no healing is possible. Sometimes he works the miracle of physical healing, and sometimes he works the miracle of spiritual healing. He may not always come when we want him to come, and he might not always answer our prayers the way we want him to, but we must always be faithful and know that he will help us. Faith is the belief that God will do what is right.

Jesus gave out of his abundant power to heal, and we have been called to give out of our abundance and carry out God’s work in our world. He calls us to love one another as he loves us-including showing love and compassion to those who are suffering, who are different from us, who disagree with our thoughts/opinions. Jesus took people where they were and loved them into life. He is love in action. Loving is costly.

This Gospel passage shows the compassionate face of Jesus. He suffered with those who suffered, and he still serves the suffering today. He served those who reached out to him in vulnerable ways, and he still served them today. He showed compassion to the suffering and the grieving, and he still shows compassion to them today. This compassionate, suffering, servant attitude gives us hope for today and hope for the next life as well.

With God, all things are possible. When things are impossible from an earthly point of view, they are possible from God’s point of view.

When we receive God’s grace, we end up taking Jesus seriously. When we do, Jesus will change our tears into joy and our skepticism into amazement. At that time we will find out what it means to be made whole.


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