CAPC Oakland

News, Connections and Photos from the life of the faith community at CAPC Oakland

Blogging Towards Sunday, September 15, 2013


Mark 5:21-36

“Why me?” is a question we often ask ourselves in our suffering.  We don’t want to admit that suffering is an inevitable part of life, we struggle with the experience that all is not how we would want, that we are unfinished, unperfected, lacking.   Does that mean that God doesn’t deserve our faith?  Or is it an indication that God is working out faith in us and our lives?

In verse 23 Jairus asks Jesus to come and cure his daughter.  The word in Greek [sozo] means literally to be saved, to be released from chronic or life-threatening illness, to be delivered from danger or suffering.

Bleeding woman

The anonymous woman is known only by her bleeding state, with was probably vaginal, indicating a constant menstrual flow of blood for the past 12 years.  According to the Law menstruating women were “unclean” and thus required to live quarantined, isolated, outside of the camp, or civilization until the flow ended.  See Leviticus 12:7; 15:19-33; 20:18.  The text only tells us that she has suffered for 12 years, and spent all she had.  Her sneaky approach to Jesus in the crowd indicates that she is considered to be ritually unclean, quarantined from others, abandoned by society, family, friends and her religious community as cursed, sinful, less than holy.  By being in public she violates this taboo, possibly contaminating others by simple touch.

This fear, as in many ancient societies, came from the belief that blood contains life, and so to lose blood means to be dying, or sick, or less than whole.   This woman must have been in the darkest valley of depression and despair to risk an action that could even cost her life at the hands of an angry mob. Paradoxically the disciples and crowd are afraid of the contaminating power of her touch, yet it is a mere touch of Jesus’ garment that taps into his spiritual and healing authority.  She is saved or cured [sozo] just as Jairus asks for his daughter.  In being made whole this anonymous woman is recognized by Jesus as a “daughter” saved by her faith, trust or commitment.


  • What word, phrase or image in this text grabs you?
  • Who is saved, cured and made whole?  How?
  • How do you need God to cure or save [sozo] you?  How do we need it as a church?; as a people?

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This entry was posted on September 13, 2013 by in Grow, Uncategorized and tagged .
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