Day 10 – A dead girl and a sick woman (part 2)

Bible reading: Mark 5:35–43

35 While Jesus was still speaking, some men arrived from Jairus' house. Jairus was the leader at the Jews' meeting place. The men said to Jairus, ‘Your daughter is dead. Do not ask any longer for the teacher to come.’

36 Jesus heard what the men said to Jairus. But Jesus said to him, ‘Do not be afraid. Instead, believe.’

37 Jesus took only Peter, James and James's brother, John, with him. He would not let anyone else go with him. 38 Then they came to Jairus' house. Jesus saw that there were many people there. They were crying and they were making a loud noise. 39 Jesus went into the house and he said to the people, ‘You should not be crying and making a loud noise. The child is not dead. She is asleep.’ 40 The people laughed at Jesus when he said that.

Then Jesus sent them all out of the house. He went into the place where the child was lying. The child's father and mother went with him. He also took Peter, James and John with him. 41 Then Jesus held the little girl's hand. He said to her, ‘Talitha koum.’ This means, ‘Little girl, I ask you to stand up.’ 42 The little girl stood up immediately and she walked about. She was 12 years old. The people there were very surprised. 43 Jesus said to them, ‘You must not tell anyone what has happened here. Now give the little girl something to eat.’

Mark 5:35-43 EasyEnglish Bible (EASY)

Reflection

Meanwhile, of course, Jairus had been anxiously waiting. This delay was making him desperate. His worst fears were confirmed when a message came from his house that his daughter had died. Already, the professional mourners had arrived.

New life for a little girl

Jesus told Jairus not to fear but to trust him – how extremely difficult that must have been!

Then, leaving the crowds at the door (that must have been difficult too), Jesus went in just with the parents and his closest three friends. ‘She’s asleep,’ said Jesus – sleep was another word for death in that culture. The mourners must have heard him and not understood. They laughed and scorned him, just as they have laughed at his followers ever since.

But Jesus approached the girl, held her hand and said, ‘Talitha cumi. Little girl, get up!’ And get up is exactly what she did. The gospels are written in Greek, but ‘talitha cumi’ is Aramaic – the language Jesus usually spoke. Those words stuck in the memories of his friends. They were not a magic formula. They were words that those who heard could never forget.

You see, this is not a children’s story. It is real. It is the eyewitnesses’ story. So is the kindness in the detail: ‘Now she needs something to eat!’

The girl was 12 years old. The woman had been ill for 12 years. That number 12 links the two stories together. And they point us to the strong person of Jesus who has power to heal, yes – and even power over death.