RCL Year B, Proper 8 (Track Two)
Wisdom of Solomon 1:13-15 and 2:23-24, Psalm 30, 2 Corinthians 8:7-15, Saint Mark 5:21-43

“Do you want to be healed?” “How much will you do to be healed?”

The Gospel today urges these questions upon us, and my effort today is to draw them out and to tell you what the Gospel has to say to you if you want to be healed.

We begin with Jesus. The fellow asleep on the cushion, as the Gospel described him last Sunday, who stills the storm on the Sea of Galilee, is able, as you might imagine, to cure the sick and to raise the dead. The story of his raising Jairus’ daughter from the dead wraps around the story of his cure of the woman with the twelve-year hemorrhage.

I take it that the wrapping of the raising of the child from the dead around the curing of the woman is a structural intensifier. It is like Pharoah’s two dreams. The doubling, as Joseph says, reveals “what [God] is about to do.”[1] Whatever ails you lies within Jesus’ power to cure. Whatever hold death has on you, Jesus’ power can raise you from it. Do you want to be healed? How much will you do to be healed?

The raising of the daughter and the cure of the woman have some common elements. Jairus and the woman both have the inner conviction that Jesus can perform the cures they need. That inner conviction, I believe, is a requirement if you want to be healed.

Secondly, to be cured, the woman touches Jesus, and Jesus touches the daughter to raise her. That close relationship with Jesus, I believe, is a requirement if you want to be healed.

So, having faith that Jesus can cure and being willing to have a close relationship with him are necessary. Those who want to be healed will see to it that they do what is humanly possible to secure that faith and that relationship.

I notice that the crowd laughs at Jesus when he says that the child “is not dead but sleeping.”[2] In other words, they lack the inner conviction that Jesus can perform the cure. And, lacking that conviction, they will go to someone else if they want to be cured.

But Jairus and the woman come to Jesus. They know who he is. They do not laugh at him. They know that the Lord of Life gives Life to all who seek it from him.

[1] Genesis 41:25.

[2] Saint Mark 5:39.