Imaginative Questions

I was recently reading some passages of scripture and I found myself asking questions. Lots of questions. I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

Specifically, I was reading the story in Mark chapter 5 about the woman who was healed of her bleeding. Jesus was on his way to heal the daughter of a man named Jairus, a leader of the synagogue. While en route to the man’s house, a large crowd was apparently traveling with him, pressing in on him from every side. These people had heard of or seen the miracles Jesus was performing and wanted to be there to witness the next one.

Meanwhile, there’s a woman who had spent all of her money going to doctors for the past twelve years trying to find a cure for her bleeding. She had heard of Jesus and thought to herself, “If I could just get close to him and touch the hem of his robe, I will be healed.”

Think about it. This woman’s condition was completely devastating. It made her unable to participate in community worship (because she would be ceremonially unclean), and it disqualified her from getting married. Imagine her desperation! No wonder she fought her way through the crowd to get to Jesus. And her faith made all the difference. She touched the hem of Jesus’ robe and was immediately healed.

After this happened, Jesus stops and asks who touched him because he felt the power go out of him. This seems like a ridiculous question because there are dozens if not hundreds of people around him. But he knew the difference between an incidental brush-by and reaching out with faith. If you ask me, I think Jesus still knows the difference. But that’s another story…

The question I ask about this incident is what was going through Jairus’ mind at the time. While the whole caravan stops for the incident with the woman, Jairus’ servants come to him and say “don’t bother the teacher any more, your daughter is dead.” Do you think he was angry? Did he think this woman cut him off from getting Jesus to his house on time? I imagine he would be quite upset. It’s hard to be patient in everyday situations, let alone when your child is dying.

Ultimately Jesus heals Jarius’ daughter also, but it must have been quite a journey getting there. Scripture doesn’t give all the specifics about who was thinking what, but I believe it’s so important to bring our imaginations with us when we read the bible. If we read the pages as if they’re stale accounts of ancient stories, it isn’t likely we will learn very much from them. There is so much depth in every story and every page of scripture, if we apply ourselves to thinking about them, we may be surprised at what we find. Do I have all the answers to my questions? No, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t ask them. And it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask the questions either.

“Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.” 2 Timothy 2:7

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