Mark told us this story because he was around back then, and the incident touched him deeply. As well, he told it in the hope that we would use our imaginations to mix in with the crowd close to Jesus on that day in Capernaum.
Jesus had come ashore by boat, and immediately his charm drew a crowd that all but pushed him off the dock. Responding to their needs he spoke to cries of appreciation.
A man who that crowd recognized as Jairus, a synagogue official, pushed through, interrupting Our Lord’s words. He called out, “My daughter is at the point of death!”
Jesus, making no complaint about being interrupted, followed Jairus. (And if you are imagining this, you can go along too. You turn aside to let a bent-over woman brush past you, and you hear her murmur, “If I can touch his clothing it should cure me.”)
The lady had a kind of illness that made Jews see her as religiously unclean. It would also make anyone she touched unclean, so, not wanting to touch his person, she took a little flick at Our Lord's sleeve. Anyway, she made that touch, and it straightened her up, flushed with health.
Jesus asked, “Who touched me?” His disciples laughed, saying, “With this whole mob pressing against you, how can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”
When the lady came forward Jesus graciously gave her the credit for her cure. He said, “Daughter, it was your own faith that saved you.”
That had just happened when word came that the daughter had died. Jesus, pushing that notification aside, made his way through to the home of Jairus. A crowd was gathered there, and they were making an unholy racket. They hoped they could scare away the demons that wanted to snatch the girl’s spirit, as it came out from her.
Jesus entered the house, and he took the little dead girl by the hand. He said, “Talitha koum” or “Little girl, get up.”
She sat up, blinking, and Jesus gave her to her mother, saying. “Give this child something to eat.”
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