The Book of Mark
James J. Barker

Lesson 18

Text: MARK 5:21-43


1.     Our Lord was in the country of the Gadarenes, where He had healed the man that was tormented by demons (5:1-20).

2.     In that fascinating incident, our Lord’s power over the forces of nature and demons was exhibited.  Tonight we will see His power over disease and death.

3.     Mark 5:21 says, “And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side (of the Sea of Galilee).”

4.     There are two miracles in this portion of Scripture - there is the healing of the woman with the issue (or “flow”) of blood (hemorrhage), and there is the raising of Jairus’ daughter from the dead.   Both accounts are so interwoven as almost to constitute one narrative.

5.     Mark 5:22 and 23 says, “And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.”

6.     Then in verse 25 we are introduced to the “certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years.”  

7.     Then after she is healed we are told that Jairus’ daughter is dead (5:35).

8.     But though the two miracles are closely interwoven, they are distinct and will be dealt with separately.



1.     Jairus fell down at Jesus’ feet (Mark 5:22, 23).  His only daughter (cf. Luke 8:42), perhaps his only child, lay dying.  She was only twelve years old (5:42).

2.     In this time of utter helplessness he came to Jesus, for he had faith in our Lord’s ability to heal her.

3.     In the providence of God, sorrow, sickness, and even death are often used to bring needy men and women into contact with Jesus.  Oftentimes when things are going well people do not feel their need for God.

4.     I was recently listening to a sermon by a preacher who was commenting on the present financial crisis.  He pointed out that the stock market crashed on October 10, 1857.

5.     Two weeks before that, on September 23, 1857, a man by the name of Jeremiah Lamphier had started noonday prayer meetings downtown on Fulton Street here in New York City.

6.     At the first prayer meeting, only six people showed up.  But a few weeks later, after the banks had failed and the stock market collapsed, the meetings started growing rapidly.

7.     By March 1858, every church and public hall in down town New York City was filled. Horace Greeley, the famous newspaper editor, sent a reporter racing throughout the city by horse and buggy to count how many were attending the prayer meetings. At the 12 locations he was able to get to in an hour, he counted 6,110 people. By May, 96,000 New Yorkers - 10 percent of the population of one million - had professed to receive Jesus Christ as their Saviour. By the end of the year more than a million throughout the country - 3 percent of the nation’s population of 30 million - had turned to Christ.

8.     The revival spread across the nation and all around the world - in Scotland, England, Wales, Ireland, Australia, and the islands of the South Pacific.

9.     Three things should be noted: it started right here in wicked NYC.  It started with one man’s burden to pray. And the financial problems of the day helped get people on their knees.

10. Man cannot solve our county’s financial problems.  Man cannot do it.  Modern man is just as helpless as Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:23), and the woman with the issue of blood (5:25, 26).

11. It is humorous watching these corrupt politicians talk about how they are going to fix the economy when they are the ones that got us into this mess in the first place!

12. These ungodly rascals need to repent and get right with God.

13. Jairus showed the proper respect for Jesus - “he fell at his feet” (Mark 5:22).  This took great courage on his part because the Jewish leaders hated Jesus and were conspiring to kill Him.

14. I imagine Jairus’ patience was being sorely tested.  His young daughter lay dying but Jesus was being hindered by the great crowd of people that “thronged Him” (5:24).

15. God has promised to answer our prayers, but sometimes we find it hard to wait.  “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD” (Psalm 27:14).

16. Furthermore, our Lord and Jairus were interrupted by the woman with the issue of blood (5:24 ff).

17. How sad Jairus must have felt when a man came from his house with the bad news: “Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?” (5:35). 

18. It appeared to be too late. But our Lord has a way of turning bad news into good news (5:36).  These words are for us today, “Be not afraid, only believe.”

19. What comforting words!  Only the Son of God can talk like that.

20. Jesus dismissed the crowd and allowed only three of His disciples, along with the girl’s parents, into her room (5:37; cf. Luke 8:51). 

21. People were weeping (perhaps some were hired mourners) but Jesus told them not to weep because the young girl was only sleeping (5:39).

22. “And they laughed Him to scorn” (5:40).  Despite the fact that Jesus had just healed a woman who was sick for twelve years; and despite the fact that Jesus just delivered a man that was demon-possessed; and despite the fact that Jesus just rebuked the wind and calmed the angry waves (all these miracles are recorded in the fourth and fifth chapter of Mark) - despite all this and much, much more - they did not believe. 

23. Hebrews 3:12 refers to “an evil heart of unbelief.”  (And that warning is for believers, not unbelievers.)

24. “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”

25. In Mark 16:14, we read that the risen Lord appeared to the eleven apostles as they ate their meal, and “upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.”

26. Unbelief is the worst sin of all.  And it is a sin often committed by Christians.  I believe it is “the sin which doth so easily beset us,” referred to in Hebrews 12:1.

27. Our Lord said when the Holy Spirit would come, “he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me” (John 16:8, 9).

28. Unbelief is the worst sin of all.  John 3:18 says, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

29. “They laughed him to scorn” (5:40), but they stopped laughing when “the damsel arose and walked” (Mark 5:42).

30. Our Lord charged them not to discuss with others this amazing miracle (5:43).  Perhaps premature notoriety might interfere with His work.  Our Lord was on a divine schedule known only to Him and God the Father.

31. There is a great spiritual lesson here.  Sinners are spiritually dead in trespasses and sins.  But when they hear the voice of Jesus they are quickened into newness of life (cf. John 5:24).

32. Once she arose this young girl needed food (Mark 5:43b).  



1.     This poor woman had suffered for twelve long years (5:25).  In addition to the physical suffering her sickness involved ceremonial uncleanness, which was also hard to bear (Lev. 15:19ff).

2.     She spent every cent she had on many physicians but none of them could help her (5:26).  Now she approached the Great Physician. 

3.     People often try every thing imaginable to find rest for their souls but nothing seems to work.  Finally they go to Jesus when they realize He is the only one who can help them.

4.     A letter recently went out to 100,000 pastors across the United States.  It was from a leader of the religious right.  It said, “Our great nation stands at a crossroads today. That is why I am calling on you to help me make a difference by using your church to hold a voter registration drive.”

5.     After explaining his four-step process to be followed before, during or after a Sunday preaching service (including instructions for ushers and other church workers), the writer concluded his letter by saying, “Perhaps most important of all, please join me in praying for a national revival to come to America.”

6.     Note the word, “Perhaps.” For many Christians today holding a voter registration drive is indeed more important than asking God to intercede.

7.     No one ever came to Jesus and was turned away.  Our Lord said, “Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37).

8.     And no one ever came to Jesus for healing and was turned away.  However it is well to remember that there is no promise in the Bible that our Lord will always heal those today who come to Him today with physical (not spiritual) ailments (cf. II Cor. 12:7-10; Phil. 2:25-30; II Tim. 4:20).

9.     The Bible says, “and with His stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:5).  This refers to spiritual healing, i.e., forgiveness of sins and salvation (cf. I Peter 2:24).

10. There is coming a day when we will be delivered from all the effects of sin, sickness, suffering and death. What a day, glorious day that will be!

11. That will be the day of the redemption of the body, when these bodies of our humiliation will be made like unto His body of glory (cf. I John 3:1-3).

12. This woman possessed a genuine and earnest faith.  For a poor, emaciated woman, after twelve years of suffering, to press her way through a large throng of people shows that she was determined (Mark 5:27).

13. Her faith was so strong that she believed simply touching the hem of our Lord’s garment was all she needed to do (5:28).  And as soon as she did she experienced His healing power (5:29).

14. Our Lord was conscious of the outgoing of His virtue and He asked, “Who touched my clothes?” (5:30-32). The woman had not planned on talking to Jesus but now she came forth, trembling, and (like Jairus) fell down before Him (5:33).

15. Our Lord told her that it was her faith, not her touch, that had healed her (5:34).

16. She received our Lord’s blessing and is the only woman on record addressed as “Daughter” by Jesus (5:34).



1.     We have recently studied four consecutive miracles in the Gospel of Mark.  These miracles all bear witness to the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2.     In Mark 4:39, our Lord rebuked the wind and calmed the raging sea.  His disciples were fearful and exclaimed, “What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (4:41).

3.     This great miracle demonstrated our Lord’s power over nature.

4.     In Mark 5:1-20, our Lord delivered the Gadarene demoniac.

5.     This miracle demonstrated His power over Satan and his demons.

6.     Then in Mark 5:34, our Lord healed the woman with the issue of blood.  This miracle demonstrated His power over disease.

7.     Then in Mark 5:41 and 42, our Lord raised Jairus’ daughter from the dead. 

8.     This miracle demonstrated His power over death.

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