Narrative Lectionary February 2

February Theme

In February I’ll be emphasizing faith as we continue our journey through Mark under the theme ‘What Faith Requires‘. Each week we will consider an aspect of the active faith to which we are called. The first week we will emphasize the word BELIEVE. That’s a natural place to start talking about faith.

BELIEVE

For February 2 the Lectionary points us to Mark 5:21-43 and Psalm 131. In the Mark text there is a divided story, the Healing of Jairus’ Daughter (21-24, 35-43). It is interrupted by the healing of the woman with an issue of blood (25-34). ┬áIn both accounts we witness desperate people who have a certain belief that Jesus has both power and willingness to heal.

Jairus is a synagogue leader who has a daughter who is dying. Like all parents in that situation, he desperately and unashamedly begs Jesus to come to his house and lay hands on her. He believes that Jesus can heal her. Interrupting their journey is an unnamed Woman who has an incurable bleeding disorder. She desperately wants to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment because she believes that will bring healing. When it does take effect, Jesus says to her “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering” (Mark 5:34, NIVUK).

The celebration of that healing is cut short when word comes from Jairus’ household that his daughter has died. Humans said, “Why bother the teacher anymore?” Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid; just believe”. Further, when Jesus arrived at the house and told them “The child is not dead but asleep”, they laughed at him. It seems there is a mixture of people in this story – some who believe, some who have yet to believe. That’s all about to change as Jesus raises the twelve year old girl and the people were “completely astonished”.

There seems to me to be a movement of desperation to belief / unbelief and then to faith. Faith calls us to believe – to trust – to know that Jesus is able. These stories recount for us the power and compassion of Jesus. Like those in Jairus’ household, we are amazed. When we face the desperate times in our lives are we moved to trust … to reach out and touch … to know He cares?

Resources

Working Preacher Commentary by C. Clifton Black

Working Preacher Commentary by Emerson Powery

Working Preacher Commentary by Mark G. Vitalis Hoffman

Working Preacher Commentary by James Boyce

Working Preacher Commentary by Karl Jacobson

Word to Worship Song Suggestions for this week’s texts.

Ecologian: A Funny Thing

Living the Lectionary: Phillip Heinze

The Weakness of the World – sermon by Ray Stedman

Taking Jesus Seriously – Lewis Galloway

Jairus’s Daughter – Frederick Buechner

List of Resources from Sermon Writer

William Barclay Daily Study Bible – Mark 5

Fear Not Only Believe by Kevin Ruffcorn

Jesus Saves the Unclean – John Mark Hicks

Links from TextWeek

Links for Expository Preaching: Mark by Milton Stanley

Hem of His Garment – sermon by W. A. Criswell

Raising of Jairus’ Daughter by Hampton Keathley IV

Podcasts

Pulpit Fiction podcast / notes on Mark 5:21-43

NL;DR Podcast: Jesus Heals Two Women

Working Preacher Podcast for Mark 5:21-43