Tuesday 5 February 2019
Hebrews 12:1-4. Psalm 21(22):26-28, 30-32. Mark 5:21-43.
They will praise you, Lord, who long for you – Psalm 21(22):26-28, 30-32.
‘Do not fear, only believe.’
Jesus encounters a woman who exists on the margins of Jewish society. Her recurring problem with haemorrhages would have excluded her participation in a society which emphasised ritual purity and cleanliness. A similar situation confronts Jesus in dealing with Jairus’ dead daughter. Contact with the dead was a source of defilement requiring a period of ritual cleansing.
Jesus’ response to both situations contradicted popular wisdom. He was concerned with breaking down barriers that impede relationships, not reinforcing them. Through her faith in God, the woman breaks down the barriers that exclude her and is restored to her rightful place in society. What barriers are there around and inside us that need breaking down?