The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 59

Performing Miracles ~ Part 3

In our last post, we examined Yeshua healing a demon-possessed man. This post will examine Yeshua healing a Synagogue ruler’s daughter and a woman’s issue of blood.

The narrative about Ya’ir’s’ daughter (vv. 21–43) frames the interrupting story of a hemorrhaging woman (vv. 25–34). Both stories show Yeshua’s incredible and surprising power.

[Because this story includes miraculous healings tied together, this post is a little longer than I like to post. You may want to download the PDF version.]

Performing Miracles ~ Part 3

21 Yeshua crossed in the boat to the other side of the lake, and a great crowd gathered around him. 22 There came to Him a synagogue official (head or president of a synagogue), Ya’ir (Jarius) by name, who fell at his feet 23 and pleaded desperately with Him, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Please! Come and lay your hands on her so that she will get well and live!”

24 He went with Him, and a large crowd followed, pressing all around Him. 25 Among them was a woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years 26 and had suffered a great deal under many physicians. She had spent her life savings, yet instead of improving, she had grown worse.

Who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years likely describes ongoing vaginal bleeding? According to Leviticus 15:19–33, it would have made the woman ceremonially unclean – preventing her from worshiping in the Temple or joining her people in everyday activities.

 27 She had heard about Yeshua, so she came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His robe;

In contrast to others who approach Yeshua directly, this woman is cautious and hesitant – perhaps because her condition makes her ritually unclean (as noted above). Alternatively, this might be the only way the woman could reach Yeshua through the crowd.

28 for she said, “If I touch even His clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Instantly, the hemorrhaging stopped, and she felt in her body that she had been healed from the disease. 30 At the same time, Yeshua, aware that power had gone out from Him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

This story and the story of Ya’ir’s daughter focus on the relationship between power and faith. Belief gives people access to Yeshua’s life-giving power; unbelief blocks it.

31 His talmidim responded, “You see the people pressing in on you; and still you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 But He kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 The woman, frightened and trembling because she knew what had happened to her, came and fell down in front of Him and told Him the whole truth.

If she admitted to the healing, she would acknowledge that she had compromised the ritual purity of Yeshua as well as members of the crowd. The woman likely feared reprisal for violating religious law. She may also be afraid because she has just experienced divine power, and without permission, and is concerned about how Yeshua will respond.

 34 “Daughter,” He said to her, “your trust has healed you. Go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” 3While He was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house came, saying, “Your daughter has died. Why bother the rabbi any longer?” 36 Ignoring what they had said, Yeshua told the synagogue official, “Don’t be afraid, just keep trusting.” 37 He let no one follow Him except Kefa, Ya‘akov, and Yochanan, Ya‘akov’s brother.

Yeshua likely brings this select group of talmidim along with Him because He has already decided that He will heal Ya’ir’s daughter – He does not want word about this to spread.

38 When they came to the synagogue official’s house, He found a great commotion, with people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 On entering, He said to them, “Why all this commotion and weeping? The child isn’t dead; she’s just asleep!” 40 And they jeered at Him. But He put them all outside, took the child’s father and mother and those with Him, and went in where the child was. 41 Taking her by the hand, He said to her, “Talita, Kumi!” (which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 At once, the girl got up and began walking around; she was twelve years old. Everybody was utterly amazed. 43 He gave them strict orders to say nothing about this to anyone and told them to give her something to eat.  ~ Mark 5:21-43 (see Mattityahu 9:18-26 and Luke 8:40-56).

Talita, kumi! is Aramaic. It is sometimes asked whether Yeshua spoke Hebrew or Aramaic. Though Aramaic and Greek were the international languages in use in the Middle East in the first century, Hebrew was a common household language among Jews at that time and continued to be spoken until the third century CE. After that time, it was used for prayer but rarely for daily communication. In the nineteenth century CE, it was revived for secular literary purposes and consciously developed as a modern language by Eli‛ezer Ben-Yehuda and others after 1879. Most people in Yeshua’s day probably spoke all three languages to some degree. [1]

Yeshua intends to continue to keep His identity secret until the appropriate time (compare Mark 8:31–38). If He revealed His identity at this stage as the Son of God (Mark 1:10–11), it could result in Him being prosecuted and executed immediately.

In our next post, we continue to focus on Yeshua Performing Miracles beginning in Mattityahu 9:27.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary.

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