Monday after Septuagesima
Scripture: St. Mark 5:21-43 (NKJV)
21 Now when Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered to Him; and He was by the sea. 22 And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet 23 and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” 24 So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him.
25 Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, 26 and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. 28 For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” 29 Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?” 31 But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?'” 32 And He looked around to see her who had done this thing.
33 But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”
35 While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” 36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” 37 And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James.
38 Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly. 39 When He came in, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.” 40 And they ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying. 41 Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement. 43 But He commanded them strictly that no one should know it, and said that something should be given her to eat.
“Your faith has made you well.”
We do not believe in Jesus Christ by our own reason or strength. Faith is worked in us and expressed through us by the power of God’s Holy Spirit. We can take credit for our spiritual life in Christ through faith no more than we can take credit for the breath in our lungs or the blood in our veins. These gifts are part of His grace, from which our physical and spiritual life comes.
True “wellness” comes from being made whole by God. So the quest for having a perfect body or soul in this fallen world is impossible apart from His power. Infirmity and death are unavoidable for our bodies. They bear the outward testimony that sin is a painful and deadly force. And for our souls, apart from the Holy Spirit working faith in us, there is only death.
Thanks be to God that He does make us whole according to faith and His Word. In His gracious providence He will grant us health and wholeness of body, but the thing to be remembered—according to faith—is that this wholeness of our bodies is only temporary and points to the greater perfection that the faithful will have in the resurrection of the dead! And the wholeness of our soul is the most important wholeness of all, because by faith in Christ Jesus we have forgiveness, peace, and everlasting life.
We pray: Lord God, grant us true faith by Your Spirit so that we may be made truly well in body and soul for all eternity; In Jesus Christ. Amen.