Two Desperate People

Tom Pennington |

November 13, 2018


Desperate people are willing to do desperate things. In Mark 5:21-43, we meet two desperate people with nothing in common, except their desire to get to Christ.

An Influential Leader

Jairus was the highest-ranking religious leader in Jesus’ hometown of Capernaum. His 12-year old daughter was dying. He risked his reputation by approaching Jesus for help, because he believed Jesus could heal her. And Jesus agreed to go with him. Together they headed for Jairus’ home. Jairus was trying desperately to get Jesus to his daughter, but the crowd was slowing their progress.

And there is a woman in the crowd who has a different plan…and the delay resulted in the death of Jairus’ daughter, because God had a different plan. He was about to make a point about who Jesus is and Jesus’ power over incurable disease…and over death. The second desperate person was simply…

An Anonymous Woman

Her situation was truly tragic. She had suffered long with a chronic disease that had slowly, methodically, and terribly brought her to the end of herself. She had no options, no hope. Then she heard about Jesus.

She pushed her way through the crowd and touched his outer garment tassel. That very moment, the uterine bleeding that had plagued her for twelve long years and had made her ceremonially unclean – stopped! It left her body like it had never been a reality. And she was somehow aware that she had been healed.

But more happened to this woman than physical healing. She experienced spiritual salvation as well. Notice Jesus says, “Your faith has made you well” (34)

After this divine interruption, Jesus finally arrived at Jairus’ home, only to hear that Jairus’ little daughter had already died.

But this humanly tragic circumstance provides a wonderful opportunity for the Father to powerfully prove who Jesus is when Jesus raises her from the dead!

Spiritual Lessons

Tragedy often brings a person to Jesus. Perhaps your story is like that of Jairus. You had some knowledge of Christ, but no real relationship with Him. You’d never really become His follower, His disciple. But that knowledge that you had all crystallized in a moment, when God by His providence brought you into the middle of a crisis you could not handle. And the only thing you could do was look up.

Maybe you were like the woman. Your life was a slow descent to the bottom, where all you could do at the end was look up and cry out for hope, and in that state of desperation, somebody told you about Christ, and the work of the Spirit of God in your heart caused you to respond.

Jairus risked everything: his position, power, and influence, possibly even his wealth. The same was true for the woman. The woman risked public disclosure of her condition, which in 1st century culture would have brought public disgrace and humiliation.

Both were putting all confidence in Christ alone as the only One able to help them. That is saving faith.

God may be taking you through extreme difficulty right now. Perhaps He intends to use those circumstances to bring you to the end of yourself, to the end of your own resources, and to prepare your heart to draw you to Himself.

If you will recognize your need, be willing to deny yourself, and to give up everything else and put your confidence in Christ alone as your only hope, He will receive you, just as He did these two very desperate people.