Mark 5:21-34

Open your mind and heart as you read the passage of Scripture aloud and then again quietly to
yourself. Listen for God’s word to you.


The woman in this passage had a difficult problem. Not only was it embarrassing but it also made her unacceptable in society and prevented her from entering any place of worship. Every committed Jew wore an outer robe which had four tassels on it as they had been commanded in Numbers 15:38-40. This was a sign to others of their faith and a reminder to themselves that they were members of the chosen people of God.

The woman slipped through the crowd and touched one of these tassels on Jesus’ robe. He was her last resort. She had tried everything else and it had cost her everything she had. And she was delighted to find herself cured.

This passage shows us three things:

  1. The cost of healing. Jesus knew immediately that power had gone out of Him. Any great sermon, or performance, or act of any sort takes energy. Often people who have painted a great painting, or written a great book or given a wonderful speech that touches hearts and minds are spent when it is done. It was no different with Jesus. The woman’s healing had cost Him energy and He knew it. (Yet, even so He loved so much He was prepared to go the extra mile to see and heal Jairus’ little daughter.)
  2. Common sense is not always the answer. The disciples showed common sense in their rational opinion that Jesus could not avoid people touching Him in such a crowd. But common sense was not the answer in this instance. Reason overcame understanding. They were not sensitive to the cost Jesus paid when He healed people. Healing is not just physical. And then there was the woman. Mark stresses that she came forward and told the whole truth. She held nothing back. Not only was she healed of her physical ailment, but she was also granted the relief of telling the truth of what was going on and the emotional burden of her illness was lifted from her.
  3. There was nothing theological about the woman’s actions. She had sunk as low as she could go. There was nowhere else to turn. So in desperation she turned to Jesus, quietly, secretly and her simple faith brought her healing and restoration to society.

Briefly share with the group a time when you did or said something that did not make sense, but you knew it had to be done or said. What made you feel that way? What happened as a result?

•How would you describe your faith? Is it simple or complicated? Why do you answer this
•What role do you feel God is playing in this time of pandemic when there is so much illness
and grief? Where do you find Him? What hope does He offer you?
•What have you found the Scriptures (Old and New Testaments) are saying to you as you read
the Word of God at this time? How is what you read helping you?
•What is your greatest desire in regard to the pandemic? What are you saying to God about this
desire? How strong is your belief that He will respond?
•The woman’s deliverance was powerful, personal and profound. Do you believe Jesus will do
the same for you in regard to the pandemic and/or any other form of suffering in your life at the
moment? Why do you answer in this way?
•How can the group help you with the struggles you have mentioned during this session?

Before you pray during this session discuss exactly what you will pray for and agree to pray together for the same response from God.

‘Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.’ (Matthew 18:19-20)

Pray for one another in regard to the issues that have been raised during your discussion time, and in regard to other needs of the group.

During the coming week, when you become aware of situations where people need healing from
sickness, or peace in grief, pray with a simple faith, reaching out to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment as you take them to Him. Report back to the group next week with the answers to your prayers.

Barclay, William. The Daily Study Bible: The Gospel of Mark. The Saint Andrew Press. Edinburgh, 1981

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