First Lesson: 2 Samuel 1: 1, 17-27
Responsive Reading: Psalm 130
Second Lesson: 2 Corinthians 8: 7-15
Gospel Lesson: Mark 5: 21-43
Grace and Peace from Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
I want to tell you the story of the oddest of couples. Let me begin by telling you the story of a girl that we’ll call Hannah. Hannah was around twelve years old. Hannah was the type of girl that could be a beauty queen. Suitors from all over the land were going to want to marry Hannah. Hannah grew up in luxury for her day. Hannah had recently gotten quite ill. No one knew the nature of Hannah’s illness. Hannah though kept getting worse and worse.
Hannah’s father was a man named Jairus. Jairus had gone through the first eleven years or so of Hannah’s life as the prototypical overprotective father. You know the type the dad who always thinks the referee is wrong when it involves their kid. Jairus was the type of dad that calls a doctor at the first hint of a sniffle. Hannah was Jairus’ only daughter. Jairus was a man of power and authority. Jairus was the rabbi at the synagogue in Capernaum. Jairus was the most influential religious figure in the area of Galilee where a man named Jesus lived. Once Hannah got sick, every single one of Jairus’ thoughts became consumed with seeing his daughter become well, no different from any other father. Rabbis prayed prayers; doctors paid visitors, yet Hannah’s condition worsened and worsened. Jairus feared that Hannah was near the point of death.
When Jairus knew of no other solutions, he decided to get in contact with a backcountry preacher named Jesus. Jairus didn’t really know what to make of Jesus. Jesus hung out with people like John the Baptist who was famous for his eccentric style of dress along with uneducated fisherman that he called his disciples. Jesus’ crowd would have had Jairus skeptical in any other situation, yet Jairus was desperate. Jairus had recently heard of Jesus healing a man possessed by demons, so Jairus figures this was his one last shot to save Hannah’s life. As soon as Jesus lands his boat from the other side of the Sea of Gaillee, Jairus was determined to talk to him.
“My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” were the words that Jairus said.
Jesus and Jairus’ began the journey to go see Hannah. You see the word of Jairus going to see Jesus was big news. Jairus must have believed that Jesus was legit. The most significant religious figure around appearing to bless the ministry of this maverick preacher. This would be the equivalent of the most well-known doctor in all the land endorsing the man claiming to sell magic potion at the carnival.
People were praying for Hannah’s recovery all over Capernaum. It seemed like Jairus knew everyone. Once word came down that Jesus was on his way to Jairus’ house a large crowd began to gather around them as they made their journey. In the crowd, that day was a woman named Eve.
I suppose I should tell you a little bit about Eve’s story. Whereas Hannah’s life up to this point had been like a fairy tale, Eve’s life seemed to have been like a curse. Eve grew up a poor woman, who wasn’t much to see. As Eve grew in years, she began to bleed. Eve’s bleeding was such that no man was ever going to want to marry her. Eve’s bleeding had basically destroyed her life. Eve had been quarantined from society for the last twelve years. Eve’s family could not even get near her. Human touch was merely a fantasy. Eve could not even attend the synagogue where Jairus served because she had been declared to be “unclean”. What made matters worse is Eve had never gotten any answers when she visited doctors her condition would only grow worse. Upon hearing that Jesus was in the area, Eve figured that desperate times called for desperate measures no different than Jairus. Eve longed for normalcy more than anything else in the world. Eve snuck up behind Jesus and lunged to touch his cloak. Eve’s uncleanness was such, she figured that Jesus would not dare allow her to touch him. Eve thought that Jesus’ cloak was so powerful that upon touching it that she would be healed.
So Eve reached and a miracle happened on that day; Eve was healed by touching Jesus. Jesus felt this touch and needed to respond. Jesus looked at this woman. Jesus saw her and knew her story. Jesus knew how cut off she had been from human contact because of her condition. Jesus knew he had to say something in the presence of the crowd about a religious teacher like himself standing in the presence of an unclean woman.
“Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
Jairus didn’t know quite what to make of this scene. People were going to make this scene to be a scandal. No different than one of Jairus’ fellow rabbis having committed adultery. Here was Jesus having just touched an unclean woman, about to go see his precious daughter. Jairus had lived his whole life by a certain set of beliefs that you just don’t interact with the unclean. Jairus knew at this moment that there would people in the synagogue that would lose respect for him after inviting Jesus into his home. Jairus would never let someone who had touched an unclean woman touch his daughter, yet in this instance Jairus had no choice.
Upon arriving at Jairus’ house, Jairus’ friends came out to see him with bad news. “Hannah is dead.” “No need to bother this man anymore.” The buzzer has sounded. The third strike has been called. The verdict has been handed down. It’s time to begin the grieving process before we can move on with life. Jesus thought these friends were too melodramatic.
Jesus wasn’t going to go anywhere. He merely laughed off Hannah’s prognosis as something as casual as an afternoon nap from which she would soon awaken. Funny thing about Jesus was that this was normal for him as he often referred to “death” merely as a form of “sleep”. People begin to snicker as they casually heard Jesus dismiss the reality of Hannah’s death.
They said he was just some country bumpkin preacher from Nazareth. Their words would not deter Jesus, Jesus entered the room where Hannah laid. Hannah was surrounded by those who would go from home to home mourning the death of others loved ones. These people had seen death and they knew that Hannah was truly dead.
Jesus merely looked Hannah over before saying “Little girl, I say to you, get up!” At this moment, Hannah awakens. She just doesn’t awake, she begins prancing around the room as if she had never been sick. Jairus was speechless, the mourners were mum, Peter, James, and John were dumbfounded. Hannah was alive, Jairus was elated! Eve had stopped bleeding. People had no idea how to go forth with the rest of their life according to these realities.
What are we to make of this story? While Jesus helping Hannah would have been the lead news story the next day. What he did with the bleeding woman Eve would have been more remarkable. Jesus looked upon this one woman, who everyone she had encountered looked away from as some freak for the last twelve years as the most important thing in the universe.
You see Jesus wasn’t about distinctions like we’re about distinctions in regards to beauty, power, or even how one’s life brings them to a place of faith.
For in the words of Galatians 3:28 ,“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave[a] nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
Eve would have been an outcast in the eyes of the world. Eve had been declared to be unclean and impure for the last twelve years of her life. When Jesus put his eyes upon her, Eve was at the center of his ministry. There were no distinctions in healing that day between Eve or Hannah despite their two very different backgrounds. I guess this story reminds that no one could possibly be outside God’s reach.
The second point has to do with power dynamics within the Gospel. Jairus was a man with great power. You could not have sunk any lower in society’s eyes than Eve. Our Lord does not discriminate in death.
Robert Farar Capon described death as such “Jesus came to raise the dead. The only qualification for the gift of the Gospel is to be dead. You do not have to be smart. You do not have to be good. You do not have to be wise. You do not have to be wonderful. You do not have to be anything…you just have to be dead. That’s it.”
On this day, three resurrections occurred. Jairus experienced a resurrection of his faith. Jairus came to see the Kingdom of God as an entirely different reality than he had previously imagined it. Jesus touched an “unclean” woman, he didn’t care what the Book of Leviticus said. Hannah was resurrected as her body was no longer a weak, decaying vessel. Hannah rose up from her slumber in a body that almost felt as if it was made in heaven. The last resurrection belonged to Eve. Eve could live again. Eve had been set free from her personal bondage. What Eve previously imagined to be impossible was now reality.
Jairus, Jesus, Hannah, and Eve were the oddest of couples. The most unlikely of pairings, yet their story just indicates how the Kingdom of God truly works. Amen
 Hannah seems an appropriate name for the daughter of Galilean rabbi based on the mother of the judge Samuel (1 Samuel 1).
 Mark 5:23
 The character of Eve was inspired by Reverend Amy Butler’s sermon “Desperate for Freedom”. Lectionary.org. 2006. Web. June.24.2015.
 Eve seems an appropriate name for a seemingly womanly character.
 Mark 5:34
 Mark 5:40
 Ed Markquart made this point in his Pentecost 4 Gospel Analysis found at Sermons from Seattle. Web. June.23.2015
 Mark 5:41
 This line by the Capon was taken from the Reverend Sarah Jackson Shelton’s sermon “A Daughter’s Faith”. Day 1. 28.June.2009. Web. June.24.2015.
 Leviticus 15:19