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Bible Study Guide for Sunday, June 27, 2021

June 22, 2021
  • 2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27
  • Psalm 130
  • 2 Corinthians 8:7-15
  • Mark 5:21-43

As a chronically-ill person, I feel like a latecomer to the healing stories of Jesus. Many Christians across the globe pray for Jesus's miraculous healing with faithful confidence. I relate more to the woman in the first half of this week's parable. She has endured much and visited doctors for years, yet she has only gotten worse. She must have mourned many nights over her intractable illness and the loss of everyday joys in life. For many years, I had no faith at all that healing or relief was possible for me. At most, all I could pray was the desperate cry of psalm 130 - calling from the depths, making no request beyond "hear me!" From every doctor's perspective, "healing" was not an option for me, and I mourned my forever-incomplete and imperfectly-made body and mind.

In fact, there is much mourning in this week's readings. Death is either immanent or has already occurred. Jesus steps in to some of the most heartbreaking realities of life. Innocent people suffer illnesses for years without understanding or reason, and even children are not exempt. Death comes for both King Saul and the innocent daughter of Jairus.

What could be going through the mind of the long-suffering woman as she approached Jesus? She believed He could do something - anything. Jairus also believes that Jesus can make something change. This incredible depth of faith is not to be glossed over as mere supersition. What Jesus offers is like nothing that has come before or since, if only we can start to reach out for His cloak.

Recognizing the deep faith of the woman who touched His cloak, Jesus makes no further effort to purify the woman, chastise her boldness, or assess her Christian bona fides. She took the courageous first step of placing her trust and her health in the hands of God. When Jesus looks at her for the first time, He sees a woman with faith as deep as a healing spring. Like a loving parent, He joyfully affirms that her faith has made her well, and sends her into the world in peace.

  • Mourning can help make sense of losses and grief. Looking over the past year, what do you still need to mourn? How does mourning bring healing?
  • Miraculous bodily healing conflicts with and insults our modern scientific framing of illness. When our illness is "understood" with science, there is little room for Jesus's miraculous work. What does healing mean to you?
  • How do you share your unique spiritual gifts with those around you?

Author:  – Betsy Noecker


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