Introduction: Miracles have been an important part of the historic
conflict between good and evil. Consider when Elijah called fire down
from heaven. Consider the flood and the rainbow. These were rather
dramatic points in the conflict against evil. Why don’t we see
dramatic miracles like that any more? Jesus performed a number of
miracles, including raising the dead to life. We don’t see people
being raised from the dead today. Why don’t we have such dramatic
evidence of God’s working today? I think the answers to these
questions are hidden in some of the more unusual aspects of Jesus’
miracles. Let’s jump into our lesson and find out!
- Miracle Conflicts
- Read Mark 5:21-23. Was Jairus a man of importance and
influence? (Yes. He was a rule of the synagogue.)
- Was Jairus a religious man? (Yes, it would seem so
because of his position with the synagogue.)
- What had Jairus’ position and power done for him when
his daughter was dying? (His importance, his
influence, his position in the synagogue, could not
save his daughter. He realized his lack of power and
threw himself at the feet of Jesus for help.)
- Read Mark 5:24. Jesus hears Jairus’ request and heads off
towards Jairus’ home. Describe to me how you think Jairus
feels at this point?
- Read Mark 5:25-28. What do you think about this woman’s
plan for healing? She seems to have made a lot of bad
medical decisions in the past. She saw lots of doctors,
spent all of her money on them, with the result (v.26)
“she suffered a great deal under the[ir] care.” Would you
believe that Jesus could heal without even knowing that He
was healing? Would just an anonymous touch do it? Should
- Read Mark 5:29-32. We have the reactions of three people
to this miracle. How did the woman feel when Jesus’ said,
“Who touched my clothes?” Might she have felt like a
shoplifter – excited to get something, but fearful about
- Did she think that she was “stealing” something? Did
she feel unworthy? (She probably did. Leviticus 5:3
tells us that if a person, even unaware, touches
“human uncleanness” he is guilty of being
ceremonially unclean. Leviticus 12:2,4 reveals that
this woman would have been unclean because of her
flow of blood. Thus, in touching Jesus, she would
theoretically make Him unclean.)
- How about the disciples? What was their reaction?
(They thought (v.31)Jesus was being super-sensitive,
- What would you guess is the reaction of Jairus? (Have
you ever been caught in traffic in an emergency
because some driver is more interested in looking at
a police car at the side of the road than getting on
about his business? It seems so illogical. That
probably gives you a small idea of the frustration
felt by Jairus. His daughter is dying and Jesus wants
to know who touched Him in the suffocating crowd.)
- Read Mark 5:33-35. This tends to support my suggestion
that this woman thought she had done something wrong – she
was so fearful that she trembled. Yet Jesus told her that
what she had done was exactly right – it showed her faith.
What lesson about the great controversy between good and
evil do you find in this? (Satan paints God as being this
harsh and uncaring Being. Jesus shows us that God wants us
to come to him with our needs.)
- Was Jesus violating the Mosaic law when He learned He
had been touched by an unclean woman? (When she
touched Him, she was healed.)
- When Jesus touches us, are we healed?
- Tell me how you think Jairus is now feeling? He just
learned his daughter is dead and getting Jesus to
come now is useless.
- Is there any justification for what has just
happened? This woman has had this problem for 12
years! A few more hours or even a few more days
would not make any difference to her. But those
minutes were crucial for Jairus’ daughter! Isn’t
this an outrageously unfair situation?
- Stop and consider what has just happened. Jesus has
theoretically agreed to help the daughter of Jairus.
By “accident,” a woman delays Jesus. While Jesus is
trying to figure out “who touched My clothes” a
little girl dies. Does this seem to be the actions of
a great and orderly God who is in charge of
everything in the universe?
- Or, does this seem like “amateur night,” the
work of “Mr. Bumbles?”
- Does this show that everything that happens on
earth is a matter of accident and luck?
- Read Mark 5:36, 38-40. Was the child dead or sleeping?
(She was dead.)
- Why did Jesus say the child was what she was not?
- Read Mark 5:41-42. Was Jesus’ delay in getting to the
little girl an accident?
- Did it matter that Jesus took time to deal first with
the lady who had been sick for 12 years?
- Is the timing of these two miracles an accident? A
matter of luck?
- Was Jesus, as a practical matter, right that the
little girl was “sleeping” not dead?
- That frustrating delay for Jairus, does it make any
difference now to him?
- What lessons do we learn about the conflict between
good and evil in these two miracles? (Friend, this is
the most important of lessons for those who grieve.
Jesus does not promise “when” He will heal those we
love. He promises that He will. Prior to the raising
of the little girl, everything seemed illogical and
unfair. God did not seem to be in charge of events.
But, after the raising, everything came into focus.
The delay no longer mattered. When Jesus comes again
and raises to life those who “illogically” died, the
delay will not matter. It may be more than a few
minutes or an hour of delay (as in Jairus case), but
the outcome will be the same! The delay will pale,
but Jesus’ willingness to heal and overcome death
will be the focus of our rejoicing. Praise God!)
- If You Had Been Here
- Read John 11:1-3,5. In the story of the two miracles we
just studied, Jesus did not know any of the people. What
was His relationship with Mary, Martha and Lazarus?
- Read John 11:6. How do you reconcile this with the fact
that Jesus loved Lazarus?
- Read John 11:17,20-21, 32. Tell me what you think the
sisters had discussed among themselves when Jesus did not
respond right away to their call for help?
- Notice that Mary (v.20) did not come out to meet
Jesus. Was she disappointed in Him? Angry? Upset by
His delay? Did she say, “A friend in need is a
- Put yourself in Lazarus’ place. You have a son who is
a renown heart surgeon. The local doctors have just
discovered that you have a heart problem which can
only be operated upon by a handful of surgeons in the
world – one of which is your son. You immediately
call your son to help, but day after day you get
weaker and he does not come. Tell me what you are
- As you take your last breath, and realize that
your son will not be saving you, what are your
thoughts about your son?
- Read John 11:43-44. Now what are your thoughts about the
Son? (Again, we see that the delay makes no difference on
the “other side” of the resurrection. Mary, Martha and
Lazarus knew that Lazarus would live if Jesus came in
time. When He did not, they did not understand Jesus’
master-plan. Jesus calls on us to follow Him. We are not
to be calling Jesus to follow us, our plans and our
- How often, when we do not see miracles today, do we
say “I wish Jesus’ miracle-working power were here
today?” Why don’t we see Christians raising the dead
today? (They will be raised from the dead by Jesus.
It is just a matter of timing.)
- Notice Jesus told those around Him to unwrap Lazarus.
If Jesus could raise Lazarus to life, why didn’t He
unwrap him at the same time? (This shows that Jesus
wants us to be co-laborers with Him in His mighty
- Are you called on to “unwrap” members of the
church who have been saved from death?
- What do you think it means to “unwrap” or
release fellow members who have been newly
- What additional lessons about the conflict between
good and evil do you find in this miracle of raising
Lazarus to life?
- Friend, even when it seems that evil is winning, and God
is uninterested in the conflict, we see that Jesus has the
closest interest in our situation. He overcomes evil with
His good. Our role is to follow Jesus in whatever He plans
for our lives. We do not need to understand. What we need
to do is trust, and help “unwrap” those that are being
saved from death by our Lord.
- Next week: Jesus Wins.