Biblical Morality 41: Mark

SarnDuro said:
More about Jesus’s divinity and about his relations with the rest of the world can be found in passage 5:30. A woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years had the idea to touch his clothes to get better. ‘At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”’ While Jesus looked around, the woman, healed, came and knelt before him and confessed everything. ‘He said to her,’ in 5:34, ‘”Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”’ I take this passage to mean not that Jesus had actually lost power (which is how I first read it) but rather simply that the woman had somehow taken what was not hers to take, and took advantage of Jesus in doing so. I would have thought Jesus was immune to this, but apparently not. I can see that the message of forgiveness is present here. Should this also mean that even selfish followers who are not pure in their faith can still be saved by becoming pure? This could also seem to suggest that physical artifacts associated with Jesus can be seen as having some power of their own right. The Holy Grail springs to mind, though I haven’t noticed it yet in these writings.

I think you missed the point of Mark's story here. First, you need to take the entire chapter in context. The story of the woman bleeding for 12 years and the little girl that was thought dead are connected. To more fully understand the significance of this you need to look back to Leviticus -
Leviticus 12:2
"Say to the Israelites: 'A woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period.

Leviticus 15:19
" 'When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening.

Leviticus 15:25
" 'When a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a time other than her monthly period or has a discharge that continues beyond her period, she will be unclean as long as she has the discharge, just as in the days of her period.

Leviticus 11:31
Of all those that move along the ground, these are unclean for you. Whoever touches them when they are dead will be unclean till evening.

Leviticus 21:11
He must not enter a place where there is a dead body. He must not make himself unclean, even for his father or mother,

As you can see, back in these days it was against religous text to even come in contact with a women that was bleeding. This woman that was bleeding for twelve (12) years was an untouchable. It means she had absolutely no human contact for that entire time. For if anyone touches her they become unclean. This must of been a terrible ordeal for her both physically and emotionally. Yet when she touches Jesus, he is does not become unclean. Rather, she becomes purified, all because she believed Jesus could.
In the case of the twelve (12) year old girl, they all think she is dead. No one should touch her because they will become unclean. Yet Jesus comes in and touches her immediately.

The point of these stories is not so much to show us the miracles that Jesus could perform, but the fact that he is so willing to reach out and touch us as human beings, no matter how unworthy, or unclean we are. He, is not afraid. And he is there for any of us to touch if we believe in him, through communion.

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