Mark 5:21-6:6 Exploring the Passage

Below are some preliminary questions to assist in the study of this passage. For a comprehensive study of the passage, download the Study Guide (PDF download).

1. Usually the crowds flocked to Jesus for healing. Why do you think these people discouraged Jairus from seeking Jesus’ help? Note Mark 5:35 (printed below)

While he was still speaking, certain persons came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house saying, Your daughter is dead. Why do you bother the Teacher any more? (Mark 5:35)

These people had a very limited view of Jesus’ ability. Because Jairus’ daughter had succumbed to death, they thought she was beyond help; in their view, not even Jesus could restore her from her deathbed.

2. How do the disciples react when Jesus, upon being touched by the woman, turns and asks, “Who touched me?” See Mark 5:31 (printed below)

And his disciples said to him, You see the crowd pressing upon you, and you ask, Who touched me? (Mark 5:31)

The disciples are astonished that Jesus would ask, “Who touched me?” After all, He was surrounded by a large crowd and all the people were pressing against Him. They were unaware of the spiritual transaction that had taken place when the woman touched Christ in an act of faith.

3. When word arrives that the little girl is dead, what instructions does Jesus give Jairus? See Mark 5:36 (printed below) What instructions does He give the messengers and the rest of the crowd? See Mark 5:37-40 (printed below)

But Jesus, ignoring what they said, told the ruler of the synagogue, Do not be afraid, only believe. (Mark 5:36)

He permitted no one to come with him, except Peter, James, and John the brother of James. (38) When they came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, with people weeping and wailing loudly. (39) When he had entered the house, he said to them, Why are you making such a commotion, why are you weeping? The child is not dead; she is only sleeping. (40) But they laughed at him scornfully. But he, after removing them all from the house, took the father of the child and her mother and those who were with him, and went in to where the child was. (Mark 5:37-40)

When Jairus is brought the devastating report of his daughter’s death, Jesus supports him and encourages his faith by instructing him not to be afraid, but only believe. Jesus then instructs the messengers, along with everyone else except Peter, James and John, to stay where they were. Because of their unbelief, Jesus refuses to allow them to witness the miracle He is about to perform.

4. Why could Jesus not do any mighty work in His hometown? See Mark 6:5-6 (printed below)

He could not do any mighty work there; although he did lay his hands upon a few sick people and heal them. (6) He was amazed at their unbelief. Then he went around from village to village teaching. (Mark 6:5-6)

The people from His hometown remembered Jesus as the carpenter, the son of Mary. They could not understand how He is able to teach with such depth of spiritual insight and how He is able to perform such mighty works. Rather than re-evaluate their opinion of who He really is, they took offense at Him. Consequently, because of their rejection and unbelief, Jesus performed very few works among them.

5. Is Jesus’ ability to perform mighty works totally dependent upon peoples’ faith? Note John 5:1-9 (printed below)

Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. (2) Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and that is surrounded by five covered colonnades. (3) Here a great number of disabled people used to lieā€”the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. (5) One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. (6) When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, Do you want to get well? (7) Sir, the invalid replied, I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me. (8) Then Jesus said to him, Get up! Pick up your mat and walk. (9) At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. (John 5:1-9)

Jesus’ ability to perform mighty works was not absolutely dependent upon the faith of the people (note the case recorded in John 5:1-9 where Jesus performs a work of healing upon a man who expressed no faith in Him). However, God has ordained that faith shall be the instrument through which we experience the saving power of Christ.