Mark—Chapter 5. One chapter that describes three of the most hopeless situations recorded in the Gospels: a man whose sanity had been stripped away by not just one, but a legion of demons; a woman who, after twelve years, had exhausted every possible avenue looking for a cure to end her suffering; a dead little girl.
Overwhelming. Incurable. Ah, but not permanent.
Into each dark circumstance Jesus enters with the power of his light. The demon-possessed man may have been the first defined “cutter” we know of. He used the stones from the surrounding tombs as instruments of self-destruction, ripping open his flesh in a vain attempt to relieve his torment. But one word from Jesus and the demons charge out of his body, leaving him “dressed and in his right mind” (verse 15).
In her desperation, the woman had spent everything she had. But doctor after doctor, medicine after medicine, and treatment after treatment had resulted in her situation becoming worse, not better. The persistent bleeding robbed her not only of health but of all human comfort since she was deemed “unclean.” One touch of Jesus’ garment changed all that (verse 29).
Finally, the little girl. Mourners had already gathered to grieve her lifeless body. But Jesus entered the room where she lay and woke her from the sleep of death. “Talitha koum!” he commanded… “Little girl, I say to you, get up!” (verse 41). And so she did.
I don’t know about you, but these stories carry me to a place of hope. Hope for those who appear “hell-bent” on self-destruction. Hope for those whose suffering has isolated them for far too many years. Hope for those who need a Savior to take their hand and silence all the voices of doom as he speaks the ageless life-giving words…
“Arise! Light has come!”