A Dead Girl and A Sick Woman
- Read Mark
5.21-43 from a children's Bible.
about the characters involved, and about how both (were) touched (by)
children play a game of identifying various objects by touch.
more about the miracles.
or older child(ren) to read the lesson.
to play the "touch" game.
to lead the children through the teaching.
- A bag or
bran tub containing various objects for the children to identify by
touch. Or a blindfold and various objects.
reader(s) before or at the beginning of the service, according to your
- The two who approach Jesus in today's
reading were very different from each other in some ways: one was a woman
- poor, anonymous, had no social status and no support from others; the
other was a man - wealthy, named, a synagogue leader and came pleading on
his daughter's behalf. But in other ways the woman had much in common
with Jairus: both her disease and contact with the dead were regarded as
"unclean"; both were frightened; both showed great faith.
- The focus of today's teaching is on the
fact that Jesus was touched by
the woman, and He touched
Jairus' daughter. In Jewish society at this time, certain conditions were
thought to make you unclean, and these included the woman's illness and
contact with the dead. "Unclean" was the opposite of holy and pure, and
it was regarded as highly infectious. A good way to help the children to
understand how strongly people would have felt about this is to ask them
to think about the sorts of things that make them say "ugh!"* - how would they feel about touching a
rotten apple, or emptying a dustbin with their bare hands? That's how
people felt about touching someone who had certain illnesses or who had
died. They believed that, just as a rotten apple can ruin the others in
the bowl, so someone's uncleanness could be "caught" by touching them.
And they even believed that God felt the same way: if you had these
conditions then they meant that you had no relationship with other people
or with God.
- But Jesus felt the opposite! He reached
out and touched the dead girl, and He was kind to the woman who touched
Him. They didn't make Him unclean by their touch - He made them clean by
His touch. And whenever we feel ashamed of ourselves, thinking ourselves
to be "ugh!" like a rotten apple, Jesus can make us whole and clean
- Touching someone establishes a
relationship with them. Why did Jairus have the courage to approach
Jesus? Because he loved his daughter and he'd do anything for her. Jesus
insisted on knowing who had touched Him, and when the woman came forward
He called her "daughter": He wanted to have a relationship with her, and
showed that He loved her and would do anything for her, just as Jairus
would for his daughter. We should never be afraid to reach out and touch
Jesus, and ask Him to touch us and make us whole. He loves us and wants
what's best for us.
* Thanks to Crossmarks Christian
Resources for this insight: for more detailed teaching about this miracle,