Mark 5:21 - 43; 7:24 - 37
Good Questions by Josh Hunt
These Questions Have Groups Talking
When you have a person in your class with cancer and you pray and they get better, then suddenly get worse, you have people ask, "Why?" As difficult as these questions are, they are easier in the plain light of day, rather than when we are deeply grieved. In fact, the fact that people get sick and die does not seem to bother us at all on some "God is not fair" level until it is our friend who is sick or dies. The supposed moral injustice of a stranger dying is not too troubling.
1. Mark 5:21-43
When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake.  Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet  and pleaded earnestly with him, "My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live."  So Jesus went with him.
A large crowd followed and pressed around him.  And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years.  She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.  When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak,  because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed."  Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?"
 "You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask, 'Who touched me?' "
 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.  Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth.  He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."
 While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. "Your daughter is dead," they said. "Why bother the teacher any more?"
 Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, "Don't be afraid; just believe."
 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James.  When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly.  He went in and said to them, "Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep."  But they laughed at him.
After he put them all out, he took the child's father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was.  He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha koum!" (which means, "Little girl, I say to you, get up!").  Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.  He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.
Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret.  In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit came and fell at his feet.  The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.
 "First let the children eat all they want," he told her, "for it is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."
 "Yes, Lord," she replied, "but even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs."
 Then he told her, "For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter."
 She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
 Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis.  There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged him to place his hand on the man.
 After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man's ears. Then he spit and touched the man's tongue.  He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, "Ephphatha!" (which means, "Be opened!").  At this, the man's ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.
 Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it.  People were overwhelmed with amazement. "He has done everything well," they said. "He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak."
2. The question relates loosely to the fact that Jesus was laughed at in this story.
3. You might chat a bit about the fact that much of Jesus' teaching and healing ministry took place around the lake of Galilee. You might want to show it to the group on a map.
4. This question asks the student to scan his entire knowledge of the Bible. For some, this will take a minute. Give them a minute to think about it.
5. The miracles were a means of validating Jesus divinity.
6. Seldom does God do for us what we can easily do for ourselves.
7. Here is a pretty good one: Daniel 3:17-18 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king.  But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."