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Mark 078 - By the Hand

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 began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished.

Mark 5:41,42

Since the pandemic, we’ve lost the art of touch. We used to shake hands with everyone. You’d pat someone on the back without asking permission. Hugs were given out almost without thinking. We’d give and receive messages of love, gratitude, and compassion through touch. But things are very different now.

There are reports from very serious organizations, scientists, and academia about how people now are “touch starved.” They are using phrases like skin hunger or touch deprivation to describe what happens when we receive little to no touch from other living things[1].

Maybe we’ve gotten too smart for our own good. Maybe we’ve gotten too cautious, thinking that we can control everything. While I don’t know the answers to these important questions, I do see in Jesus an undeniable urge to be touched and to touch.

Just a few verses earlier, he was touched by a woman who’d been sick for 12 years. He didn’t yell at her. He actually praised her for her faith, because it was the motivation for her reaching out and touching his robe.

And now, Jesus uses touch again as the object lesson for these distressed parents. His confused disciples. And for us. He doesn’t just kneel in prayer. He doesn’t just raise his hand up. He doesn’t just touch the edge of the bed. He doesn’t just grab hold of the blanket or her cloths. No.

He personally takes her hand in his. He uses his strong hand to take a strong grip on her lifeless hand. He’s not afraid of contamination. He’s not worried that he’s going to be quarantined.

Yes, there were laws about touching a dead person.

Whoever touches a human corpse will be unclean for seven days.

Numbers 19:11

But helping and restoring this family was more important. Raising this young girl was so much more valuable. Showing more of himself to Peter, James, and John was laying a deeper foundation to their faith.

And what’s their reaction? The parents and disciples were not just amazed, they were completely amazed. They were totally blown away. They didn’t know which way was up. They lost their minds in the joy of the moment.

Which brings up the really convicting question: when was the last time that you were completely amazed? When was the last time God moved in such a significant way that you just lost your natural hang-ups and responded without thinking about what other people thought?

Now I want you to know that we’re not supposed to have these kinds of experiences every day. Or even once a week. But we are supposed to have them. And there are two sides to being completely amazed.

· What God does. God is alive; acting, moving, getting involved in our lives each and every day. He’s not out there, somewhere. He’s not some nameless, impersonal force. No, he’s deeply personal and personally dedicated to you. We can know this because he died for us. Not because we were his good buddies, but when we were still his enemies[2].

· Our resistance. We all turn away from God. In our own way, we tune him out, ignore him. Sometimes, it’s because of our past. How high are we building walls around our lives to insulate us from pain and disappointment? How thick have we let our skin get, making us insensitive to things around us?

The parents and disciples were completely astonished. But not Jesus, and not the little girl. She just starts walking around, doing what little girls do.

It’s time to start allowing ourselves the freedom of being completely astonished. To let go of the things we use to protect ourselves from getting hurt again. To release control of our fear and anxiety to the one who made us. Who loves us. Who suffered and died for us.

But it doesn’t end there. He’s the one who’s always with us. He’s the one who’s preparing a place for us. He’s the one who’s coming back. And he’s the one who wants us to be with him forever.

And it all starts when we allow his hand to grab hold of our life.

[1] [2] Romans 5:8


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