Text of the Week
Mark 5: 21, 24b - 34
Our text from Mark 5 tells the story of two women, on opposite sides of the age spectrum, who are considered UNCLEAN. Our focus in worship is on the older woman, whose situation would have ostracized her from society. According to the rules of the day, she should never have touched Jesus. But she does, and her life changes.
Come and hear the rest of the story in worship this week!
Things you didn't learn in Sunday school...
For someone to be considered "unclean" in biblical times had lots of implications. Physical uncleanness connected in their minds to being spiritually unclean. Perhaps for them, being unclean was a sign of being separated from God, or "out of order." This would explain why certain animals are considered unclean -- they cross boundaries. Shellfish live in the water but also crawl like land animals. Human beings with some kind of uncontrolled physical issues would also be unclean: bleeding, menstruation, ejaculation, childbirth, or disease. Touching the dead (or being dead) would also make you unclean. One could only be purified, or become clean, by righting the disorder and then waiting for a time. Washing was not enough in some cases. One would wash and wait -- and then one would be clean. The understanding of life beneath the ideas of purity and impurity had to do with a complex understanding of things needing to stay in their right place. It gets a bit confusing to us because we don't generally think in those terms.