Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you. (Mark 5:19)
He couldn’t remember when he had started hurting himself. Day after day, he would search for the sharpest rock he could find and then dig it into his arms and legs until he couldn’t bear it anymore. He didn’t know why he did it. Each night, he would finally fall asleep, and then wake up with more pain, more scars, and even more impulses to abuse himself. He couldn’t count how many people had tried to stop him. Their horrible shackles and chains worked for a time, but in his self-destructive rage, he always broke out of those too.
When Jesus found the Gerasene man, everyone else had abandoned him (Mark 5:3–4). Everyone but Jesus. Jesus wasn’t disgusted by his appearance, or intimidated by his violence, or confused by his condition. “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” (Mark 5:8). Jesus knew exactly why this man was hurting himself, and he knew how to care for him — like no one else could or would. With a word, the demons fled from the man. His scars remained, but he was whole again. Those who had feared the man found him clothed and his right mind — in others words, they found him cared for by Jesus.
An Ailing Woman
She couldn’t remember when the bleeding had started, when her life had been upended by this disease. She did remember all the doctors who had tried to help her, and all the money she had given them. The treatments had only left her worse than before (Mark 5:26). Twelve years she had suffered now, and she was out of money, out of options, almost out of hope. Even those who loved her were out of words to say to try to encourage her. She could feel the life slowly draining out of her, leaving her empty, lonely, and heartbroken.
When Jesus found the woman, she had slipped into the crowd around him, her one last-ditch effort to be cured. She had heard rumors about Jesus, that he had healed people like her. Hoping to avoid embarrassment and rejection (she didn’t have any money left to offer him), she pressed in, reached out, and touched just the edge of his garment. Instantly, she was healed — and she knew it (Mark 5:29).
And Jesus knew it too. “Who touched my garments?” (Mark 5:30). And when he saw her, he said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease” (Mark 5:34). She was not only healed, but loved, welcomed, embraced — cared for by Jesus.
A Desperate Father
He could remember exactly when his little girl’s sickness started. He and her mother had hoped that it would come and go, but feared it might be worse. As he stood by her bed day and night, he watched her go from bad to worse to deathly ill. When others had given up, he continued to call everyone he knew to call and did everything a father knew to do. He would have so gladly died to take her place, to seize her pain, to see her healthy again.
When Jesus found the father, he could see how desperate he was. “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live” (Mark 5:23). The hands of Jesus were the only hands he had left. He didn’t even know if his girl would survive until he returned. And she didn’t. While Jesus was on his way to their house, a servant came running. “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?”” (Mark 5:35). No one can care for her now.
“Do not fear,” Jesus said, “only believe” (Mark 5:36). When he entered the room where her lifeless body lay, it was filled with weeping. He ushered everyone out, and then took her by the hand, saying “‘Talitha cumi,’ which means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, arise’” (Mark 5:41). Immediately, she woke up and began walking. Imagine what that father felt, seeing his twelve-year-old on her feet, holding her in his arms again — warm, healthy, alive, cared for by Jesus.
Cast Your Cares on Him
Each story told in the span of just a few verses in Mark 5, each reminding us that no one can care for us like Jesus does and will. And yet how quickly we are to doubt or discount his love for us, how quickly we are to let our troubles and anxieties overwhelm us, how quickly we turn anywhere and everywhere but Jesus — the one who forgives all our iniquities, who heals all of our diseases, who redeems our lives from the pit, who crowns us with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies us with good (Psalm 103:3–5) — the deepest, fullest, longest-lasting joy.
Whatever pain and heartache you have carried, bring it to the sovereign one filled with mercy, the one who cared for the demon-possessed man, the diseased woman, the father and his dying daughter, and you. Cast your anxieties on him — all of your anxieties — because he cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).