After my series on the parables, I found I was drawn to look into the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels. I have never studies the mighty works of Jesus as a focused effort before and am looking forward to finding nuggets of truth that we can be encouraged by.
I have provided a general introduction, with an opportunity to download two files for your reference in my initial post Signs and Mighty Works of Jesus – Introduction. I found that the format I used for the parable posts were useful to keep me on track, and will continue to use them for this series, with some minor tweaks. With that said, let’s take a look at
Jesus Raises Jairus’ Daughter to Life
Matthew 9:18, 23-26
While he was saying these things to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.”….And when Jesus came to the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, he said, “Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. And the report of this went through all that district.
Mark 5:21-24, 35-43
And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea. Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet and implored him earnestly, saying, “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.” And he went with him. And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him…….While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. But he put them all outside and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.
Luke 8:40-42, 49-56
Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus’ feet, he implored him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. …… While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.
Questions to Consider
Notice the last line in the telling of this miracle.
he charged them to tell no one what had happened
How could the Lord expect this miracle to be unnoticed? The mourners were whining and crying, making a ruckus, informing the whole neighborhood of a death at the house. The parents, along with the three disciples had seen the miracle before their very eyes. Everyone would be shocked when the little girl walked out of the room! And the Lord charged them to tell no one what had happened?
But an even bigger question is – Why not publish this miracle far and wide? Why minimize the impact of the eye witness account? Let’s address this question after we look at the miracle in these three passages.
Who were the audience?
Those in attendance for this miracle are clearly defined in our text.
And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child.
In our earlier post on the woman with the issue of blood, I suggested that she may be the mother of this girl within this recounting. If my suggestion is true, (which is only a suggestion, mind you) the woman who had been healed may have raced home to see her daughter. Mark 5:37 states Jesus
…allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James.
Yet obviously Jairus was allowed to follow since he had been addressed by the Master just the verse before.
One alternative for the presence of the woman was that she simply followed the Master to the home, as Jairus did, without the apostles referring to them.
The suggestion adds a layer of intensity to the miracle, as if the raising of a child from death is not enough! Yet it appeals to my curiosity, and the possibility of this “coincidence” only suggests that the Lord looks not only to heal individuals, but also to heal families.
When did the Lord perform this mighty work?
Where did the Lord perform this mighty work?
See Signs and Mighty Works of Jesus – Introduction for downloadable reference file.
Why did the Lord perform this mighty work?
Jairus asked Him to heal the synagogue leader’s daughter. Jesus did more than He was asked for. Reminds me of a passage somewhere in the New Testament, describing God….
who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us
What was the message for the original audience?
Jesus made a number of statements in this miracle, that would serve us well to consider.
Do Not Fear – Mk 5:36
But every witness and all appearances provided the fact that the daughter was dead. There was nothing left to fear. Sorrow, anger, depression – yes all this was crashing down on the father and mother. But the fear they had over the death of the little girl had been realized. How confusing for the father and mother to hear this message!
Only Believe – Mk 5:36
Believe what? The father had come to the Teacher, in hopes of a healing, of Him providing health to a sick but still breathing little girl. Once the breathing stopped, once the heart had quit, there was no earthly reason to continue to believe. It was over. There was no use in continuing to look to the Teacher for His help.
This is not the message Jesus presented to the mother and father. He is not limited by death, and in the face of an impossibility, Jesus exhorted Jairus to only continue in his previous faith, that is in the faith that drew him to the Teacher. Jesus wanted them to trust the Teacher, and not look at the situation. Faith in Him is to be continuous, in the midst of seeming impossibilities. (Easy to say my friends!)
Only believe – what an incredible thing to say to this family that had lost their little girl. As with the next three statements, Jesus shocked all who witnessed this miracle. Not only was the miracle itself shocking, everything He did was unexpected
- His direction to empty the room but for a few.
- His denial of the obvious death of the little girl.
- His confidence in His abilities to perform the impossible.
- His seemingly ignoring of the voice of the multitude.
Why are you making a commotion and weeping? Mk 5:39
The girl was dead. The common practice of the Jewish culture was loud moaning and weeping upon the death of a loved one. If the family had a bit of money, they would hire mourners to raise the volume of the grief. Loud cries of grief alerted the neighborhood of a recent death. Everyone knew it, and the mourning was simply a result of a fact everyone knew. Except for Jesus.
The child is not dead but sleeping. Mk 5:39
She is dead, and everyone in the room knows it, but not according to Jesus. She is merely sleeping. Yet, is Jesus simply renaming the state of death as sleep? Is He saying something other than the obvious?
Multiple instances in the New Testament, the reference to death is couched in the terminology of sleep. When we think of death it is without hope of returning, but when we think of sleep, the morning always comes.
This little 12 year old woke up, simply by having Jesus tell her to.
Little girl, I say to you, arise. Mk 5:41
It is interesting that in this and Lazarus’ raising, Jesus was careful to identify the subject who would rise from the dead. Even with the nameless widow of Nain, Jesus focused his word to the “young man”. See Signs and Mighty Works of Jesus #11 – Jesus Raises a Widow’s Son in Nain
I once heard that if Jesus hadn’t directed His command to rise to a specific person, all the dead would rise. But it wasn’t time for that to happen yet. But give Him time. He will yet call the dead from their graves.
As an aside, it is amazing in my mind to consider what the Lord did after this command. He instructed the witnesses to do two things, that is to feed the little girl, and to not tell anyone what had happened.
This may be a partial reason Jesus told the crowd that she was asleep. Those who wanted to believe, or should I say were believers already, would continue, but those who were there only for the eye candy, for the thrill of the moment, could have reason to dismiss this miracle. Jesus was allowing for some commitment to be realized in the believers minds, to believe the Messiah and not the opinion of others.
What is the message for us today?
The message for us today? This miracle is pregnant with application, from the Lord’s concern for the family unit, (if my assumption is true!) to the Lord’s command over time. What?
Yes, His command over time is a very real truth that pops out of this miracle. He took time to heal a woman with the issue of blood, and yet this decision did not restrict the Teacher from accomplishing His original task. He simply did what we consider impossible.
A friend once asked me to find everywhere in the New Testament where Jesus ran. You know, where Jesus was in a hurry, or was running late. Dang it all for the time I spent looking, but I couldn’t find a place where Jesus was “late” for anything.
This miracle speaks to His schedule being per the Spirit, and that He simply looked to the Spirit as opposed to His watch. (I know I know – No watches, but it would simply be corny to refer to his wrist sundial!) He is not controlled by time, nor does the effects of time hinder Him from His goals.
Try to understand. The effects of a time delay of His late arrival, that is her death, did not hinder Him from His original goal of healing her. This microcosm of truth, if expanded to each of our lives holds great promise, for we all have things in our past that are regretful, painful, and unchangeable. The facts do not change, as the little girl actually died, but the Messiah took a painful, terminal situation and brought something truly incredible out of it.
Tell no one
Earlier I had raised the question regarding those who witnessed the miracle as not to tell anyone what had happened. I hinted that this was a separating of those who believed from those who mocked the Lord, ridiculing Him as He spoke of her being asleep. In my world, if I had performed a miracle like this after being laughed at, I would have done the old “I told you so” to those who laughed at me. I know – that is infantile, but that little child still lives in me!
Not so for the Lord. Yes, those who laughed at Him would get precious little information from the witnesses, and that may have a sense of justice about it, but we must remember, all of these miracles are not about the recipient, or the method of the miracle, or any such thing like that. The purpose of the miracle is to identify Who this teacher was.
Who was this itinerant preacher walking with some fishermen and tax collectors?
He is the reason the miracle was provided, and to draw attention to the miracle would remove the focus on Him. In my feeble mind, I see miracles as an act of mercy from the Lord, as a provision from God to get our focus on the Messiah. In our twisted thinking sometimes, we too often focus on the miracle. This ought not to be.
He is the reason miracles are possible, miracles are not an end to themselves. Miracles are provided for four reasons as I understand. See our first post Signs and Mighty Works of Jesus – Introduction for this list. Each of these reasons are to direct our attention to Him, not the miracle.
The daughter was resuscitated. She would eventually pass away, and face death again. Yet this is not the condition of the saint. Resurrection, not resuscitation awaits the saint. In my busy day, I so often forget that this life is but a breath, and resurrection is awaiting this ol’ fool. But again, this is our future miracle, and great as this miracle is, let it not distract us from the One whom we shall approach.
He is the focus and be all of our meager lives. Seek Him this day, and find One who is over time, over death, and over circumstances.
He is the Lord of Glory. He is good, and He loves us. Even in the details of providing food for the little girl! He is good!
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