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The Miracles of Jesus Part 15: Raising the Daughter of Jairus Back to Life
Matthew 9:18-19, 23-26; Mark 5:21-24, 35-43; Luke 8:40-42, 49-56; John 15:18-19 Jesus has power over life and death, but suffers mocking and derision no matter what He does.
“While He was saying these things to them, a synagogue official came and bowed down before Him, and said, “My daughter has just died; but come and lay Your hand on her, and she will live.” Jesus got up and began to follow him, and so did His disciples…When Jesus came into the official’s house, and saw the flute-players and the crowd in noisy disorder, He said, “Leave; for the girl has not died, but is asleep.” And they began laughing at Him. But when the crowd had been sent out, He entered and took her by the hand, and the girl got up. This news spread throughout all that land.”
Matthew 9:18-19, 23-26 NASB1995
“When Jesus had crossed over again in the boat to the other side, a large crowd gathered around Him; and so He stayed by the seashore. One of the synagogue officials named Jairus came up, and on seeing Him, fell at His feet and implored Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death; please come and lay Your hands on her, so that she will get well and live.” And He went off with him; and a large crowd was following Him and pressing in on Him….While He was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?” But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.” And He allowed no one to accompany Him, except Peter and James and John the brother of James. They came to the house of the synagogue official; and He saw a commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing. And entering in, He said to them, “Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep.” They began laughing at Him. But putting them all out, He took along the child’s father and mother and His own companions, and entered the room where the child was. Taking the child by the hand, He said to her, “Talitha kum!” (which translated means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl got up and began to walk, for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded. And He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this, and He said that something should be given her to eat.”
Mark 5:21-24, 35-43 NASB1995
“And as Jesus returned, the people welcomed Him, for they had all been waiting for Him. And there came a man named Jairus, and he was an official of the synagogue; and he fell at Jesus’ feet, and began to implore Him to come to his house; for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying. But as He went, the crowds were pressing against Him…While He was still speaking, someone came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, “Your daughter has died; do not trouble the Teacher anymore.” But when Jesus heard this, He answered him, “Do not be afraid any longer; only believe, and she will be made well.” When He came to the house, He did not allow anyone to enter with Him, except Peter and John and James, and the girl’s father and mother. Now they were all weeping and lamenting for her; but He said, “Stop weeping, for she has not died, but is asleep.” And they began laughing at Him, knowing that she had died. He, however, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Child, arise!” And her spirit returned, and she got up immediately; and He gave orders for something to be given her to eat. Her parents were amazed; but He instructed them to tell no one what had happened.”
Luke 8:40-42, 49-56 NASB1995
In my last devotional, the woman with the bleeding disorder interrupts the group accompanying Jesus that is heading to Jairus’ house because of his daughter’s illness (Matthew in his abbreviated version says that the daughter is already dead). Jairus was likely standing there in disbelief as Jesus stops the entourage and asks the person who drew power from Him to step forward. I think the poor woman pretty much tells her life story and is greatly encouraged by our compassionate Lord, who calls her “daughter” and confirms that she is healed and to go in peace.
Looking at the more complete and very similar Mark and Luke versions of this story, before Jesus is even done speaking to the woman and the crowd, people come from Jairus’ house to tell him that his daughter has died and to not trouble the Teacher anymore. Jesus tells Jairus “Do not be afraid any longer, only believe (and she will be made well)”. That may seem a bit harsh to tell a man who is in a panic and is lost his beloved daughter, but Jesus wants Jairus to not fear and believe in Him. Words to live by!
They arrive at the house and the crowd of people there are loudly wailing and weeping - professional mourners were usually hired in these circumstances to turn up the volume on the laments. Peter, John and James are selected to enter the house with Him, along with the parents. Jesus tells the crowd to stop weeping, that the daughter is not dead, but asleep. Their response: They laugh at Him and ridicule Him.
Here is commentary from David Guzik on this passage in Luke:
He permitted no one to go in except Peter, James, and John: Often these three are considered the inner circle of Jesus’ disciples. Perhaps the case was that Jesus knew that He had to keep a special eye on these three.
All wept and mourned for her: In that day it was customary to hire professional mourners to add to the atmosphere of grief and pain at a death. But the professional mourners could only grieve superficially. They quickly turned from weeping to scornful laughter (they ridiculed Him).
Jesus was often mocked and ridiculed. “Men ridiculed His origin. Men ridiculed His actions. Men ridiculed His claims to be Messiah. Not in all history is there such exposure of the cruelty and bestiality of ridicule as in the mocking and taunting at the cross.” (George Morrison)
Probably even more than in the time of Jesus, we live in an age of mockery and ridicule, when people find it easy to use sneer and snark against anything that seems or claims to be good. “I should like to say also to those who are tempted to see only the ridiculous side of things, that perhaps in the whole gamut of the character there is nothing quite so dangerous as that… When we take to ridiculing all that is best and worthiest in others, by that very habit we destroy the power of believing in what is worthiest in ourselves.” (George Morrison)
She is not dead, but sleeping: Jesus wasn’t out of touch with reality when He said this. He did not play make-believe. He said this because He knew a higher reality, a spiritual reality that was more certain and powerful than death itself.
I had to chuckle at Pastor Guzik’s idea that Jesus had to take Peter, James and John along with Him to keep them in His sight (the popular notion is that they were the inner circle). The commentary is also so true about the sneering, mockery and ridicule that you can observe in this day and age that is even worse than in Biblical times. You can’t go five minutes on social media without seeing nasty comments and arguments on every single topic, even allegedly neutral ones like travel and cute animals and nature photography.
There is also a vast army of Christianity mockers and haters who seem to have infiltrated virtually every single Christian social media site and even ones that are not Christian spreading their venom and anti-wisdom. Satan obviously has no problem recruiting his army of mindless minions in this age of instant communication. I feel deeply ashamed that I used to mock belief back in the days I was wandering in the wilderness and I now mourn the haters and pray for their souls and that they would awaken to the truth. Jesus predicted this, by the way:
““If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.”
John 15:18-19 NASB1995
Back to our miracle: Jesus kicks the mocking mourners out and goes into the girl’s room with the parents and Peter, James and John. He holds the hand of the deceased little girl and tells her to arise. Mark uses the term “Talitha Kum” (NASB version above), which is Aramaic for “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”. Her spirit immediately returns to her and she rises from the bed and begins to walk. Jesus admonishes the group in the room not to tell anyone but to give her something to eat (Jesus is quite practical in many human needs).
Do you think that Peter, when he later denied Jesus three times after His arrest, had moments like this flash into his memory, leading him to weep with regret? And what of Jairus? He is a high official in the local synagogue. Does he defend Jesus and become a follower (even in secret) like Joseph of Arimethea and Nicodemus or does he agree with other Pharisees because of peer pressure, even after seeing his daughter raised from the dead, that Jesus is a dire threat and a blasphemer? We don’t know the answers because Jairus is not heard from again after this miracle, but Jairus had faith in Jesus and this earth-shaking supernatural miracle probably made that faith even stronger.
I found an interesting comparison of the two miracles (the woman with a bleeding issue, the raising of Jairus’ daughter) in the Enduring Word commentary by David Guzik for the Mark passage. Jesus is equally attentive to the poor and lost and to the rich and “important”:
They were overcome with great amazement: Jesus didn’t fail Jairus, and He didn’t fail the woman who needed healing. But in ministering to both, He needed to stretch the faith of Jairus extra far.
In all this we see how the work of Jesus is different, yet the same, among each individual. If Jesus can touch each need so personally, He can touch our needs the same way.
Jairus had 12 years of sunshine that were about to be extinguished. The woman had 12 years of agony that seemed hopeless to heal.
Jairus was an important man, the ruler of the synagogue. The woman was a nobody. We don’t even know her name.
Jairus was probably wealthy because he was an important man. The woman was poor because she spent all her money on doctors.
Jairus came publicly. The woman came secretly.
Jairus thought Jesus had to do a lot to heal his daughter. The woman thought all she needed was to touch Jesus’ garment.
Jesus responded to the woman immediately. Jesus responded to Jairus after a delay.
Jairus’ daughter was healed secretly. The woman was healed publicly.
One other quick thing I read in some commentaries: Ministers have researched the Gospels to find a funeral service preached by Jesus and have come up empty. When death was in front of our Lord, He wanted to solve that problem and not be one of the mourners. Interesting food for thought!
So what can be learned from this miracle?
Jesus raises the daughter of Jairus from the dead: Jesus, the Son of God, has power over life and death. His power is infinite - healing can come from a touch of His garment or a touch from His hands. His compassion is infinite. His words alone can bring a person back to life and He knows for those who believe that death is just sleep. Just as in His time, our age is filled with mockers and scorners and we must pray for those lost souls.
My next devotional examines a miracle that is documented only in the Gospel of Matthew chapter 9, where Jesus heals two blind men.
Heaven on Wheels Daily Prayer:
Dear Lord - Thank You for your power over life and death. By believing in You, death is not to be feared but is a passage to a beautiful eternal life with You. I thank you for your compassion for every type of person and their suffering. I pray for those who mock and scorn You and Your word, that they would stop their evil words and come to believe in You. Amen
Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. lockman.org
Commentary from David Guzik on Enduring Word is used with written permission.
The Miracle List:
Water to wine: Jesus can overcome time, He creates beauty and abundance, and He shares in our joy.
Healing of the official’s son: Jesus can overcome space (distance), He does not need to see the person He heals, He has infinite power, but He also wants us to believe without signs and wonders.
Casting out of the evil spirit in the synagogue: The authority of Jesus is recognized by the demons and He triumphs over evil and silences it.
Healing of Peter’s Mother-in-Law: Jesus does not need crowds to demonstrate His power and He has compassion about the needs of one person, even if those needs seem smaller and only worthy of a couple of verses of scripture.
Healing and casting out demons of many in Capernaum (at Peter’s house): Jesus has compassion on all who come to Him and has no conditions that He places on giving them His mercy. He can heal instantly with a light touch and again demonstrates authority over demons and silences them.
Miraculous catch of fish on the Sea of Galilee: Jesus demonstrates His powers over His creation, He once again brings abundance, and He teaches humble fishermen that their task of bringing souls to Him is the most important thing they can do. They must follow Him.
Cleansing of the Leper: Jesus is willing to heal us, is compassionate towards those who suffer and can instantly cure a dreadful and feared disease. We must have faith when circumstances seem hopeless.
Healing of the Centurion’s Servant: Jesus came so that anyone who believes on His name is saved, Jew or Gentile. One of the most humble and devout persons that He encounters during His ministry is a Roman Centurion who cares and loves a servant who is sick or paralyzed. Jesus has instant authority over this illness, again eliminating space (distance) as a barrier to healing; He also marvels at this man’s faith.
Healing of the paralytic passed through the roof: Jesus demonstrates His ultimate authority as the Son of God to forgive sins and to heal a condition that seems irreversible. He can sense and read the hearts and thoughts of others. He turns a major disruption into a lesson on forgiveness. The friends of the paralytic show tremendous faith in how they solve this problem.
Healing of the withered hand on the Sabbath: Jesus can instantaneously heal a chronic condition, restoring a hand to full function. The man he heals exhibits great faith in His ability to heal and obeys Him. Jesus also challenges the assumptions and rules that have taken the place of faith and wisdom in the hearts of the Pharisees and Scribes. His anger is righteous; their rage is murderous.
Raising of the widow’s son from death: Jesus is filled with compassion for the suffering and grief of others. He has power over death and can restore us to joy and hope in the face of a hopeless situation. His endless grace and the power of His word are sufficient. We are to spring into action, serving Him and bringing His hope to the hopeless.
Taming the storm on the Sea: Jesus has the unlimited power to tame nature and He calms a storm on the Sea of Galilee instantly. His disciples, after seeing one miracle after another before this, are struck with memory loss when this crisis hits and forget that He is the Creator of the Universe and creation will obey Him. Jesus is there in the storms of life for those who believe on His name.
Casting demons into a herd of pigs: Jesus has the ultimate authority over evil and demons must have His permission to even enter into animals that immediately die. Demon possession is a real thing, but is likely rare and would not occur in a believer who is under the power of the Holy Spirit. We should not get so comfortable with evil surrounding us that we are fearful of holiness and good. Jesus wants us to tell others about His power and healing and to be without superstitions.
Healing of a woman with a bleeding disorder: Jesus knows when His healing powers are used and, with great love and compassion, tells this daughter of the Kingdom that her faith has made her well. Casual contact with Jesus doesn’t save us. We are saved by coming to Him with everything (sins, sufferings, distractions, hopes, and belief). Jesus cleanses and revives us!
Jesus raises the daughter of Jairus from the dead: Jesus, the Son of God, has power over life and death. His power is infinite - healing can come from a touch of His garment or a touch from His hands. His compassion is infinite. His words can bring a person back to life and He knows for those who believe that death is just sleep. Just as in His time, our age is filled with mockers and scorners and we must pray for those lost souls.