Jairus' Daughter


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A Dead Girl and a Sick Woman

    While he was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.

    Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If only I touch his cloak, I will be healed.”

    Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment.

    When Jesus entered the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd, he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. News of this spread through all that region. -- Matthew 9:18-26

    When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him. While he was by the lake, one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” So Jesus went with him.

    A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

    At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

    “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’”

    But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

    While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher any more?”

    Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

    He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John, the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him.

    After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 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 walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat. -- Mark 5:21-43

There are two separate miracles in this passage. First, he is asked to bring back to life the daughter of a ruler of the synagogue But along the way, he encounters a woman who had suffered from a bleeding disorder for many years.

The way the text reads, the woman snuck up behind him and touched his cloak. There is no indication that Jesus felt her touch, but Mark tells us that he did sense that his power had gone out into someone.

Although there were people pressed all around him, he stopped and asked who had touched his clothing. The woman confessed, no doubt expecting to be rebuked. Instead, Jesus told her not to worry, that her faith had healed her.

One might think that Jairus, the synagogue ruler, might be annoyed by the delay in coming to the aid of his daughter, who had died at the age of twelve. But that does not appear to be the case.

The synagogue ruler

  • Wealthy
  • Influential

The ruler comes to Jesus

  • Paid homage to Jesus
  • Stated the nature of his grief
  • Expressed faith in Jesus

The circumstances surrounding the miracle

  • Christ immediately arose and went with him
  • Christ silenced the mourners
  • Declares the girl’s death to be temporary
  • Raised her by the hand, spoke, and she lived

An interesting observation

  • While Mark tell us that Jesus gave strict orders not to let anyone know of this, Matthew tells us that news of it spread throughout the region.

Application of the miracle

  • Temporary nature of human enjoyments
  • The sufficiency of Christ
  • The power of faith









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