“And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him: and he was nigh unto the sea. And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live. And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.”
“And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.”
“While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe. And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James. And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly. And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment. And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.”
The two miracles described in this passage are deliberately blended together by the Spirit of God for our learning and consolation. Who can imagine what a great trial it must have been to Jairus’ faith to see the Lord Jesus stopped by the woman? What fears must have risen in his heart! His need was urgent. His daughter was dying. He must have been completely distraught. Yet, the Lord Jesus stopped to heal a poor woman before going to heal his dying child. Often, that is exactly what the Lord Jesus does with us. He seldom answers our prayers immediately or in the way we expect. He requires us to trust him to do what is best. Jairus did just that. What compassion he showed! What patience he exercised! What self-denial he exemplified! What faith he practiced!
I do not doubt that all the time the events recorded in verses 25-34 were going on, Jairus was thinking about his dying child. Yet, he said nothing. He just waited patiently before the Lord Jesus, trusting that he who had moved toward his daughter would heal his daughter in his time. Then, while the Lord Jesus was still talking to the woman, “there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?”
Yet, Jairus continued to look to the Lord Jesus. What a great miracle of mercy, love and grace the Master performed for this needy soul who believed him! His dead daughter was raised to life by the power of the Savior’s word. Death is called, “The King of Terrors.” But here is One who is mightier than the king of terrors. The Son of God, our Lord Jesus Christ is he who has the keys of death and hell in his hands. He who is the Resurrection and the Life vanquished death by his death and resurrection as our Substitute. Soon, he will “swallow up death in victory” (Isaiah 25:8); and, just as he raised this young girl from death to life, he will raise all the hosts of God’s elect from death and the grave to everlasting life in resurrection glory.
The first thing demonstrated most clearly in this passage is the utter vanity of all earthly, material things. “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity! saith the preacher.” Those are not the words of a frustrated, grumpy old man, but the words of the wisest mere man ever to walk the face of God’s earth. When Solomon considered all the things a man can possess and enjoy in this world of time and space, in this present state of things, he said, all earthly, material things are utterly vain and meaningless.
Jairus was, in all likelihood, a man of tremendous political power and influence, and of considerable wealth. He was “one of the rulers of the synagogue.” Yet, his daughter, his only daughter, as Luke tells us, lay dying. The apple of his eye, the darling of his heart, was dying; and she was only twelve years old. Go ask Jairus, “How important is money? How useful is power, influence, and fame? If the world were yours for the asking, what would you want now?” He would tell you, I want only one thing. I want the Son of God. I want him to come under my roof, to visit my family, to have mercy upon my only dear, dying daughter. Nothing else matters.
I wonder if we will ever learn that nothing here is really of any value, significance, or importance. “The things which are seen are temporal!” Everything here is temporal. Be wise. — “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” Let us ever beware of the “cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things!” Let us value nothing in this world more highly now than we will value it when we stand before God.
This passage also demonstrates the certainty and universality of sorrow, sickness and death. Jairus’ daughter was only twelve years old. Yet, she became ill and died. Sickness, sorrow and death are common things that believers must suffer, just as all other people do. Jairus was a believer. Yet, his young, darling daughter was dying when he left home to seek the Lords help and died while he was seeking that help that Christ alone could give.
Like Jairus’ daughter, each of us must soon die. We will all die at the time appointed, by the means appointed, in the place appointed. For believers, death is a blessed rest. Our Lord said, concerning Jairus’ daughter, “The damsel is not dead, but sleepeth” (v. 39). That is the same thing he said regarding Lazarus. In reality, God’s elect never die. Did not the Son of God say, “Whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die” (John 11:26)? Those who die in the Lord sleep in the arms of Jesus. Their bodies sleep in the earth; but they have entered into heavenly rest. For the unbeliever death is the beginning of sorrow and woe everlasting.
In verses 23-23, we learn something about the character of true prayer.
"And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet, And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live."
I do not pretend to know very much about prayer; but I know that wherever there is true prayer in the heart of a man or woman before God, it has these five characteristics.
I know this, too. — None of us know “what we should pray for as we ought” (Romans 8:26). We never know what is best. None of us knows what is best for the glory of God, the good of our own souls, or the accomplishment of God’s purpose of grace in Christ. Because we do not know what is best, we do not know how to pray for anything as we ought.
Prayer is not for the gratification of our carnal lusts. It is not the means by which we obtain what we want from the Lord. Prayer, true prayer, involves submission to the will of God. It is the cry of the believer’s heart to his heavenly Father to do what is right and best. If I am God’s child, if truly I know him and trust him, I want what he has purposed. I bow to him, surrendering my will to his will, my desires to his purpose, my pleasure to his glory, knowing that his will is best. Therefore, when we pray (in our ignorance) the Holy Spirit cleans up our prayers and presents to the Father the true groanings of our hearts (Romans 8:26).
Jairus demonstrates this spirit and attitude in this passage. He had come o the Lord Jesus seeking that she might not die. When he heard that she had died, he continued trusting the Savior, bowing to his will.
Verses 35 and 36 show us what our God requires of us. — The one thing that God requires and demands of us is faith. I am fully aware that faith is the gift of God and the operation of his grace in us. Yet, faith is what he requires of us. He requires that we “only believe.”
"While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe."
If we would be saved, the Lord Jesus says, “only believe.” If we would honor God, his command is “only believe.” If we would see the Lord God work, he says, “only believe.” If we would see the glory of God, we must “only believe.” In John 11:40 we read, “If thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God.”
In all our exercises of faith, when the Lord seems to give no gracious answers to prayer, when he brings us into trials and difficulties, when our hearts appear to be cold and dead and our spirits are languishing, let us remember Jairus, and look still to our blessed Savior. It is one thing to trust the Son of God when things appear hopeful; but it is something else to trust him when everything appears hopeless.
With regard to our own selves, when we most feel and know our own impotence before God, the depravity of our hearts, and the corruption of our souls, when we feel utterly dead before him, it is a good thing to have “the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead” (1 Corinthians 1:9). In such times, let us rejoice to trust him who says to our souls, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die” (John 11:25-26).
I am sure the Holy Spirit inspired Mark to record this event to remind us that our Lord Jesus Christ is the omnipotent God to whom alone “belong the issues from death” (Psalm 68:20). — "He took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment" (vv. 41-42).
In this glorious miracle we are once more shown what Christ can do for dead sinners and how he does it. When God our Savior saves a sinner, when he calls a sinner from spiritual death to life and faith by the power of his omnipotent grace, he secretly, sovereignly touches the dead soul by the hand of his irresistible mercy. He calls the chosen sinner by the power of his Spirit through his Word. The dead, being called by omnipotence, arises and comes to Christ. And everyone who sees it is astonished. The living sinner is astonished. The observant saints are astonished. And the confused religionists are astonished.
In verse 43, the Lord Jesus “commanded that something should be given her to eat.” He said, to those who stood by, “Give her something to eat.” Our blessed Savior has provided and continually provides food for the souls of his children in this world, by which he sustains us in life and causes us to grow in his grace. To this end he has given his church pastors according to his own heart, called and gifted by his Spirit, to feed his people with by the preaching of the gospel with knowledge and understanding (Jeremiah 3:15; Ephesians 4:8-16).
The resurrection of Jairus’ daughter stands before us in the Book of God as a remarkable pledge of our own resurrection in the last day. As our Lord Jesus came to Jairus’ house and raised his daughter from death to life, soon he shall come again to this earth and raise us up to glory (1 Corinthians 15:51-58; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
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