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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

All little Lambs: Jesus Raises Jairus' daughter from the dead

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_TK98e428kNM/TT8qE_Ubm8I/AAAAAAAABYY/Ha-LoOyrI5A/s400/jd.pngIn previous studies, we have already considered the times Jesus raised children of Israel from the dead. In the last study, we looked at the wondrous raising of the Widow of Nain's son, stopping a funeral procession in progress, and granting back to a mourning mother, her one surviving son. With the raising of her son, Jesus brought hope back to the mother in Israel, not far from where Elijah had raised the son of the widow of Zarephath from the dead. 

 The most astounding raising from the dead was that of Lazarus, no doubt, as so many attended, and Jesus raised a man 4 days dead, whose name means 'who God helps'. A reminder also of the admonishment, that raising from the dead is unique among the healings of the Lord, as all other healings are toward the living.  The purpose of both kinds of healing is to be made whole, but the raising from death is even more a sign to Israel, that Jesus, Yshua was "the resurrection and the Life" and not merely of the nature of prophets that had gone before. He showed not only a restoring of life once in centuries, but several times in a three year span, that life and death were held in the hands of the Lord and Savior.

As Jesus travels through the region of Galilee,  he has just prior to this event attended to the healing of the 'madman' of the Gadarenes,  who wandered through the tombs of Israel, insane and distraught.  Restored to health, Jesus sends him to tell what he has done for him,  and returns to the ship crossing back over the Galilee.  As he returns, he encounters a man named Jairus,  of whom we are only told is a "ruler of the synagogue" but certainly also a loving and :


And, behold, there came a man  named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at  Jesus' feet, and besought him that he would come into his house: Luke 8:41

It is noteworthy that the father seeks Jesus out, and in grief and mourning, leaves the bedside of his daughter and weeping wife, and leaves to find this 'Yshua', the son of David. News of Jesus' healings must have travelled far:  without telephones or broadcasts,  word of the cure of the madman, or the man released from the demonic spirit in the synagogue at Capernaum still must have been heard of by some who went out to see and returned 'the other side of the lake' to tell about this astonishing teacher and healer.  Perhaps it was in desperation or in utter faith, that Jairus comes to 'fall down at Jesus' feet',  a gracious act of humility and supplication.   Now, a ruler of a synagogue if he was less than humble could have approached Jesus in demanding that he come right away,  but the abasement of spirit shows a truer faith, that the Lord could indeed do something even to the point of raising the little girl from death.   This was a remarkable and loving display of great faith in Israel.

The little girl was only 12, and there is no doubt she was dying as the words 'lay a dying' or

ποθνσκω (apothnēskō)

 means to die without dissension, not merely the possibility of it.  Jesus leaves immediately at the father's request and heads to Jairus' house.  

For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him. Luk 8:42

As soon as he turns in that direction though, he is thronged by crowds of people who wish healing, teaching or who have come to see the wonder in Israel.  It must have been a trying experience for Jesus to purpose to go immediately to attend to the death of a little girl and not even be able to get through, for the press of people who confront him:  it is not unlike today that all had their self-interest at heart, perhaps even with a good motive, wishing to be healed of a multitude of diseases and devils,  but the Lord's heart was focused upon the love for a little girl and her sorrow filled family.

This is the one healing out of the Bible as far as I can recall, that is interrupted by a parenthetical healing.  As Jesus leaves to attend to Jairus' household, a woman with an issue of blood touches only the 'hem of his garment', and another healing is recounted while on the way to the little girl's side.  That healing is dealt with in another study.  After the healing of the woman, before the Savior arrives at his destination with his disciples, he is met by either servants or one of the household of Jairus:

Luk 8:49 While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue's [house], saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master.

Consider that they come to tell Jairus that his daughter has died, and to keep him from beseeching the 'Master' or messiah, didaskalos meaning particularly 'teacher' (as in didactics) but as Thayer's lexicon notes, is used of the Messiah as the 'teacher of Salvation'.  Curiously no where and no one in scripture is viewed favorably for trying to stop someone from seeking Yshua. (Mark 10:14).

It took a great deal of faith to even seek out Jesus in this healing:  he was out of favor with the religious hierarchy of the day,  and many had been threatened with disfellowship from the synagogue if they followed after this itinerate Rabbi.
Jhn 9:22 These [words] spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.

  Jhn 12:42 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess [him], lest they should be put out of the synagogue:

Jairus, though was undaunted:  he sought the Savior, he humbled himself before the Savior, and even at the news of his daughter's death, he did not lay down his faith. Jesus though, hearing the rebuke, promises a healing beyond death:

Luk 8:50  But when Jesus heard [it], he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.

We see again here, the call of Jesus for the people of Israel to "be made whole",  to come back into the state of wholeness, health, equilibrium, to the right state and condition in which they were created.  Apart from 'wholeness' we 'miss the mark' whether it is due to sin or disease (dis-ease).   We also see again though the command to “Fear Not: believe only…”   What an astounding command that is coming from the Lord and Savior about to stand beside the death bed of a child, to the broken parents.  Truly it would cruel if He had not the power to raise the little girl, but in this healing as in so many he was after their faith.

Fear is an often misunderstood concept in the Scriptures.  When we think of fear, we consider the mundane incidents of some threatening occurrence which leaves us frightened.   Fear in the scripture is sometimes used that way, and sometimes used to indicate awe or reverence, as in the admonishments to ‘fear God’  or ‘the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom’.  (Psalm 111:10)  Indeed in the New Testament in the book of Revelation, fear is a sin equated with even murder, as a form of unbelief leading to spiritual death:

Rev 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

Fear is a form of unbelief.  That is why Jesus is cautioning or really commanding the parents not to fear:  the fear they have is the fear of suffering the loss and the pain of mourning, of not having their beautiful daughter with them in life.     The word for fear is straightforward:


The word from which derives our word ‘phobia’ or ‘phobic’.  It is speaking of raw fear, terror, or a sort of horror.  When Jesus says ‘fear not’ it is because he knows that within moments, the little girl will be back with them, alive,and the sorrow will cease, but he is looking for their faith.  “Believe only” and she shall be made whole is the prescription for fear.  ‘Believe’ and that with nothing added in: no words, no actions, no rituals or candles,  but belief:  that is what the Savior exacts from those he heals.   Fear and unbelief go together.  Belief goes with boldness and a lack of fear.  To the natural mind, this is an insurmountable task at the thought of a daughter who has just died:  to the spiritual mind, it is trust in the living God.

As Jesus approaches the bedside of Jairus’ daughter, he allows in with him only Peter, James and John, and the parents. (Luke 8: 51)   Even in this Jesus’ thoughtfulness and love for people is seen:  12 year old little girls are often very modest and concerned about what others think:  Jesus has thought ahead to her waking, and must have known it would have been too traumatic to waking from death to find a crowd staring down, not to mention the parents need for quiet and privacy at such intense emotions and act of faith.   We often read over the healings and miracles as though they occur in a vacuum,  as though Jesus perfunctorily performs the miracle or healing and then walks away.  Yet just as he is always eliciting faith from the Children of Israel and the others he heals, he also is constantly showing the love of God.

The love is God is what the whole Gospel is about, surely what the whole Bible is about.  The love for others that Jesus shows in the Gospels attend every healing though his words and actions at time may seem a little exacting:  his ultimate concern is for their health, wholeness and wellbeing,  in the context of the tenderloving kindness of God.  He turns no one away, he is not offended by the sick, or lame, or those with grotesque deformities: he does not see the people he heals as the disease nor affliction they carry but as the person afflicted by the disease in need of liberty and wholeness.  This is what the Lord offers, as he does here to mourning parents.  He is also attendant on the wholeness of the young maid.

The Raising of Jairus’ Daughter

As Jesus draws near to the little girl though,  the thing he says further confounds expectations:

Luke 8:52  And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not: she is not dead, but sleepeth.

There was no doubt here that the little girl was dead:  Jairus’ father knew she was near death when he sought Jesus; Jairus’ servants knew when they sent for Jairus to tell him not to bother the Master,  and as Jesus leaves to go to Jairus’ house and enters we find grieving parents and that “all wept and bewailed her..(Luke 8:53)”   The little girl had just passed away.   Jesus’ word then “Weep not: she is not dead, but sleepeth” seem utterly preposterous to the  crowd standing around,  yet seemingly contradictory : sleep is not death.  Jesus,  I do not believe was saying that she was not dead, only that as a point in comfort,  that death, in the hands of God, is but sleep and that further, what begins as death, in his hands becomes sleep.    In ancient mythology sleep and death were seen as ‘twins’,  and while the context is certainly not that,  Jesus though somewhat misunderstood,  is speaking life into her:  “she is not dead”.  The Life, speaks life, and life comes back from death, and indeed, ‘sleepeth’.   It was hardly the faith of the scorners who exacted the miracle of resurrection.

Jesus puts the crowd out in the room where the daughter lies,  and does two things:  he takes here by the hand, and he commands her to arise:

Luke 8:54  And he put them all out, and took her by the hand and called, saying, “Maid, Arise”.

One renown ministry, Chuck Smith in a curious word study notes through the origin of the word, that maid bears the connotation of ‘lamb’,  as in ‘little lamb arise’,  and while I truly hold to the perfection and inerrancy of the word,  there is a root for both.

 While there is no error in translation,  it points again to his merciful and tender nature, and shows the magnificent concern for the life-from-death of all of the Good and Great Shepherd’s lambs.  We have noted in other studies this command ‘arise’.     In Mark 5: 41, the exact command in Aramaic is given:

And he took the damsel by the hand and said unto her, Talitha cumi: whi is being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee,arise.  Mark 5: 41.

“Talitha” or more closely ‘talita’ comes from the origin ‘taleh’ meaning lamb or a young lamb.  ‘Cumi’ comes from ‘kuom’ meaning ‘arise’ but when the interpretation is given in the scripture the word is
which is the word that indicates arise in other healings, meaning ‘arouse from sleep’  or raise from the dead, and its use as rise or raise is the eminent useage.    Curiously both phrases reflect back on the dual usage and reference of Jesus to sleep and death.

Little Lamb Arise

The culmination of the astonishing encounter,  is that she is made immediately well:

Luke 8:55  And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.  56 And her parents were astonished: but he charged them that they should tell no man what was done.

The spirit of the little girl ‘comes again’ meaning it had departed , also indicating that she had indeed died,  and the healing from death is immediate.   Many modern healers lay hands on the sick,  often without even being born again believers,  and claim that though the healing does not show, it will come about.  The healings of Jesus and the apostles were immediate:  not only does this little lamb arise ‘straightway’  but Jesus, in the love of God he has walked in,  commands that she be fed,  a rather complete healing with no recovery period.   The astonished parents . Mark 5: 42 notes also that she walked. 

The fame of the incident according to Matthew 9:26 spread abroad though in the other two accounts of the gospel in which the raising is spoken of,  Jesus commands that no one should spread it abroad.   This comes up with several healings, and has always been a point of discussion:  why would Jesus not want people to tell of the healing?

It is clear that regardless of any admonition of Jesus not to spread it abroad, almost every time the command went out in Israel it was disobeyed.   I have always suspected it was because the crowds were already growing out of control,  and it was very difficult for Jesus to find the quiet and rest he needed to draw near to the Father (he was one with the Father, but the quiet and prayer were still necessary in a tabernacle of flesh),  and the clamor of the noisome world must have been almost painful to him.  

The little girl arose though, returned to her parents, and the news of a raising from death spread across Israel.  It was the foreshadowing with the other resurrections, of one yet to come, which would astonish the world for the next 2000 years.

Till next time.  Grace and Peace from the Lord and Savior, Blessings.


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Posted by Elizabeth K. Best, PhD at 1/25/2011 02:29:00 PM http://img1.blogblog.com/img/icon18_email.gif

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