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Matthew 9:18-34; Matthew 13:54-58 Listen
Mark 5:21-43; Mark 6:1-6; Luke 8:40-56
In these passages, we see the following events in Jesus' ministry:
|18 While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.
19 And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples.
20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:
21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.
22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
23 And when Jesus came into the rulers house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise,
24 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.
25 But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose.
26 And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land.
|21 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.
22 And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet,
23 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.
24 And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.
25 And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
26 And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
30 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?
31 And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
32 And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
35 While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogues house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?
36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.
37 And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.
38 And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly.
39 And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.
40 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.
41 And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.
42 And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.
43 And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.
|40 And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him.
41 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:
42 For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him.
43 And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,
44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.
45 And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.
47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.
48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.
49 While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogues house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master.
50 But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.
51 And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden.
52 And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.
53 And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.
54 And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise.
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.
You will recall from Matthew 8:23-27; Mark 4:35-41, Luke 8:22-25 (see notes) that Jesus had crossed east over the Sea of Galilee. In this passage he has returned. Upon returning, a ruler of the local synagogue named Jairus approaches him with news that his daughter is very ill and makes a humble request for healing from Jesus. Of course Jesus agrees to go to his house, but while on the way he is just swamped with crowds following him. He senses that someone has touched him - not just touched, but touched one of the tassels on his garment in faith for healing. These tassels (Hebrew: tzitzit, Greek: "kraspedon" - "hem" in Matthew and "border" in Luke) were part of his garment in keeping with the Law of Moses in Numbers 15:38 (see notes), "Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes [Hebrew: "tzitzit"] in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue." Observant Jews still wear these tassels on their four-cornered garments today. Another "tzitzit" incident is found in Matthew 14:34-36 (see notes).
When Jesus stops and asks the people who touched him, the woman having done so was afraid to speak up at first, but then steps forward. Now we see an interesting lesson on faith. Jesus points out that this woman's faith was remarkable and noteworthy inasmuch as she recognized the power of Jesus to heal and committed her well being to him. Mark and Luke point out that the woman had spent all of her money on physicians, but to no avail. Incidentally, why do all three accounts contain this story within a story? It seems likely that the fact that Jesus arrives at the home of Jairus seemingly too late is the reason the Gospel writers wanted to show why Jesus was delayed in his arrival. It is interesting, if not really significant, that Matthew and Luke specifically address the fact that she touched the hem/border (Greek: "kraspedon" i.e. Hebrew: "tzitzit") while Mark only reports that she touched the garment of Jesus.
Upon arrival at the home of Jairus, you will notice that Mark and Luke point out that only James, John and Peter actually go into the home. Though only Matthew (of the three Gospel writers) was with Jesus that day (see "An Introduction to The Gospels"), he did not actually enter into the house - perhaps the reason he noticed the "minstrels" (flute players) outside. Both Mark and Luke received their information later on from those eyewitnesses and go into greater detail; their accounts are more lengthy than Matthew's. Jesus is told that he is too late; the synagogue ruler's twelve-year-old daughter is dead. Jesus tells them that she is just sleeping, a comment that gets a deriding laugh from the folks who have been her attendants. Jesus goes in, commands her to arise, and she does. Remarkable! So, was she dead or not? Everyone thought she was, but in all three Gospel accounts, Jesus says that she was not. However, Luke, the doctor, gives a little more detail in Luke 8:55 when he says, "And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway." The Greek word used by Luke for "spirit" is "pneuma" which was also the common Greek word for "breath" or "wind." In other words, Luke's account seems to indicate that the people around her had observed her cessation of breathing previous to the healing. Well...no wonder they thought she was dead! You will notice that only Mark actually quotes the Aramaic phrase used by Jesus in this resurrection, and Mark has the most exhaustive account. Ironically, even though Mark and Luke tell us that Jesus charged the parents to keep this miracle to themselves, Matthew says in verse 26, "And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land." Some things are just too good not to tell.
We see in this story the reason why it is important to consider all three accounts of the synoptic writers when studying a passage concerning events during the earthly ministry of Jesus. Matthew just gives the high points of the incident, using just nine verses to tell the whole story. As a matter of fact, from his account you don't realize that the twelve-year-old girl actually dies while Jesus is en route to her home, nor does Matthew name her father, Jairus. Mark and Luke fill in those details. Matthew also omits the drama that surrounded the woman of faith who touched Jesus' garment. Only Mark tells us that Jesus actually spoke to the girl in Aramaic prior to her resurrection. Incidentally, this takes place in Northern Israel, well removed from the hostile environment around Jerusalem.
Jesus heals (Matthew 9:27-31)
|27 And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us.
28 And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.
29 Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
30 And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it.
31 But they, when they were departed, spread abroad his fame in all that country.
There's something about the healing of the two blind men here that makes it stand out. You will notice that these two blind men acknowledge that Jesus is the Messiah when they refer to him in verse 27 as the "Son of David." Jesus heals them privately and charges in verse 30 to keep this incident to themselves, which we see they did not; they told everybody. I'm just guessing here, but I think it was probably the fact that they addressed Jesus as the Messiah that prompted Jesus to tell them not to make public notice of their healing. He knew that his time for the sacrifice of himself had not yet come, and a proclamation by two blind men that they had been healed by the Messiah would undoubtedly bring jealous Jewish leaders prematurely gunning for him.
Jesus casts out a demon (Matthew 9:32-34)
|32 As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil.
33 And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spake: and the multitudes marvelled, saying, It was never so seen in Israel.
34 But the Pharisees said, He casteth out devils through the prince of the devils.
When Jesus then casts the devil out of the dumb man, and he begins to speak, the Pharisees accuse Jesus of doing so through the power of Satan himself. Now this sounds familiar. The same Pharisaical "talking points" are used in Matthew 12:22-37/Mark 3:20-30/Luke 11:14-23 (see notes). While not much is said about this incident in this passage, on that previous occasion, Jesus proclaims a severe consequence to those who made such an assertion. On that similar occasion, we see that such comments reflected attitudes toward Jesus for which the Pharisees would never find forgiveness.
|54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?
55 Is not this the carpenters son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?
57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.
58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
|1 And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him.
2 And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?
3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.
4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.
5 And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them.
6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
This short passage is packed with implications. First of all, notice how intolerant Jesus' home town was of his ministry. They immediately point out that he's not royalty, but rather a construction-worker's son. It's not common to name the mother with regard to a son's heritage, but they say, "Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary." To them, it was outrageous for Jesus to be considered anything other than a common laborer with non-royalty brothers and sisters. It further says of these hometown folks, "And they were offended..." The Greek word for "offended" is "skandalizo" from which we get our word "scandalize." They literally considered it scandalous for Jesus to receive any kind of honor whatsoever. Jesus simply takes it all in stride as he replies, "A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house."
Notice how Matthew sums it up in verse 58, "And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief." That's a little different from Mark's characterization in verse 5, "And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them." Both acknowledge that Jesus did perform some miracles in his home town. Matthew seems to put it into perspective when he points out that Jesus did not do more because of their refusal to believe, no matter what they saw. So, it wasn't that he couldn't, but rather that he limited himself because of their unbelief.
One might conclude from Matthew 13:57 and Mark 6:4 that Jesus' own family lacked respect for his ministry. The text doesn't actually say that, so I don't think it's appropriate to assume that this was the case.