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Daughter of Jairus (Matthew 9:18, 23-25; Mark 5:22-24, 35-43; Luke 8:40-56)

“Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with Him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying” (Luke 8:4-42 NIV).  The story is reported by three writers, but only Luke tells us the ruler’s child was his only daughter and was about 12. Because he was a physician, he would have investigated every story for details others might not have considered important. Maybe they weren’t, but they were interesting.

When Jesus gets to the ruler’s house, He finds the grieving has begun. Funeral music is playing via piped instruments and the crowd of people in and around the house is noisy. The custom of that day was to grieve the dead by loud, woeful cries, continuing until they could emit no more than a sob. This would have been the noise of the crowd.

Jesus tells the crowd that the child is not dead, only sleeping. They laugh at Him and He sends them away, allowing only the little girl’s parents and three disciples, Peter, James, and John, to go with Him to where the child’s body lay. How did He come to just these five? Perhaps He was surrounding Himself with only those of strongest expectation. Certainly the parents were desperate for their child’s restoration and Jesus had compassion for them. The disciples chosen were the three Jesus was closest to, and He needed them to see His power, for soon they would be sent forth to heal in His name.

Scripture says Jesus took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up” (Luke 8:54)! Dr. J. Vernon McGee, preacher, teacher, and author, said those words could be translated “Little lamb, wake up.” (See Thru the Bible, notes on Luke 8:54, page 284.) That sounds like the way Jesus would speak to a child, doesn’t it? Full of love and compassion for a little one. Verse 55 says “Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up.”

The royal official’s son in Capernaum (John 4:46-53), the son of a widow in Nain (Luke 7:11-17), Lazarus (John 11:1-6, 11-44)

There were three other reports given us of Jesus raising the dead to life. Of all, Lazarus is probably the most familiar and the most spectacular because he had been in the grave for four days (John 11:17). This would mean a decaying body with a horrific stench.  It must have been a frightening thing for the family, even knowing of Jesus’ past miracles, to think of what would be revealed when the grave was opened. But Jesus was God! Four days in the grave to Him was no more than a child’s scraped knee. So after thanking God the Father for hearing Him, Jesus commands Lazarus to come out. And Lazarus, dead and buried for four days, walks out of the grave and goes home. (See vv 41-44).

Would these four restorations from death be the only ones that happened? I doubt it. I suspect these are only representative of many.  We know Jesus healed many more than were reported for Luke 4:40 says “At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them.”  And Mark 1:34 says “and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons . . .” In final support that we know only a little of His miracles, John said this in his gospel (21:25): “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”

We will not know all the miracles our Lord did until we reach heaven. And as the gospel song goes, “Won’t it be wonderful there?”

All scriptures are from New International Version (NIV).