Consider helping today!
The Gadarene Demoniac.
On the eastern shore of the lake:
v. 1. And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.
The journey across the sea, which ordinarily took only a few hours, was prolonged, on account of the storm, to last all night. The next day they landed in the country of the Gergesenes, or Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee, Matthew 8:28; Luke 8:26. It was known by both names, from the chief cities of the neighborhood. "We read. that Jesus and His disciples 'came to the other side of the sea to the country of the Gerasenes. ' The Authorized Version reads: 'to the country of the Gadarenes. ' The country to which Jesus came at this time cannot have been that of the Decapolitan city Gerasa, for, as we have seen, that lay far to the south. It was in a direct line nearly fifty miles from the Sea of Galilee. Neither can it have been to the region of Gadara that He came, for Gadara lay at least five miles to the south across the deep valley of the Yarmuk. There was, however, on the east shore of the Sea of Galilee a town called Gergesa, the modern Kursi. This place was near the city of Hippos, and possibly one of the towns subordinate to Hippos. As Jesus and the disciples walked back from the sea, they met the demoniac, whom Jesus healed. " The whole region or district southeast of the Sea of Galilee was indiscriminately called that of the Gadarenes and Gerasenes. It was predominantly heathen.
v. 2. And when He was come out of the ship, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
v. 3. who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains,
v. 4. because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.
v. 5. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones
Matthew, in relating this story, speaks of two demoniacs, while Mark mentions only one, the speaker of the two, and probably also the fiercer of them. Hardly had Jesus 'stepped out of the boat when this man came running to meet Him from his home among the tombs in the neighborhood. He was a man in, that is, fully possessed by, an unclean spirit. The power of the devil and his angels is such that it always renders the person whom he gets into his dominion, spiritually unclean. Here the whole person, body, mind, and soul, was possessed of the devil. This demoniac had his dwelling-place in the tombs, probably in some of the burial-places which had been excavated or hewn into the side of the hills. His fierceness was such as to make his confinement by means of fetters and chains absolutely impossible. The piling up of the negatives emphasizes this peculiarity very strongly. All attempts to keep him in constraint by means of foot-guards and with chains had been futile. He tore the chains apart and shattered the foot-guards, whether of metal or rope, and no man was able in any way to keep him in subjection. All the methods employed in the case of wild animals availed nothing in his case. The strength of the devil and his angels in him was too great for human skill and ingenuity. He was given no rest by the tormentors living in him, but always, night and day, he was driven by them through the tombs and through the hills, making it dangerous to travel in that neighborhood. The people that caught sight of him saw that he was usually engaged in striking and mutilating himself with sharp stones, uttering at the same time fierce cries, that might well cause the stoutest heart to quail. It is a terrible thing if the devil gains ascendancy over a person, not one whit less so if this power extends over his mind and soul only than if it includes also the body.
Acknowledging Jesus as the superior:
v. 6. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshiped Him,
v. 7. and cried with a loud voice and said, What have I to do with Thee, Jesus, Thou Son of the most high God? I adjure Thee by God that Thou torment me not.
v. 8. For He said unto Him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.
v. 9. And He asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion; for we are many.
v. 10. And he besought Him much that He would not send them away out of the country.
Other people had been in danger of their lives on account of the fierceness of the man. Demoniac strength and utter misery were combined in the poor sufferer. But here the man saw Jesus, and Him the evil spirits knew, had known Him from the time that they were, together with their leader, Satan, thrown out of heaven, Jude 1:6. They must needs recognize Him, no matter where they met Him, as their sovereign Lord and King. And so the man came running and did the Lord homage, casting himself down at His feet in a worshipful attitude, acknowledging even by his action that he knew Jesus to be the Lord. And at the same time, with a cry of fear and prayer, he begs Christ: What business have we two, Thou and I, together, Jesus, Thou Son of God most high? The confession was apparently wrung from him under the pressure of abject terror, together with the plea that Jesus should not torment him, not condemn him at this time to the torment of hell, which was his eventual lot, just as he was even then suffering damnation in being banished from heaven. The evil spirits thus were obliged to recognize in Christ their future Judge, wanted to be rid of His presence, and yet must plead for the slightest favor and extension of time. For though the place of torment is even now their home, yet, by God's permission, in the interval before the last Judgment, they have power to torture and destroy God's creatures on earth. They, more than anyone else, dread the last Judgment. For then the place of torment will become a dungeon from which there is no escape and no hope of the slightest reprieve. Then they will see and feel nothing but the fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels. Then the torture of damnation will never have an end, 2 Peter 2:4. This cry of terror was occasioned by the fact that Christ was just about to say (conative imperfect); it was evident from Christ's manner and look that it was on His tongue to speak the word which would release the poor sufferer from the clutches of his tormentors. Christ now permits an intermission in the proceedings lest the evil spirits vent their spite on the man. He asked the demoniac: What name is thine? And the answer, with the explanation, was: Legion, on account of their great number. Not only one unclean spirit was here devastating the temple of the poor man's body, but a host of them. For the Roman legion comprised a number of between five and six thousand men, and the members of such a body were united under iron discipline. The name was thus the "emblem of irresistible power and of a multitude organized into unity. " The devil is not so listless in his method of attack as the Christians are in warding it off. Not only does he walk about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he might devour, but he has his armies, the spirits of darkness, trained in obedience and concerted attack. The spirits now begged Jesus not to send them out of this region which they seem to have favored on account of the nature of the population. It is a strange thing to find the devil pleading with the Lord for a favor; but if it suits his plans, he can be most abject.
The casting out:
v. 11. Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.
v. 12. And all the devils besought Him, saying, Send us into the swine that we may enter into them.
v. 13. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out and entered into the swine; and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.
Not in the immediate vicinity of the speaker, but at some distance, yet in plain sight, on the slope of the hills near the sea, there was a large herd of swine grazing. To the Jews, swine were unclean animals, and they were not allowed to eat them. But here on the border the inhabitants were influenced but little by Jewish customs and laws. The evil spirits knew that Jesus would not give them permission to enter into any man , and therefore they wanted to vent their spite and helpless anger on dumb animals. They changed their plea to this effect, that they might take possession of the swine. The devil is a murderer from the beginning. If he cannot destroy the soul of man, he takes possession of the body; and when this is forbidden him, he tortures brute beasts. His one desire is to destroy the life which God has created. Jesus here permitted, gave leave to, the spirits to do as they had asked; it was better that animals should perish than that man, made in the image of God, should be tormented. The result: With a mighty uproar the swine, numbering about two thousand, cast themselves down the precipice overhanging the sea, and were drowned in the water. The devil, in his work of destruction, is not permitted to go one step farther than God gives him leave. Note: Why it is that God sometimes permits the spirits of darkness and destruction to work harm to His creation is one of the secrets which our weak reason cannot fathom. We know only so much, that the loss of money and goods are chastisements of God, by which He intends to rouse men out of their security.
The effect of the miracle:
v. 14. And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done.
v. 15. And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind; and they were afraid.
v. 16. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine.
v. 17. And they began to pray Him to depart out of their coasts.
A sad sequel: pigs held in higher esteem than man. Note the pithy, vivid narration of the evangelist. The swine herders fled and announced to the owners in the city and the vicinity the fate of their property, and these came to verify the report, probably with some resentment against the man that had deprived them, even if only indirectly, of their swine. Their way led directly to Jesus, and they could now gain the conviction that the former demoniac was thoroughly healed. He that had formerly run through the hills with loud cries now sat at the feet of Jesus as quietly as anyone else might have done; he that had formerly discarded all clothing was now fully clothed; he that had formerly raved in madness now had the full use of his mind and senses. It was a sight which might well fill them with fear. And as they were standing around, the witnesses of the miracle related the entire story, the cure and the subsequent catastrophe, which had resulted in the loss of the swine. Jesus, by this miracle, had again proved Himself the mighty Deliverer from the power of Satan. This much must be evident to all. It was a visitation of mercy upon these people that the great Prophet from Galilee had come into their midst. But here it proved to be true what experience testifies to in a thousand cases: the power of the devil over the heart of man is more insidious and terrible than that over the members. The eyes of these people were not opened. They began, all of them, to urge Him to leave the country. "They took heart to desire Christ's departure, in a conflict of fear and anger, of fawning and obstinacy. " They spurned the time of their visitation. The Lord often tries people whom He would make His own, by sending them some form of misfortune to cause them to turn from the service of earthly things to Him. But they do not know the things that belong to their peace, they are hidden from their eyes. They feel resentment against the Lord, they refuse to accept His mercy, and choose for themselves the path that leads to destruction.
Christ gives further evidence of His mercy:
v. 18. And when He was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed Him that he might be with Him.
v. 19. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
v. 20. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him. And all men did marvel.
Jesus embarked again" He went into the boat. Since the people of the region showed such a hostile spirit from the start and did not consider themselves worthy of eternal life, He left them with the animals they loved more. But one there was that had felt more than a bodily healing in himself, the former demoniac. He begged the Lord, while the latter was embarking, to be permitted to be with Him, to become a regular disciple. It was not the fear of the return of the demons that caused the plea, but the knowledge that here was a Healer of the soul as well as of the body. But Jesus refused his petition, since He had a different plan in mind. His time of mercy for the people of this region had not yet come to an end. He commissioned this man to be the first heathen preacher. He should return to his home and to his relatives, giving them a full account of the help which he had experienced, and above all of the mercy of Jesus. Of all the blessings and benefits which we praise as the gift of the Lord the greatest is that of His mercy in Jesus Christ the Savior. And the man did even more than the Lord had given him to perform. Beginning, no doubt, in his own family circle, he became a messenger throughout that entire country. The Decapolis, or the region of the ten cities, was that part of Palestine that lay southeast and east of the Sea of Galilee, including parts of Perea and Gaulanitis. Throughout this region he proclaimed his message, seconded undoubtedly by the other demoniac. And the heathen population, which for the most part inhabited this country, was deeply impressed. They all were filled with wonder. Whether there was any other result is not related. At any rate, they had the opportunity of learning to know the great Prophet, who was willing and anxious to give them the assurance of His everlasting grace and mercy and thus to fulfill the object of the Gospel in them. It is ever thus that the message of the great miracles of God for the salvation of men arouses curiosity and wonder. But the Gospel also always works, at least in some people, a cheerful assent and acceptance of the news that will save their souls.
Concerning possession by demoniacs and its healing we have reports only in the first three gospels, while John makes no mention of these miracles of Jesus. It is peculiar, also, that the narratives of the healing of people possessed with evil spirits are confined to the ministry of Christ in Galilee. In all accounts there is no instance of a miracle of this kind during the last part of the Lord's life, in Judea. Mark, who gives the most complete account of these healings, mentions four cases: the healing of the demoniac in the synagogue of Capernaum, 1:23-27; Luke 4:1-44; the healing of the Gadarene, 5:1-13; Matthew 8:1-34; Luke 8:1-56; the daughter of the Syrophoenician woman, 7:24-30; Matthew 15:1-39; the healing of the boy with the dumb spirit, whose father had first brought him to the disciples. a lunatic, 9:17-29; Matthew 17:1-27; Luke 9:1-62. Mark also, besides mentioning the fact that Jesus cast out many devils, 1:34, speaks of the healing of Mary Magdalene, from whom the Lord cast out seven devils, 16:9. Details of this healing are not given in the Scriptures. The other evangelists mention or describe the following cases: the healing of the dumb man that was possessed with a devil, Matthew 9:32-33; the healing of one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb, Matthew 12:22; the healing of the woman that had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself, Luke 13:11.
In many cases the details are not given. "He suffered not the devils to speak," Mark 1:34; "He cast out devils," 1:39; "unclean spirits fell down before Him," 3:11-12. We are told also that the Lord gave His disciples power over unclean spirits, Mark 6:7, and that the latter cast out many devils, v. 13. The seventy returned with the report that even the devils were subject to them through the Lord's name, Luke 10:17; and Christ gave His disciples the final promise, before His ascension: "In My name shall they cast out devils," Mark 16:17.
In general, it may be said that in all these cases only such symptoms are named as are found also in the case of the usual sicknesses: deaf, dumb, blind, epileptic, lame, and insane. But there are three points which plainly distinguish the cases mentioned in the gospels from ordinary diseases with similar symptoms: They say things which they cannot possibly know in the natural order of things, namely, that Jesus is the Son of the most high God, that He is the Son of God, etc. ; they possess supernatural strength, they cannot be held with chains and fetters; in the case of the Gadarene demoniacs, they caused the whole herd of swine to cast themselves into the sea.
In addition to this, it should be noted that Mark distinguishes the demoniacs from the ordinary sick people by the words: "He healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils," 1:34, and: "They brought unto Him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils," v. 32. It would therefore not be correct to say that these demoniacs were simply ill, and that the devil had received permission from God to transmit to them a special disease, as in the case of Job. The healing of demoniacs implied more than that. It meant actually that people were possessed by evil spirits that tormented them in some peculiar fashion, made them ill, caused them to do and say things which they would not have thought of otherwise, and in other ways vented their spite on them, and that Jesus drove these spirits out.
In regard to the question whether this peculiar malady, possession of evil spirits, is still found in our days, and especially, whether this is true in individual cases, it is best to hold opinion and judgment in abeyance. People have confessed in some cases that they could actually feel the power of the devil, who also tormented them in their body in a most excruciating manner. But we have no Scriptural ground for assuming the existence of this form of disease in our days. But that is true and cannot be denied, that Satan takes possession of the heart and mind of man, makes him spiritually blind, dead, and an enemy of God. He has his constant work in the children of unbelief, and also makes use of every opportunity to hurt and harm us in our body and in our earthly possessions, in so far as God permits this, either as a divine punishment or as a fatherly chastisement.
Raising of the Daughter of Jairus.
The prayer of Jairus:
v. 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.
v. 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,
v. 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.
v. 24. And Jesus went with him; and much people followed Him and thronged Him.
Mark relates this story at greater length, with closer attention to detail than the other evangelists, Matthew 9:18; Luke 8:41, except in the matter of symptoms of the sickness, in which Luke, the physician, is more exact. Upon leaving the country of the Gerasenes, Jesus sailed directly across the sea, back to the region which He had left only the day before. Most of the people had undoubtedly not yet thought of returning home, and they could therefore soon assemble once more and come to Him, as He was by the Sea. They gladly received Him, for they were all waiting for Him, Luke 8:41. But before He had had an opportunity of performing the work of His ministry, as was His custom, one of the chief men, of the rulers of the local synagogue, whose name was Jairus, came, looking for Jesus. As soon as he saw the Lord, the distraught father fell down at His feet and begged and urged Him most earnestly, with many words. The words pour forth from his mouth in the anxiety of his pleading: My daughter is about breathing her last; she may even now be dead. Come at once and quickly; lay Thy hands upon her that she may be healed and live. Jesus, after His usual manner of kind sympathy and willingness to help, did not tarry by the seaside, but turned at once to go after the pleading father. It was, as usual, the faith implied and expressed in his words that impressed the Lord. Jairus was sure he was possessed of unshakable faith that Jesus could perform this miracle, this cure. He sees the fulfillment of his wish, if Christ would but consent to come. But he must first pass through a test of his patience. Mark notes especially that the people pressed around the Lord from all sides; He jostled and pushed with the crowd.
The woman with an issue of blood:
v. 25. And a certain woman, which had had an issue of blood twelve years,
v. 26. and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse,
v. 27. when she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched His garment.
v. 28. For she said, If I may touch but His clothes, I shall be whole.
v. 29. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
While Jesus was, at the urging of Jairus, hurrying towards his house, there was an interruption on the way. A woman, otherwise unknown, had had an issue of blood for twelve years, which rendered her Levitically unclean, Leviticus 15:25. It excluded her from public worship in Temple and synagogue, and isolated her even from the company of her relatives. The manner of Mark's putting it is rather expressive: She had suffered much from, at the hands of, many physicians; she had become impoverished, she had spent all her substance in her quest for health; and all this had been of no benefit to her; instead of getting better she rather became worse. This description is particularly suitable in the case of those people, both within and without the medical profession, who think that science is paramount and must say the last word. In spite of the great advance in medicine and surgery in the last century, and especially during the last decades, there are still many individual sicknesses and epidemics that baffle the entire medical profession. This is not said in disparagement of the profession, but in the interest of truth. People that make the doctor their god, and trust in him absolutely, may under circumstances find themselves in the position of this woman. It remains true to this day, and the more skillful and conscientious the physician is, the more freely will he acknowledge it: the Lord must direct the diagnosis and bless the medicine, otherwise the science of the greatest physician will avail nothing. This woman had now heard of Jesus, the many laudatory things that were being circulated through the country concerning His ability and willingness to work healing in cases which seemed hopeless. Her condition and the consciousness of her Levitical uncleanness, also her deep humility would not permit her to come forth openly before the multitude and address the Lord. From what she had heard concerning Him, she had come to believe with a conviction born of faith in this Messiah of the world, that the mere touch of the hem of His garment would restore her health. She could carry out her intention all the more easily in this great crowd since they pressed upon the Lord. She hoped thus to remain unobserved. Only to touch His clothes, that was her one thought. And her faith was rewarded. Without delay, at once, the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she knew with a happy conviction that her body was cured of that scourge which the Lord had laid upon her these many years. There is food for thought, as Luther suggests, in the fact that the Buffering of this woman had begun at the same time that the daughter of Jairus had come to gladden the hearts of her parents. To bear such a burden as this woman did for so many years, and then to be released from the afflicting bonds, is an experience which should rightly cause the deepest thankfulness in the hearts of all such sufferers.
The woman's confession:
v. 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?
v. 31. And His disciples said unto Him, Thou seest the multitude thronging Thee, and sayest Thou, Who touched Me?
v. 32. And He looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
v. 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.
v. 34. And He said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
Jesus, the almighty God, is also omniscient. He knew all the while what the poor woman had been planning in her anxiety to regain her health. He was also fully conscious in Himself that a miraculous power had gone forth from Him. He had permitted the people before to touch Him in order to be made whole, chapter 3:10. But here was a case in which the woman had taken the liberty, in trusting faith, to draw the healing power out of Him. So He made ready to test her faith. Turning round, He inquired whether anyone had touched His clothes, or, more exactly: Who touched My clothes? And He immediately looked about to see whether the woman would confess. To the disciples His question seemed more than strange. He was in the midst of the crowd, jostled on all sides. Why, then, ask the question as to who had touched Him? But the woman realized that her act had been discovered and was known to the Lord. She was trembling with fear for her daring, and therefore came, fell down before Him, and told Him the whole truth, the entire story of her illness and its misery and suffering, and the hopes that she had entertained since learning of His wonderful miracles of healing would but practice this method of dealing with the Lord oftener, there would be less suffering in the world. He is always ready to hear the recital of all our woes and trials; and He is willing to help us at all times. His help may not always be along the lines that we think right, but it will always be in the way that is best for us. "Such touching the Lord does not want to permit to be secret; as an example to us. Therefore He urges the woman with His questions that she must come forward and permit herself to be seen, also tell everything that had been done to her publicly before everybody, in order that He may have cause to praise such faith and teach us all what a cheerful service it is for Him, if we console ourselves with His help and expect nothing but good from Him. Therefore He praises the woman so highly and speaks to her so encouragingly: Be of good cheer, daughter; thy faith hath helped thee. There the disciples themselves must admit that the Lord has not asked in vain, and that it was not an ordinary touching, but something out of the ordinary, upon which much depends for the Lord and for ourselves. But it is a peculiar speech which Jesus here makes, if we would think of it. He confesses that a power has gone forth from Him. As the woman now stands before the Lord and confesses the benefit, He does not show that such power has gone forth from Him, but ascribes it to the faith of the woman, although not she herself, but the Lord had helped her. This the Lord does for this reason, to indicate how well that pleases Him if thou expect everything good from Him and seek help from Him. As though He would say: Watch closely and learn cheerfully to believe, no matter in what trouble you happen to be; for I would much rather help you than you are able to ask it. I would much rather deliver you from death than that you desire life, as He here gives evidence with His action, where it is so easily done, and He so gladly permits the power to go from Him. " That word: Thy faith hath healed thee, gives the real reason for the cure. True faith can do anything in the sight of God, but its special strength lies in the spiritual field. The trust growing out of redeeming faith must be a conviction so firm, so undoubting, that it is ready to storm heaven itself, by His promise. And this conviction, that they can do all things through Christ that strengtheneth them, must live in all Christians.
Jesus reassures Jairus:
v. 35. 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?
v. 36. As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe!
v. 37. And He suffered no man to follow Him, save Peter, and James, and John, the brother of James.
The delay caused by the woman had made Jesus and the entire multitude stop for some time, perhaps for five to ten minutes, with Jairus in the throes of impatience. And Jesus had not yet finished His comforting words to the woman that had been healed in such a miraculous manner, when some messengers from the house of the ruler brought the overwhelming news that the girl had died, that she was even now lying there dead, lifeless. There could be no doubt as to this fact, and that fact also, in the opinion of the messengers, settled the question. This being so, why should Jairus persist in vexing, molesting the Lord, the great Teacher; it was all useless now. These servants had been willing enough to concede that the great Prophet might be able to heal a person, to drive away a sickness, but His art and power could not be expected to avail anything in the case of death. Jesus heard this communication, and it gave Him much concern. Jairus had proved himself one that trusted in the Lord, but with the present intelligence there was danger that his confidence would be lost. So Jesus gave him a word which was to hold his wavering confidence,: Fear not; only believe! Fear is incompatible with faith, Romans 8:15; Isaiah 12:2; 2 Timothy 1:7; 1 John 4:18. Firm trust in the power of the Savior was now more necessary than ever, for death had claimed the girl as his victim, and the father should feel that Christ was able to call her back even from the land of the departed. And now Jesus did a surprising, unusual thing: He turned back, not only the multitude, but even His disciples, with the exception of His most intimate friends, Peter, James, and John. The miracle which was to take place in this house was not to be performed before the inquisitive gaze of an unappreciative multitude, nor before such as were not soundly balanced in their relation to Him.
Recalling the dead girl to life:
v. 38. And He cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly.
v. 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.
v. 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.
v. 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.
v. 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.
v. 43. And He charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.
Upon arriving at the house of Jairus, they were met by sights and sounds that emphasized the fact of a dead person's being on the premises. Even the poorest Jews felt constrained to hire two pipers and at least one woman to take care of the mourning in the case of a death. Note: Mark calls attention, above all, to the turmoil, to the confused din caused by the many mourners; Matthew speaks of the minstrels and the piping; Luke refers to the weeping and bewailing. They were busily engaged when Jesus stepped into the house with His companions, weeping and howling without restraint. But Jesus took charge of the situation at once. He reproached them for the noise they were making, stating that the child was not dead, but sleeping. Those were the words of a man that lived in the certainty of the resurrection, Jesus Christ, the Master of death, who has conquered and bound death. "These words we should diligently note, that the Lord here says: The damsel is not dead, but sleepeth; for they are comforting words, for which, if they were purchasable, we should gladly pay all, in order that we might remember, understand, and believe them. For he that can look upon a dead person as though he were merely lying in bed; he that can change his eyesight so that he can look upon death as a sleep,-he might well boast of a peculiar art, which no man otherwise possesses. Therefore learn from this gospel that death, in the sight of Christ the Lord, is nothing but a sleep, as we see here that He wakes the dead maiden with the hand, as out of a sleep. " The derisive laughter of the official mourners did not deter the Lord for a minute. He cast them all out of the house, not one as permitted to remain as witness of the miracle. He then took the father and mother of the maiden, as the parents, and His three disciples as witnesses, went into the room of death, grasped the maiden by the hand, and spoke the almighty words: Maiden, arise. He used the Aramaic language, which was probably the tongue which He learned as a boy, and which He commonly employed in His discourses. Mark translates the words for the sake of his Roman readers. Death was obliged to flee at the words of Christ, it must yield its hold on the maiden's body. The girl could get up from her couch, she could walk about, she could partake of food; in short, she was returned to life, she was fully recovered. And she could now sustain life by the usual means. No wonder that those present, parents and disciples, were astonished and wrought up almost to ecstasy, since this miracle was the first one to show the power of Christ over the most dreaded enemy of mankind. Jesus finally gave them all orders that they should not make it public. He wants no false Messianic hopes to be aroused, and the way and manner of the restoration should also not be made a matter of common talk. Especially should the expectation of the repetition of such acts not be awakened in the people, lest His ministry be seriously interfered with. We have in Jesus, to this day, the Lord that can save from death. And when Christ, our Life, will be made manifest on that great day, then He will awaken, by the almighty power of His voice, all our dead relatives and friends, and will take all that died in the faith in Him, into the eternal home above which He has prepared for them that love Him. "We should, then, learn from this gospel that all misfortune, no matter how great it appears before thine eyes, is before our Lord Jesus less than nothing. For since death in a Christian is nothing, then blindness, leprosy, pestilence, and other sickness must be still smaller and of less import. Therefore, if Thou seest sin, sickness, poverty, or anything else in thee, do not let this terrify thee; close thy carnal eyes and open the spiritual ones, and say: I am a Christian, and I have a Lord who with one word can stop all this foolishness; why should I be so seriously worried about it? For certain it is, as easily as Christ helps this maiden out of bodily death, in which she was lying, so easily will He help us also, if only we believe and trust Him to help us."
Summary. Jesus drives out the devils from the Gadarene demoniac and makes him His witness in the region of Decapolis; He then returns to the west side of the sea, heals the, woman with the issue of blood, and raises the daughter of Jairus from the dead.
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Mark 5". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent