Actually, the miracle previously considered was “a miracle within a miracle,” for Jesus was “on the wing,” as it were, during His journey through a busy city street to the house of Jairus to heal his young daughter. Thus the healing of the woman with an issue of blood was a story folded in a story and vividly illustrates the swift and strenuous ministry of Jesus while in Galilee. The wayside incident of the sick woman and her sudden care as she touched Jesus was an interruption in His walk in response to the call of Jairus. But what a miracle He performed during that interruption. Often when extremely busy we resent any interruption, but Jesus turned interruptions to good account.
The subject of this cameo comes before us nameless in her girlhood, just as her mother who shared the deep anxiety of Jairus over their child, is also nameless. Unlike many other unidentified feminine lives and characters, the part of this girl of twelve summers is a passive, not an active one in the Bible record. The woman Jesus healed on the way to her, suffered for twelve years—the girl herself was twelve years of age. What a blow it is to a family where love reigns, when one of its members is taken in life’s fair morning. The miracle Jesus performed in raising Jairus' daughter from the dead marked the beginning of the end for Jesus, who was being closely watched by the Sanhedrin whose members hated Him and sought His death. There were not many happy days left to Him in Galilee, and “when He raised up the little maid of Israel it was as if, by a sweet domestic deed of love, He sought to leave in His cherished city one young life to shed its gratitude on His path of pain, and assure one welcome if ever again He came to His own and His own received Him not. He had saved perhaps, a future Christian mother.” We would like to believe that when the resurrected Jewish maid grew up that she was numbered among the saints who loved and worshiped the Redeemer, and who held communion with His risen life. For those wishing to develop a message on the petition of Jairus and the raising of his daughter from the dead, the following outline might help—
Jairus was “a ruler of the synagogue,” and was presumably a man of no small worldly means with an inherited distinction, as well as a personal one. Yet with all his pedigree position and possessions he was unable to do anything for his dear daughter’s relief. His coming to Christ proves how He reached out to all classes, lowly and great, just as the sun shines on a hovel as well as a palace. The religious rulers of which Jairus was one, were, as a body, adverse to the claims of Christ (Isaiah 53:3; Matthew 11:19; John 10:20). The appearance and social position of Jesus, poorly clad and poor did not mark Him out as the expected Messiah. But one of these rulers had the moral courage to manifest his faith in Christ’s authority, and the homage he paid Him is a miniature anticipation of the universal adulation He will yet receive (Romans 14:11).
Falling at the feet of Jesus, Jairus presented his request, “My little daughter is at the point of death.” Trouble, a common heritage, attracted him to the Man of Sorrows, acquainted with human grief, and in a greater Ruler he found relief.
Trials give new life to prayer;
Trials bring me to His feet,
Lay me low and keep me there.
This ruler with his most urgent mission was delayed by the interruption of the healing of the woman with the issue of blood. Every moment counted if the life of his daughter was to be saved. Yet the healing “on the wing” as Jesus was making His way to the home of Jairus was an encouragement to his faith. He believed that once the hand of Jesus was laid upon the fatally sick girl that she would live, but his faith was tried when word reached him as he was soliciting Christ’s aid that his daughter had died. However, such an announcement made more room for trust in Christ’s power. While the sad news added the last pang to his sorrow, his faith did not weaken. Had not he sought the aid of One who had raised the widow’s son at Nain?
The grief-stricken father had the best of promises whispered by Jesus, “Fear not, only believe.” What a staff to lean upon that was in the shadow of death! How faith receives strength from the divine promises! (2 Peter 1:4; 3:13). At last Jesus reached the death-stricken home and the ruler’s faith was honored when his child was raised to life. The hired mourners attracted attention by their “weeping” and “laughing” (Mark 5:39, 40). With authority He rebuked the unseemly noise of those whose presence in the death chamber was an impertinence. Those professional mourners mocked Jesus when He said, “The little girl is not dead, but asleep”—sleep, referring to the body (see John 11:11-13; 12:1).
What praise and adoration must have filled the heart of Jairus as he witnessed Christ’s power as “The Resurrection and the Life.” With the weeping mother and sorrowful father, along with Peter, James and John, Jesus went into the room where the young girl was lying in a dreamless world. Already she had heard the heavenly voice saying, “Come up hither!” Now she was to hear the majestic voice of One who could command both worlds.
Standing by the little bed, Jesus took one of the girl’s cold hands in His and tenderly said in her own Aramaic tongue, “Rise up, little maid!” No lengthened process was necessary once His divine hand had been put forth. Quickened by His word and touch, the dead girl revived, saw the Saviour and got out of bed and walked. In his description of the miracle, Luke the physician says, “her spirit came again ... her parents were astonished.” The command of Jesus that the grateful parents should not publicize the miracle was meant to guard them against the temptation to talk unnecessarily about the wonderful event, and thereby lose the full benefit of the blessing they had received. Then when Jesus further requested that food be given to the resurrected girl, He revealed how practical He was, and how He fully recognized and honored natural laws. Yet in spite of the silence imposed on Jairus and his nameless wife whose praise for Jesus knew no bounds, the two miracles of that brief period caused His fame to spread “abroad through all the land.” Thus a woman with her helpless disease of twelve years charmed away in a moment, and the extinguished life of a girl twelve years of age lit again, to burn in gratitude, both lived to glorify the Lord and Giver of life. How Jairus, his wife and restored daughter must have become bound to Jesus in loyal faith, and consoled His lonely heart when friends who misunderstood His mission “walked no more with him.”