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5. Miracles of Jesus
1And they came to the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gerasenes. 2And when he was come out of the boat, straightway there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3who had his dwelling in the tombs: and no man could any more bind him, no, not with a chain; 4because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been rent asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: and no man had strength to tame him. 5And always, night and day, in the tombs and in the mountains, he was crying out, and cutting himself with stones. 6And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshipped him; 7and crying out with a loud voice, he saith, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the Most High God? I adjure thee by God, torment me not. 8For he said unto him, Come forth, thou unclean spirit, out of the man. 9And he asked him, What is thy name? And he saith unto him, My name is Legion; for we are many. 10And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. 11Now there was there on the mountain side a great herd of swine feeding. 12And they besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. 13And he gave them leave. And the unclean spirits came out, and entered into the swine: and the herd rushed down the steep into the sea, in number about two thousand; and they were drowned in the sea. 14And they that fed them fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they came to see what it was that had come to pass. 15And they come to Jesus, and behold him that was possessed with demons sitting, clothed and in his right mind, even him that had the legion: and they were afraid. 16And they that saw it declared unto them how it befell him that was possessed with demons, and concerning the swine. 17And they began to beseech him to depart from their borders. 18And as he was entering into the boat, he that had been possessed with demons besought him that he might be with him. 19And he suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go to thy house unto thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and how he had mercy on thee. 20And he went his way, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men marvelled. 21And when Jesus had crossed over again in the boat unto the other side, a great multitude was gathered unto him; and he was by the sea. 22And there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and seeing him, he falleth at his feet, 23and beseecheth him much, saying, My little daughter is at the point of death: I pray thee, that thou come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be made whole, and live. 24And he went with him; and a great multitude followed him, and they thronged him. 25And a woman, who had an issue of blood twelve years, 26and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, 27having heard the things concerning Jesus, came in the crowd behind, and touched his garment. 28For she said, If I touch but his garments, I shall be made whole. 29And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her plague. 30And straightway Jesus, perceiving in himself that the power proceeding from him had gone forth, turned him about in the crowd, and said, Who touched my garments? 31And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? 32And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. 33But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what had been done to her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. 34And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague. 35While he yet spake, they come from the ruler of the synagogue's house saying, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Teacher any further? 36But Jesus, not heeding the word spoken, saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Fear not, only believe. 37And he suffered no man to follow with him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James. 38And they come to the house of the ruler of the synagogue; and he beholdeth a tumult, and many weeping and wailing greatly. 39And when he was entered in, he saith unto them, Why make ye a tumult, and weep? the child is not dead, but sleepeth. 40And they laughed him to scorn. But he, having put them all forth, taketh the father of the child and her mother and them that were with him, and goeth in where the child was. 41And taking the child by the hand, he saith unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, Arise. 42And straightway the damsel rose up, and walked; for she was twelve years old. And they were amazed straightway with a great amazement. 43And he charged them much that no man should know this: and he commanded that something should be given her to eat.
The Healing of the Bloody Issue.
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.
The Gadarenes having desired Christ to leave their country, he did not stay to trouble them long, but presently went by water, as he came, back to the other side (v. 21), and there much people gathered to him. Note, If there be some that reject Christ, yet there are others that receive him, and bid him welcome. A despised gospel will cross the water, and go where it will have better entertainment. Now among the many that applied themselves to him,
I. Here is one, that comes openly to beg a cure for a sick child; and it is no less a person than one of the rulers of the synagogue, one that presided in the synagogue-worship or, as some think, one of the judges of the consistory court, which was in every city, consisting of twenty-three. He was not named in Matthew, he is here, Jairus, or Jair, Judg. x. 3. He addressed himself to Christ, though a ruler, with great humility and reverence; When he saw him, he fell at his feet, giving honour to him as one really greater than he appeared to be; and with great importunity, he besought him greatly, as one in earnest, as one that not only valued the mercy he came for, but that knew he could obtain it no where else. The case is this, He has a little daughter, about twelve years old, the darling of the family, and she lies a dying; but he believes that if Christ will but come, and lay his hands upon her, she will return even from the gates of the grave. He said, at first, when he came, She lies a dying (so Mark); but afterward, upon fresh information sent him, he saith, She is even now dead (so Matthew); but he still prosecutes his suit; see Luke viii. 42-49. Christ readily agreed, and went with him, v. 24.
II. Here is another, that comes clandestinely to steal a cure (if I may so say) for herself; and she got the relief she came for. This cure was wrought by the way, as he was going to raise the ruler's daughter, and was followed by a crowd. See how Christ improved his time, and lost none of the precious moments of it. Many of his discourses, and some of his miracles, are dates by the way-side; we should be doing good, not only when we sit in the house, but when we walk by the way, Deut. vi. 7. Now observe,
1. The piteous case of this poor woman. She had a constant issue of blood upon her, for twelve years, which had thrown her, no doubt, into great weakness, had embittered the comfort of her life, and threatened to be her death in a little time. She had had the best advice of physicians, that she could get, and had made use of the many medicines and methods they prescribed: as long as she had any thing to give them, they had kept her in hopes that they could cure her; but now that she had spent all she had among them, they gave her up as incurable. See here, (1.) That skin for skin, and all that a man has, will be give for life and health; she spent all she had upon physicians. (2.) It is ill with those patients whose physicians are their worst disease; who suffer by their physicians, instead of being relieved by them. (3.) Those that are not bettered by medicines, commonly grow worse, and the disease gets the more ground. (4.) It is usual with people not to apply themselves to Christ, till they have tried in vain all other helpers, and find them, as certainly they will, physicians of no value. And he will be found a sure refuge, even to those who make him their last refuge.
2. The strong faith that she had in the power of Christ to heal her; she said within herself, though it doth not appear that she was encouraged by any preceding instance to say it, If I may but touch his clothes, I shall be whole, v. 28. She believed that he cured, not as a prophet, by virtue derived from God, but as the Son of God, by a virtue inherent in himself. Her case was such as she could not in modesty tell him publicly, as others did their grievances, and therefore a private cure was what she wished for, and her faith was suited to her case.
3. The wonderful effect produced by it; She came in the crowd behind him, and with much ado got to touch his garment, and immediately she felt the cure wrought, v. 29. The flux of blood was dried up, and she felt herself perfectly well all over her, as well as ever she was in her life, in an instant; by this it appears that the cure was altogether miraculous; for those that in such cases are cured by natural means, recover their strength slowly and gradually, and not per saltum—all at once; but as for God, his work is perfect. Note, Those whom Christ heals of the disease of sin, that bloody issue, cannot but experience in themselves a universal change for the better.
4. Christ's enquiry after his concealed patient, and the encouragement he gave her, upon the discovery of her; Christ knew in himself that virtue had gone out of him, v. 30. He knew it not by any deficiency of spirits, through the exhausting of this virtue, but rather by an agility of spirits, in the exerting of it, and the innate and inseparable pleasure he had in doing good. And being desirous to see his patient, he asked, not in displeasure, as one affronted, but in tenderness, as one concerned, Who touched my clothes? The disciples, not without a show of rudeness and indecency, almost ridiculed his question (v. 31); The multitudes throng thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? As if it had been an improper question. Christ passed by the affront, and looks around to see her that had done this thing; not that he might blame her for her presumption, but that he might commend and encourage her faith, and by his own act and deed might warrant and confirm the cure, and ratify to her that which she had surreptitiously obtained. He needed not that any should inform him, for he had presently his eye upon her. Note, As secret acts of sin, so secret acts of faith, are known to the Lord Jesus, and are under his eye. If believers derive virtue from Christ ever so closely, he knows it, and is pleased with it. The poor woman, hereupon, presented herself to the Lord Jesus (v. 33), fearing and trembling, not knowing how he would take it. Note, Christ's patients are often trembling, when they have reason to be triumphing. She might have come boldly, knowing what was done in her; yet, knowing that, she fears and trembles. It was a surprise, and was not yet, as it should have been, a pleasing surprise. However, she fell down before him. Note, There is nothing better for those that fear and tremble, than to throw themselves at the feet of the Lord Jesus; to humble themselves before him, and refer themselves to him. And she told him all the truth. Note, We must not be ashamed to own the secret transactions between Christ and our souls; but, when called to it, mention, to his praise, and the encouragement of others, what he has done for our souls, and the experience we have had of healing virtue derived from him. And the consideration of this, that nothing can be hid from Christ, should engage us to confess all to him. See what an encouraging word he gave her (v. 34); Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole. Note, Christ puts honour upon faith, because faith gives honour to Christ. But see how what is done by faith on earth is ratified in heaven; Christ saith, Be whole of thy disease. Note, If our faith sets the seal of its amen to the power and promise of God, saying, "So it is, and so let it be to me;" God's grace will set the seal of its amen to the prayers and hopes of faith, saying, "So be it, and so it shall be, to thee." And therefore, "Go in peace; be well satisfied that thy cure is honestly come by, is effectually wrought, and take the comfort of it." Note, They that by faith are healed of their spiritual diseases, have reason to go in peace.