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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 Daughter of Jairus Restored to Life.
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? 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.
Diseases and deaths came into the world by the sin and disobedience of the first Adam; but by the grace of the second Adam both are conquered. Christ, having healed an incurable disease, here goes on to triumph over death, as in the beginning of the chapter he had triumphed over an outrageous devil.
I. The melancholy news is brought to Jairus, that his daughter is dead, and therefore, if Christ be as other physicians, he comes too late. While there is life, there is hope, and room for the use of means; but when life is gone, it is past recall; Why troublest thou the Master any further? v. 35. Ordinarily, the proper thought in this case, is, "The matter is determined, the will of God is done, and I submit, I acquiesce; The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away. While the child was alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, Who can tell but God will yet be gracious to me, and the child shall live? But now that it is dead, wherefore should I weep? I shall go to it, but it shall not return to me." With such words we should quiet ourselves at such a time, that our souls may be as a child that is weaned from his mother: but there the case was extraordinary; the death of the child doth not, as usually, put an end to the narrative.
II. Christ encourageth the afflicted father yet to hope that his application to Christ on the behalf of his child should not be in vain. Christ had staid to work a cure by the way, but he shall be no sufferer by that, nor loser by the gain of others; Be not afraid, only believe. We may suppose Jairus at a pause, whether he should ask Christ to go on or no; but have we not as much occasion for the grace of God, and his consolations, and consequently of the prayers of our ministers and Christian friends, when death is in the house, as when sickness is? Christ therefore soon determines this matter; "Be not afraid that my coming will be to no purpose, only believe that I will make it turn to a good account." Note, 1. We must not despair concerning our relations that are dead, nor sorrow for them as those that have no hope. See what is said to Rachel, who refused to be comforted concerning her children, upon the presumption that they were not; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears; for there is hope in thine end, that thy children shall come again, Jer. xxxi. 16, 17. Therefore fear not, faint not. 2. Faith is the only remedy against disquieting grief and fear at such a time: let that silence them, Only believe. Keep up a confidence in Christ, and a dependence upon him, and he will do what is for the best. Believe the resurrection, and then be not afraid.
III. He went with a select company to the house where the dead child was. He had, by the crowd that attended him, given advantage to the poor woman he last healed, and, having done that, now he shook off the crowd, and suffered no man to follow him (to follow with him, so the word is), but his three bosom-disciples, Peter, and James, and John; a competent number to be witnesses of the miracle, but not such a number as that his taking them with him might look like vainglory.
IV. He raised the dead child to life; the circumstances of the narrative here are much the same as we had them in Matthew; only here we may observe,
1. That the child was extremely well beloved, for the relations and neighbours wept and wailed greatly. It is very afflictive when that which is come forth like a flower is so soon cut down, and withereth before it is grown up; when that grieves us, of which we said, This same shall comfort us.
2. That it was evident beyond dispute, that the child was really and truly dead. Their laughing Christ to scorn, for saying, She is not dead, but sleepeth, though highly reprehensible, serves for the proof of this.
3. That Christ put those out as unworthy to be witnesses of the miracle, who were noisy in their sorrow, and were so ignorant in the things of God, as not to understand him when he spoke of death as a sleep, or so scornful, as to ridicule him for it.
4. That he took the parents of the child to be witnesses of the miracle, because in it he had an eye to their faith, and designed it for their comfort, who were the true, for they were the silent mourners.
5. That Christ raised the child to life by a word of power, which is recorded here, and recorded in Syriac, the language in which Christ spoke, for the greater certainty of the thing; Talitha, cumi; Damsel, I say unto thee, Arise. Dr. Lightfoot saith, It was customary with the Jews, when they gave physic to one that was sick, to say, Arise from thy disease; meaning, We wish thou mayest arise: but to one that was dead, Christ said, Arise from the dead; meaning, I command that thou arise; nay, there is more in it—the dead have not power to arise, therefore power goes along with this word, to make it effectual. Da quod jubes, et jube quod vis—Give what thou commandest, and command what thou wilt. Christ works while he commands, and works by the command, and therefore may command what he pleaseth, even the dead to arise. Such is the gospel call to those that are by nature dead in trespasses and sins, and can no more rise from that death by their own power, than this child could; and yet that word, Awake, and arise from the dead, is neither vain, nor in vain, when it follows immediately, Christ shall give thee light, Eph. v. 14. It is by the word of Christ that spiritual life is given, I said unto thee, Live, Ezek. xvi. 6.
6. That the damsel, as soon as life returned, arose, and walked, v. 42. Spiritual life will appear by our rising from the bed of sloth and carelessness, and our walking in a religious conversation, our walking up and down in Christ's name and strength; even from those that are of the age of twelve years, it may be expected that they should walk as those whom Christ has raised to life, otherwise than in the native vanity of their minds.
7. That all who saw it, and heard of it, admired the miracle, and him that wrought it; They were astonished with a great astonishment. They could not but acknowledge that there was something in it extraordinary and very great, and yet they knew not what to make of it, or to infer from it. Their wonder should have worked forward to a lively faith, but it rested in a stupor or astonishment.
8. That Christ endeavoured to conceal it; He charged them straitly, that no man should know it. It was sufficiently known to a competent number, but he would not have it as yet proclaimed any further; because his own resurrection was to be the great instance of his power over death, and therefore the divulging of other instances must be reserved till that great proof was given: let one part of the evidence be kept private, till the other part, on which the main stress lies, be made ready.
9. That Christ took care something should be given her to eat. By this it appeared that she was raised not only to life, but to a good state of health, that she had an appetite to her meat; even the new-born babes in Christ's house desire the sincere milk, 1 Pet. ii. 1, 2. And it is observable, that, as Christ, when at first he had made man, presently provided food for him, and food out of the earth of which he was made (Gen. i. 29), so now when he had given a new life, he took care that something should be given to eat; for is he has given life, he may be trusted to give livelihood, because the life is more than meat, Matt. vi. 25. Where Christ hath given spiritual life, he will provide food for the support and nourishment of it unto life eternal, for he will never forsake, or be wanting to, the work of his own hands.