A MIRACLE WITHIN A MIRACLE
Matt 9:18-26 While He spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped Him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay Thy hand upon her, and she shall live. And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did His disciples. And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind Him, and touched the hem of His garment: for she said within herself, If I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole. But Jesus turned Him about, and when He saw her, He said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. And when Jesus came into the ruler's house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed Him to scorn. But when the people were put forth, He went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land. (Also See Mark 5:22-43; Luke 8:41-56)
These miracles are also recorded by Mark and Luke, both of which are written in greater detail. However, for this lesson, we will use Matthew's less lengthy recording and refer to the two others for added clarity and substance. In all three gospel accounts, the narration of a miracle of Jesus begins and is interrupted by the account of another miracle. These miracles took place following the return of Jesus and His disciples from the other side of the Sea of Galilee (Matt. 9:1). While there in the country of the Gadarenes (Gergesenes), Jesus healed the man, or men, that were demon-possessed by sending these devils into swine, which ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters (see Matt. 8:28-34)
It was after this incident that Jesus, with His disciples, returned by boats to the coastal area near the city of Capernaum. After coming back into this area Jesus immediately began preaching His gospel of salvation to those that had, as before, gathered around Him. And behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped Him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay Thy hand upon her, and she shall live. It was rare to find someone among the Jewish religious leaders that accepted Jesus and sought His teaching and miraculous powers. All three of these gospels recognize this man as a Jewish ruler. However, Mark and Luke further identify him as one of the Jewish elders, a ruler of the synagogue, whose name is Jairus. Having heard about, or seen for himself, the miraculous powers He possessed, Jairus, when he met Jesus, demonstrated his high esteem for Him by humbly falling down at His feet and worshipping Him.
Having shown due respect, Jairus gave Jesus this faith-filled petition: my daughter is even now dead: but come and lay Thy hand upon her, and she shall live. Mark wrote that the man said: my little daughter lieth at the point of death, and Luke said that he referred to her as his only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. In both of these later recordings of this incident, it should be noted that, before Jesus arrived at the bed of the young daughter, a messenger came informing them that the critically ill child was now dead. Although death is final according to the God's human laws of nature, yet this Jewish ruler had heard or witnessed the power of Jesus enough to know that in Him rests the hope of life. No doubt the miraculous power of Jesus was well known throughout the nation of Israel. Jairus demonstrated this faithful confidence by requesting Jesus to come and lay Thy hand upon her, and she shall live. Immediately Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did His disciples.
However, as Jairus was leading Jesus and His disciples to his dwelling to see his young daughter, the beginning of another miracle took place. A woman who had, for twelve years, suffered a disease described here as an issue of blood, had also heard of Jesus' miraculous powers, and sought the healing of her disease. Mark adds that she had been under the care of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse. As it is even today, doctors may try many different medications and treatments to cure a disease, yet without any sign of healing or the abatement of pain and suffering. Unfortunately there are many today who, as did this woman, spend their entire earthly estate on medical treatments without any cure of their disease.
These texts do not fully reveal the disease. This woman could have a disease resulting from a long-term menstrual complication, or it could possibly be a blood producing disease of the bowels or intestines known as dysentery. However, this we know. Under Jewish law one having an issue of blood was considered to be unclean and was not to come in contact with the flesh of another (Lev. 15:25). No doubt this woman had, on many occasions, been reminded of this law, and knew that she was not allowed to touch Jesus. Therefore, with complete faith in the power of Jesus to heal her, she said within herself, If I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole. Having done so, immediately, Mark says, the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
He also adds this additional information not found in the other accounts. When the diseased woman touched the hem of His garment, Jesus knew His healing virtue had gone out of Him, and He asked, who touched me? No doubt, Jesus already knew it had been this woman, but desired to witness her faith in action for the benefit, not only of the woman, but also to instill faith in God and His Son for all men and women that had assembled around Him, as well as for us today. Turning around, Jesus found the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, and she came and fell down before Him, and told Him all the truth. What a powerful testimony of one that was lost to a physical debilitating disease and, having completely trusted in the power of the Son of God, was completely healed. And what a great example of faith to all men and women of the world today that humbly come to Jesus realizing that through Him there can be a spiritual healing that leads to the hope of eternal salvation. And He said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
After being interrupted by this miracle, Jesus continued on toward the home of Jairus where He had originally intended to go. As both Mark and Luke record, messengers came from Jairus' home with the news that his daughter, who was previously extremely ill, was now dead. Upon hearing this, Jesus knew the heart of her father would be crushed with agony, therefore He immediately consoled Jairus with these assuring words: Be not afraid, only believe. Luke expanded on this by writing that Jesus comforted Jairus by saying: fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole. It is very likely that, at that very instance, the daughter was raised from death and her malady was completely healed. This is indicated because when Jesus entered Jairus' home, accompanied by Peter, James, and John, and approached the bed of the young maiden, He assured all within the home that she was alive. As the minstrels played mournful music and as the people gathered around making a noise sorrowfully lamenting, weeping, and wailing her death, they laughed scornfully at Jesus when He said that she was not dead, but sleepeth.
At this point Jesus asked all of the people to go out of the house except His three disciples and the maiden's mother and father. When this was done, Jesus went to the child, took her by the hand, and the maid arose. Mark wrote that Jesus took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked. Both Mark and Luke add that Jesus immediately commanded that she be given food to eat. Also Mark and Luke wrote that Jesus charged those attending this miracle that they should tell no one what was done on this occasion. This had been His admonition on many other occasions, four of which are found in Matthew, three in Mark, and one in Luke. Yet here we find Matthew telling us the true result: the fame hereof went abroad into all that land. The miraculous power of Jesus to heal all manner of sickness, disease, and physical disabilities spread throughout the nation of Israel and even beyond its borders. There can be no doubt or disagreement among the men and women that witnessed these miracles on that day, nor us that are privileged to read about them from God's inspired word today, these miracles proved beyond any shadow of doubt that Jesus was the Son of God, the promised Messiah. It is God's power to heal all manner of disease, infirmity, and demonic possession, that proves His power of spiritual healing to all that obeyed His will, were baptized into the body of Christ for the remission of their sins, and continued to seek God's forgiveness for the remainder of their lives. These scriptural miracles and their spiritual significance need to be spread throughout the world, and it is the responsibility of all faithful followers of Christ to do so.