February 16, 1994, August 14, 1994
We will use Mark's account because it is more complete: Mark
After healing the unnamed woman, attention is returned to the ruler and his daughter. While Christ was talking to the woman, a messenger arrived from the ruler's house with bad news: the girl was already dead, so there was no use to any longer trouble the Lord. The ruler was evidently a godly person, because the messenger from his house said, trouble not the Master. But the term was also a term of respect for any teacher.
Christ had just healed the fearful woman and comforted her. Now He speaks to the ruler and comforts His fear.
Christ says further to the ruler, believe only... We mentioned above that the Lord did not always work according to the faith of the individual, and He does not really say here that He is acting according to the man's faith; although He does act according to the individual's faith in Mat 9:29. Christ simply encourages the man to not give up.
Arriving at the ruler's home, Christ left everyone outside except Peter, James, John and the girl's parents. The three disciples were the key disciples who witnessed almost everything Christ did. These three were the ones whom Christ basically built His new humanity through.
The girl had just died, and the friends and neighbours were weeping and bewailing the girl's death. Christ told those assembled that the girl was not dead but asleep. The natural response was to ridicule Christ.
Christ's response to their mockery and ridicule was to cause them to leave the house and rase the girl from the dead.
We see that after Christ raised the girl, Mark records two commands from Christ:
1. don't tell anyone 2. give the girl something to eat.
They fed the girl, but how could you keep something like this secret? Of course, there is no way they can keep it quiet, so Mat 9:31, they depart, telling everyone they see about what He did for them.
Christ's fame continued to spread throughout the country. In fact, His fame spread so greatly that the religious leaders were fearful that if they did not do something, everyone would believe on Christ, and Christ would indeed become the Messiah King everyone expected.
1) Even death itself gives place to the power of Christ.
2) note the sharp contrast, but similarities:
a) Christ spoke comfort to the poor woman, Mat 9:22 - Christ spoke words of comfort to the ruler, Mk 5:36. Christ is the Comforter for both rich and poor. Christ alone can calm the fears of life no matter what station of life one occupies.
Isa 6:9 gives Jesus the name, Comforter. Only Christ can say, Fear not. b) according to man's abilities, the woman was hopeless according to man's abilities, the ruler was hopeless.
No matter what one's station in life, the events of life are out of his control. Neither the poor nor the rich could solve their problems. SIN is like that:
Psalms 49:6-14, They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None "of them" is added by the translators can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him: (For the redemption of their soul [is] precious, and it ceaseth for ever:) That he should still live for ever, [and] not see corruption. For he seeth [that] wise men die, likewise the fool and the brutish person perish, and leave their wealth to others. Their inward thought [is, that] their houses [shall continue] for ever, [and] their dwelling places to all generations; they call [their] lands after their own names. Nevertheless man [being] in honour abideth not: he is like the beasts [that] perish. This their way [is] their folly: yet their posterity approve their sayings. Selah. Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling.
Neither the rich nor the poor can redeem himself:
Mt 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Mt 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. 1 Ti 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. 1 Pe 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, [as] silver and gold, from your vain conversation [received] by tradition from your fathers;
c) A third similarly between the two: Christ told the woman, thy faith hath made thee whole... Christ tells the ruler, believe only, and she shall be made whole.
d) fourth, though Christ said to the ruler, believe only, He was not saying believe only: If the man had faith but no actions to go to Christ, the girl would have remained dead. If the woman had faith but no action to go to Christ, she would have remained in her illness.
James says it like this, James 2:14ff
3) Mark 5:38, We can identify with weeping, but not with what was going on here. They were beating their breasts and making a great public demonstration of grief. That was excepted practice among orientals.
I would further say that this kind of grief, wailing greatly, is the kind of grief Paul told us not to have:
1 Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
4) The best response to a mocking crowd that believes not is just go on about our business for the Lord. If this had been any of us, we would have probably said, "Oh Yea, Just watch, I'll show you." But though Christ was a man, He was not controlled by such foolish emotions of pride. Rather, He simply went about His Father's business.
Godly actions speak for themselves.
5) Mark records the raising of the girl thusly:
Mark 5:41-43 And he 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; for she was [of the age] of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment. And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.
a) to the Lord Jesus, death was no more than sleep. To the faithful child of God, death is no more than going through a shadow.
Again we are reminded of Paul's words that death to the Child of God is no more than taking a nap, 1 Thes 4:14ff.
We should not fear.
b) the Lord alone has the power over death and hell, and one day, He will say to those dead in Christ, arise.
c) Christ's raising the dead here and with Lazarus clearly refers to the Spirit speaking to those dead in trespasses and sins. It is impossible for the person to raise himself. The Lord must speak, and when He speaks, the person will arise.
Eph 2:1-10 And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 ¶ But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in [his] kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Col 2:13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
6) Several times the Lord commanded folks to keep quiet about the great things He had done for them. Again, note a contrast in the three events:
Luke 8:39, the man from whom the Lord removed the devils wanted to go with Christ. Christ sent him home with instructions, Luke 8:39, go show how great things God hath done unto thee. Don't tell, but show.
Mark 5:33, everyone saw and heard what took place when the woman was healed.
Mark 5:43, don't tell anyone. Why the difference?
The people in Gadara rejected Christ; they, in fact, pleaded with Him to leave because of their fear. On the other hand, starting with Mark 5:21,He was thronged with people. Christ told the people they were not following Him because of His message, but they were following Him for their own benefit: food, healing, curiosity, &c.
Christ did not really need any more people to follow Him out ofcuriosity and selfishness, so He discourages those He heals from telling others as He did after the girl was raised from the dead.
But those who are fearful need to see what Christ can do for them, as with the woman who fearfully touched His garment. And if they do not see what Christ can do in our lives, where will they see it? The fearful are shown the woman who but touched His garment.
We saw with the maniac, it is the life of those delivered by the Spirit of Christ from their sins that will be the most powerful witness for the saving power of the Lord Jesus.
7) Mat chapter 9 gives us this record of the Lord Jesus:
1. power over sin, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.
2. power over the thoughts and intents of the heart: He knew the thoughts of the wicked
3. power over the individual to call to Himself whom He pleased: He said to Matthew, the tax collector, follow me, and Matthew followed.
4. power over illness: the woman's illness was healed.
5. power over death: the 12 year old is raised from the dead. We could contrast the young girl with Lazarus, who was an older man. Both young and old need the touch of Christ, and both young and old are required to serve Him.
Christ's power over sin and death is shown to us here within a short span. Christ's power over sin is shown in two ways: first, the power not to yield, and second the authority to forgive sin.
If Christ has done something for you, you will willingly tell others.
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