TEXT: Matthew 9:18-26
18 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.
19 And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples.
20 And, behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him, and touched the hem of his garment:
21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.
22 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.
23 And when Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise,
24 He said unto them, Give place: for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn.
25 But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose.
26 And the fame hereof went abroad into all that land.
James Nisbet said, “It was Christ’s will to reward the faith of the father who had sought Him out and trusted Him. Although He arrived late enough to try the father’s faith, He was not too late to grant the father’s request. Thus it shall be with the prayer of faith. It is prayer which brings Christ Himself to the rescue of the perishing soul.” Jesus takes care of emergencies which are not emergencies to Him.
In our text for today, we return to the account of the Capernaum synagogue ruler, Jairus. We could call him the chief executive officer of that establishment. But, at the moment, his daughter, who had fallen ill, is dead, and he does not care about any of the rights, privileges, or responsibilities of his position. He believes Jesus can bring his daughter back to life. Knowing that he would face criticism, he defied his religious peers to seek the help of this controversial teacher and miracle worker.
But, as they are on the way to Jairus’ house, a sick woman interrupts Jesus’ journey. Jairus, like most of us, must have felt at least slight irritation at the woman who decided that this particular moment was her time to claim her healing. But Jesus did not treat this woman like an interruption. He knew that she was a part of God’s plan for His ministry that day as well. Jesus takes care of emergencies which are not emergencies to Him
After commending this “daughter” for her faith, Jesus returns His attention to Jairus’ daughter. He has now arrived at the ruler’s house where people have gathered to mourn the girl’s death. The text tells us that “Jesus came into the ruler’s house, and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise.” These “minstrels” and “people” were not just family and friends gathered to grieve a tragic loss; these were professional mourners hired by the family according to Jewish custom. Commentators note that “professional mourners were hired even by the poorest families… Mourning, like everything else, had been reduced to a system. Two flutes and one mourning woman at the burial of a deceased wife was incumbent on the poorest man.”
Jesus immediately tells these funeral home professionals, “Give place.” The term means to withdraw from a location in order to make room for another. In other words, Jesus is saying, “Get out of here.” He continues, “The maid is not dead, but sleepeth.” Of course, we know that sleep is a biblical euphemism for death because no one is ever dead to God. Jesus knew that this girl’s soul was very much alive and bringing her back to life was simply a matter of calling the soul He had made back into the body that He had also made. Jesus is seeing things from the heavenly perspective. But the mourners and noise-makers only see things from a human perspective, and thus we read, “they laughed him to scorn.”
No one likes death. I think all of us recognize it as unnatural for someone to be here physically today, with all their breath and mental faculties in order, but gone tomorrow, and the only thing left behind a full life is a cold corpse. But, when presented with the possibility of a death being undone, the people laugh Jesus “to scorn.” This was not just a quiet chuckle, but loud laughter given in full confidence that one is correct. Thayer’s Greek Lexicon states that the word means to “laugh down” or “laugh with derision.” These people thought Jesus was ridiculous to suggest that the girl was alive when she was so very clearly dead. However, as we continue in this passage, we find that though the people laughed at Jesus, Jesus laughed at death.
What happens in this little girl’s bedroom ought to remind us that God does not see things from our perspective. Where we see a dead end, He sees an open door. Where we see a brick wall, He sees possibilities galore. Where we see sickness, Jesus sees healing. Where we see death, Jesus sees life. Having faith allows us to tap into God’s perspective on our lives. Faith allows us to believe that we can receive healing, and resurrection physically and spiritually. Most importantly, faith allows us to receive forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ.
John C. Ryle said:
Faith is a very simple thing,
Tho’ little understood;
It frees the soul from death’s dread sting,
By resting in the blood.
It looks not on the things around,
Nor on the things within,
It takes its flight to scenes above,
Beyond the sphere of sin.
It sees upon the throne of God
A victim that was slain;
It rests its all on His shed blood,
And says, I’m born again.
Faith is not what we feel or see,
It is a simple trust
In what the God of love has said
Of Jesus, as the Just.
It tells me I am counted dead
By God in His own word;
It tells me I am born again
In Christ my risen Lord.
In that He died, He died to sin;
In that He lives—to God:
Then I am dead to nature’s hopes,
And justified thro’ HIS blood.
If He is free, then I am free
From all unrighteousness;
If He is just, then I am just,
He is my righteousness.
What want I more to perfect bliss?
A body like His own
Will perfect me for greater joys,
Than angels round the throne.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.