Skip to content

Raising the Daughter of Jairus

“…The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me.” (John 10:25)

And behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. And he fell down at Jesus’ feet and begged Him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying. But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him… While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, “Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.” But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.” When He came into the house, He permitted no one to go in except Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the girl. Now all wept and mourned for her; but He said, “Do not weep; she is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed Him, knowing that she was dead. But He put them all outside, took her by the hand and called, saying, “Little girl, arise.” Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat. And her parents were astonished, but He charged them to tell no one what had happened.  (Luke 8:41-42,49-56; cf. also Matthew 9:18-19, 23-26, Mark 5:21-24, 35-43)

It is evident from Holy Scripture that the Lord Jesus, the Christ, did not set out to become or be known as a ‘miracle worker.’ Rather, the Son of God in human flesh worked miracles in order to plainly prove Him to be fully God.

While in some cases Jesus’ miracles were done before a crowd on a majestic scale (cf. Lazarus’ resurrection, John 11:1ff), in other cases they were quietly and personally done—as much as supernatural events can said to be quietly done—for the benefit of individual sinners. When Jesus turned water into wine in Cana of Galilee (cf. John 2:1-11), only a handful of people even knew that a miracle had been worked.

The miraculous raising of the daughter of Jairus is also an example of a miracle with a personal touch. This supernatural event is described by three of the four Gospel writers. While each Gospel gives details, the Gospel of Luke seems to paint a more detailed picture. It is believed that this miracle took place in Capernaum.

Jairus was the ruler of a synagogue, which meant that he was in charge of the congregation’s orderly worship of Jehovah. He selected those to lead in prayer, those to read the Scriptures, and those to ‘sermonize’ in connection with it. He was a man who was likely well-acquainted with the Old Testament Scriptures.

Jairus was also the father of a twelve-year-old daughter. When she became sick, surely Jairus—whose name means ‘Jehovah enlightens’—brought the matter to the Lord in prayer. When her health failed and she was about to die, he brought the matter personally to Jesus of Nazareth.

By reading all the parallel accounts, you can see the persistent faith of Jairus. When he came to Jesus, his daughter was on the brink of death. While traveling with Jesus to her aid, the word came that she had passed away. Still, he urged Jesus to come (despite his servants, cf. Luke 8:49), believing that if He laid hands on her, she would live (cf. Matthew 9:18).

Jairus was an important man. When he arrived home, there were already mourners present (cf. Matthew 9:23). The assembled crowd was sent outside while Jesus and three disciples entered the house with Jairus and his wife (Mark 5:40). Directed by the Spirit, Peter, James, and John who witnessed these miracles, would later write of the gospel in their epistles so that we too might witness the personal and private love of Jesus for sinners. They watched as Jesus took the hand of the dead girl.

“Talitha Cumi” (“Little girl, arise!”) was all the Savior said, and it was all that was necessary. The cold, lifeless body was reanimated as she awakened from the sleep of death. Jesus returned her alive to her parents.

We don’t know for certain if Jairus’ daughter believed in Jesus, for the Scripture doesn’t reveal the thoughts of her heart. We do know that all those who trust in Christ—along with all the dead—will arise from their graves at the sound of His voice (cf. John 5:28-29).

Whereas Jairus’ daughter passed again through death, those who trust in Him will pass through death into eternal life. While the joy at her rising was felt by a handful, our joy will be shared by all the saints triumphant in Christ.