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    Chapter 27—Jairus’ Daughter

    When Jesus returned across the sea with his disciples, a great crowd were waiting to receive him, and they welcomed him with much joy. The fact of his coming being noised abroad, the people had collected in great numbers to listen to his teaching. There were the rich and poor, the high and low, Pharisees, doctors, and lawyers, all anxious to hear his words, and witness his miracles. As usual, there were many of the sick and variously afflicted entreating his mercy in their behalf.2SP 318.1

    At length, faint and weary with the work of teaching and healing, Jesus left the multitude in order to partake of food in the house of Levi. But the people pressed about the door, bringing the sick, the deformed, and the lunatic, for him to heal. As he sat at the table, one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus, by name, came and fell at his feet, beseeching him: “My little daughter lieth at the point of death. I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.”2SP 318.2

    The father was in great distress, for his child had been given up to die by the most learned physicians. Jesus at once responded to the entreaty of the stricken parent, and went with him to his home. The disciples were surprised at this ready compliance with the request of the haughty ruler. Although it was only a short distance, their progress was very slow; for the people pressed forward on every side eager to see the great Teacher who had created so much excitement, begging his attention and his aid. The anxious father urged his way through the crowd, fearful of being too late. But Jesus, pitying the people, and deploring their spiritual darkness and physical maladies, stopped now and then to minister to their wants. Occasionally he was nearly carried off his feet by the surging masses.2SP 319.1

    There was one poor woman among that crowd who had suffered twelve long years with a disease that made her life a burden. She had spent all her substance upon physicians and remedies, seeking to cure her grievous malady. But it was all in vain; she was pronounced incurable, and given up to die. But her hopes revived when she heard of the wonderful cures effected by Jesus. She believed that if she could come into his presence, he would take pity on her and heal her. Suffering with pain and weakness, she came to the sea-side where he was teaching, and sought to press through the crowd that encompassed him. But her way was continually hedged up by the throng. She began to despair of approaching him, when Jesus, in urging his way through the multitude, came within her reach.2SP 319.2

    The golden opportunity had come, she was in the presence of the great Physician! But amid the confusion, she could not be heard by him nor catch more than a passing glimpse of his figure. Fearful of losing the one chance of relief from her illness, she pressed forward, saying to herself, If I but touch his garment I shall be cured. She seized the opportunity as he was passing and reached forward, barely touching the hem of his garment. But in that moment she felt herself healed of her disease. Instantly health and strength took the place of feebleness and pain. She had concentrated all the faith of her life in that one touch that made her whole.2SP 320.1

    With a thankful heart she then sought unobtrusively to retire from the crowd; but suddenly Jesus stopped, and all the people, following his example, also halted. He turned, and looking about him with a penetrating eye, asked in a voice distinctly heard by all, “Who touched me?” The people answered this query with a look of amazement. Jostled upon all sides, and rudely pressed hither and thither as he was, it seemed indeed a singular inquiry.2SP 320.2

    Peter, recovering from his surprise, and ever ready to speak, said, “Master, the multitude throng thee, and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?” Jesus answered, “Somebody hath touched me; for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.” The blessed Redeemer could distinguish the touch of faith from the casual contact of the careless crowd. He well knew all the circumstances of the case, and would not pass such confidence and trust without comment. He would address to the humble woman words of comfort that would be to her a well-spring of joy.2SP 320.3

    Looking toward the woman, Jesus still insisted upon knowing who had touched him. Finding concealment vain, she came forward tremblingly and knelt at his feet. In hearing of all the multitude, she told Jesus the simple story of her long and tedious suffering, and the instant relief that she had experienced in touching the border of his garment. Her narration was interrupted by her grateful tears as she experienced the joy of perfect health, which had been a stranger to her for twelve weary years. Instead of being angered at her presumption, Jesus commended her action, saying, “Daughter, be of good comfort. Thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.” In these words he instructed all present that it was no virtue in the simple act of touching his clothes that had wrought the cure, but in the strong faith that reached out and claimed his divine help.2SP 321.1

    The true faith of the Christian is represented in this woman. It is not essential to the exercise of faith that the feelings should be wrought up to a high pitch of excitement; neither is it necessary, in order to gain the hearing of the Lord, that our petitions should be noisy, or attended with physical exercise. It is true that Satan frequently creates in the heart of the suppliant such a conflict with doubt and temptation that strong cries and tears are involuntarily forced from him; and it is also true that the penitent's sense of guilt is sometimes so great that a repentance commensurate with his sin causes him to experience an agony that finds vent in cries and groans, which the compassionate Saviour hears with pity. But Jesus does not fail to answer the silent prayer of faith. He who simply takes God at his word, and reaches out to connect himself with the Saviour, will receive his blessing in return.2SP 321.2

    Faith is simple in its operation and powerful in its results. Many professed Christians, who have a knowledge of the sacred word, and believe its truth, fail in the childlike trust that is essential to the religion of Jesus. They do not reach out with that peculiar touch that brings the virtue of healing to the soul. They allow cold doubt to creep in and destroy their confidence. He who waits for entire knowledge before he can exercise faith, will never be blessed of God. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”2SP 322.1

    The diseased woman believed that Jesus could heal her, and the more her mind was exercised in that direction, the more certain she became that even to touch his garment would relieve her malady. In answer to her firm belief, the virtue of divine power granted her prayer. This is a lesson of encouragement to the soul defiled by sin. In like manner as Jesus dealt with bodily infirmities, will he deal with the repentant soul that calls on him. The touch of faith will bring the coveted pardon that fills the soul with gratitude and joy.2SP 322.2

    The delay of Jesus had been so intensely interesting in its results that even the anxious father felt no impatience but watched the scene with deep interest. As the healed woman was sent away comforted and rejoicing, it encouraged him to believe still more firmly that Jesus was able to grant his own petition and heal his daughter. Hope grew stronger in his heart, and he now urged the Saviour to hasten with him to his home. But, as they resumed their way, a messenger pressed through the crowd to Jairus, bearing the news that his daughter was dead, and it was useless to trouble the Master further. The sympathizing ear of Jesus caught the words that smote the father's heart like the death-knell of his hopes. The pity of the Saviour was drawn out toward the suffering parent. He said to him, in his divine compassion, “Fear not; believe only, and she shall be made whole.”2SP 322.3

    Hearing these words of hope, Jairus pressed closer to the side of Jesus; and they hurried to the ruler's house. The Saviour suffered no one to enter the room with him where the child lay dead, except a few of his most faithful disciples, and the parents themselves. The mourners were making a great show of grief, and he rebuked them, saying, “Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.” The women, who, according to the custom of the country, were employed to make this external display of sorrow, were indignant at this remark made by a humble stranger, and they began to inquire by what authority this person came, commanding them to cease lamenting for the dead and asserting that the girl still lived. They had seen the touch of death change the living child to a pulseless and unconscious form. They laughed the words of Jesus to scorn, as they left the room at his command. Accompanied by the father and mother, with Peter, James, and John, the Saviour approached the bedside, and, taking the child's hand in his own, he pronounced softly, in the familiar language of her home, the words, “Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.”2SP 323.1

    Instantly a tremor quivered through the entire body. The pulses of life beat again in the blue-veined temples, the pallid lips opened with a smile, the bosom heaved with returning breath, the waxen lids opened widely as if from sleep, and the dark eyes looked out wonderingly. The girl arose, weak from her long illness, but free from disease. She walked slowly across the room, while the parents wept for joy. Jesus bade them give her food, and charged all the household to tell no one what had been done there. But notwithstanding his injunction to secrecy, the news spread far and near that he had raised the dead to life. A large number were present when the child died, and when they again beheld her alive and well, it was impossible to prevent them from reporting the wonderful deed done by the great Physician.2SP 324.1

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