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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. The reading is from Gospel of Matthew 9:18-26.

Raising of the Official’s Daughter by Vasiliy Polenov, 1871.

The Official’s Daughter and the Woman suffering Hemorrhage – Matthew 9:18-26

While he was saying these things to them, an official came forward, knelt down before him, and said, “My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.”

Jesus rose and followed him, and so did his disciples.

A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the tassel on his cloak.

She said to herself, “If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.”

Christ and the Woman with the Issue of Blood by Paolo Veronese, c. 1548.

Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, “Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you.”

And from that hour the woman was cured.

When Jesus arrived at the official’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion, he said, “Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping.”

And they ridiculed him.

When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand, and the little girl arose.

And news of this spread throughout all that land.

In Matthew this episode is the first that appears in the third group of miracles. It is clearly dependent on Mark 5:21–43. It has two interwoven miracle stories, one a healing and the other a resuscitation. This dual stories – story of raising to life the daughter of an official and the story of the woman suffering hemorrhage appear in both Mark and Luke.

Though it tells of two miracles, the cure of the woman suffering hemorrhage is included within the story of resuscitation of the official’s daughter, and so the two are in most cases regarded as a single unit.

  • While he was saying these things to them, an official came forward, knelt down before him, and said, “My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.” (Matthew 9:18)
  • Ταύτα αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος αὐτοῖς ἰδοὺ ἄρχων [εἰς] προσελθὼν προσεκύνει αὐτῷ λέγων ὅτι ἡ θυγάτηρ μου ἄρτι ἐτελεύτησεν· ἀλλὰ ἐλθὼν ἐπίθες τὴν χεῖρα σου ἐπ’ αὐτὴν καὶ ζήσεται. (Matthew 9:18)

The word “official” is literally “ruler” in Greek: ἄρχων (archōn). Mark calls him “one of the synagogue officials

  • One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet (Mark 5:22)

In this verse Matthew heightens the Marcan “my daughter is at the point of death

  • and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.” (Mark 5:23).
with “My daughter has just died.”

Tassels

A woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the tassel on his cloak. (Matthew 9:20)

The word “tassel” possibly can mean “fringe” also. The Mosaic law prescribed that tassels be worn on the corners of one’s garment as a reminder to keep the commandments.

  • You shall put tassels on the four corners of the cloak that you wrap around yourself. (Deuteronomy 22:12)

Tassels on the Cloak – Numbers 15:37–39

The LORD said to Moses: Speak to the Israelites and tell them that throughout their generations they are to make tassels for the corners of their garments, fastening a violet cord to each corner.

When you use these tassels, the sight of the cord will remind you of all the commandments of the LORD and you will do them, without prostituting yourself going after the desires of your hearts and your eyes.

Thus you will remember to do all my commandments and you will be holy to your God.

I, the LORD, am your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God: I, the LORD your God.

Sleep

  • he said, “Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they ridiculed him. (Matthew 9:24)

“Sleep” is a biblical metaphor for death.

  • Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; Some to everlasting life, (Daniel 12:2)
  • who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep we may live together with him. (1 Thes 5:10)

Jesus’ statement is not a denial of the child’s real death, but an assurance that she will be roused from her sleep of death.

Jairus’s Daughter and the Woman with Hemorrhage – Mark 5:21-43

When Jesus had crossed again [in the boat] to the other side, a large crowd gathered around him, and he stayed close to the sea.

One of the synagogue officials, named Jairus, came forward. Seeing him he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her that she may get well and live.”

He went off with him, and a large crowd followed him and pressed upon him.

There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.

She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse.

She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak.

She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.”

Christ addressing a Kneeling Woman by Paolo Veronese, c. 1548.

Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.

Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?”

But his disciples said to him, “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”

And he looked around to see who had done it.

The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth.

He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”

While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?”

Disregarding the message that was reported, Jesus said to the synagogue official, “Do not be afraid; just have faith.”

He did not allow anyone to accompany him inside except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.

When they arrived at the house of the synagogue official, he caught sight of a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly.

So he went in and said to them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.”

And they ridiculed him. Then he put them all out. He took along the child’s father and mother and those who were with him and entered the room where the child was.

He took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise!”

The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around. [At that] they were utterly astounded.

He gave strict orders that no one should know this and said that she should be given something to eat.

Two interwoven miracle stories, one a healing and the other a resuscitation, present Jesus as master over sickness and death. The story of raising to life the daughter of Jairus, an official of the synagogue and the story of the Woman with a Hemorrhage appears in both Luke and Matthew as well.

The story of the raising to life the daughter of Jairus, the official of the synagogue,  is divided into two parts in all three synoptic gospels:

In Mark 5:21–24 and 5:35–43; in Luke 8:40-42 and 8:49-56 and in Matthew 9:18-19 and 9:23-26.

Between these two separated parts the account of the curing of the woman with hemorrhage is interposed – Mark 5:25–34, Luke 8:43-48, Matthew 9:20-22. And the two were probably regarded as a single unit.

This technique of intercalating or sandwiching one story within another occurs several times in Mark.

The inner conviction that physical contact accompanied by faith in the saving power of Jesus could effect a cure was rewarded both in the case of Jairus and his daughter and in the case of the hemorrhage victim,

  • Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?” (Mark 5:30)

The request “Lay your hands on her” in

  • and pleaded earnestly with him, saying, “My daughter is at the point of death. Please, come lay your hands on her* that she may get well and live.” (Mark 5:23)

is an act for the purpose of healing. It is frequently found in Mark

  • So he was not able to perform any mighty deed there, apart from curing a few sick people by laying his hands on them. (Mark 6:5)
  • And [immediately] the man’s ears were opened, his speech impediment was removed, and he spoke plainly. He ordered them not to tell anyone. But the more he ordered them not to, the more they proclaimed it. They were exceedingly astonished and they said, “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf hear and [the] mute speak.” (Mark 7:32–35)
  • He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. Putting spittle on his eyes he laid his hands on him and asked, “Do you see anything?” Looking up he replied, “I see people looking like trees and walking.” Then he laid hands on his eyes a second time and he saw clearly; his sight was restored and he could see everything distinctly. (Mark 8:23–25)
  • They will pick up serpents [with their hands], and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:18)

and is also found in

  • While he was saying these things to them,h an official came forward, knelt down before him, and said, “My daughter has just died. But come, lay your hand on her, and she will live.” (Matthew 9:18)
  • At sunset, all who had people sick with various diseases brought them to him. He laid his hands on each of them and cured them. (Luke 4:40)
  • He laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God. (Luke 13:13)
  • So Ananias went and entered the house; laying his hands on him, he said, “Saul, my brother, the Lord has sent me, Jesus who appeared to you on the way by which you came, that you may regain your sight and be filled with the holy Spirit.” (Acts 9:17)
  • It so happened that the father of Publius was sick with a fever and dysentery. Paul visited him and, after praying, laid his hands on him and healed him. (Acts 28:8)

Now, the faith of Jairus was put to test.

  • While he was still speaking, people from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter has died; why trouble the teacher any longer?” (Mark 5:35)

Earler before he received this message from his house his daughter was alive and now that she had died, will his faith hold for the girl to be restored to life? His faith contrasts with the lack of faith of the crowd.

On arriving at the house of Jairus, Jesus said “The child is not dead but asleep” meaning her death is a temporary condition.

So he went in and said to them, “Why this commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” (Mark 5:39)

Luke and Matthew too repeat the same.

  • All were weeping and mourning for her, when he said, “Do not weep any longer, for she is not dead, but sleeping.” And they ridiculed him, because they knew that she was dead. (Luke 8:52-53)
  • he said, “Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they ridiculed him. (Matthew 9:24)

But the New Testament often refers to death as sleep.

  • tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised. (Matthew 27:52)
  • He said this, and then told them, “Our friend Lazarus is asleep, but I am going to awaken him.” (John 11:11)
  • After that, he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. (1 Corinthians 15:6)
  • We do not want you to be unaware, brothers, about those who have fallen asleep, so that you may not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose, so too will God, through Jesus, bring with him those who have fallen asleep. Indeed, we tell you this, on the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep. (1 Thessalonians 4:13–15)

Jairus’s Daughter and the Woman with a Hemorrhage – Luke 8:40-56

Raising of Jairus’s Daughter by James Tissot.

When Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him.

And a man named Jairus, an official of the synagogue, came forward. He fell at the feet of Jesus and begged him to come to his house, because he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying.

As he went, the crowds almost crushed him.

And a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years, who [had spent her whole livelihood on doctors and] was unable to be cured by anyone, came up behind him and touched the tassel on his cloak. Immediately her bleeding stopped.

Healing the Woman with an Issue of Blood by James Tissot.

Jesus then asked, “Who touched me?”

While all were denying it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds are pushing and pressing in upon you.”

But Jesus said, “Someone has touched me; for I know that power has gone out from me.”

When the woman realized that she had not escaped notice, she came forward trembling. Falling down before him, she explained in the presence of all the people why she had touched him and how she had been healed immediately.

He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

While he was still speaking, someone from the synagogue official’s house arrived and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the teacher any longer.”

On hearing this, Jesus answered him, “Do not be afraid; just have faith and she will be saved.”

When he arrived at the house he allowed no one to enter with him except Peter and John and James, and the child’s father and mother.

All were weeping and mourning for her, when he said, “Do not weep any longer, for she is not dead, but sleeping.”

And they ridiculed him, because they knew that she was dead.

But he took her by the hand and called to her, “Child, arise!”

Her breath returned and she immediately arose. He then directed that she should be given something to eat.

Her parents were astounded, and he instructed them to tell no one what had happened.

In the Lucan account, faith in Jesus is responsible for the cure

  • He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 8:48)

and for the raising to life

  • On hearing this, Jesus answered him, “Do not be afraid; just have faith and she will be saved.” (Luke 8:50)

“Just a Touch” – Holsinger’s Heartfelt Harmonies

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