Harry Whittaker
Studies in the Gospels

86. Miracle upon Miracle (Matt. 9:18-34; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56)*

The unwelcoming excitement created by the episode of the Gadarene swine constrained Jesus and his party to return across the lake. By this time that fishing boat was well known all round Galilee as the travelling headquarters of Jesus of Nazareth. So, as once again they neared Capernaum-“his own city” (Mt)-everyone knew already that Jesus was back again. A great crowd (Mk.) mustered as the ship drew to shore, all waiting to see Jesus, all welcoming their Galilean prophet (Lk.). This short period of a few weeks was the climax of the Lord’s fame and popularity. A few months later he was to be heard uttering the most solemn and complete reprobation of Capernaum and its sister cities that ever were spoken of any place by a man of God (Lk. 10:13ff).

At present all were eager to hear and even more eager to see, for more than anything it was the marvels Jesus wrought which brought the crowds together. Once again the beach was his auditorium. There the crowd pressed all round him. Mark’s expression almost warrants the translation: “they were on top of him”.

Jairus in distress

As he discoursed to them on the lakeside there came an interruption. According to the best texts, all three gospels mark this with a note of special surprise: “Behold!”. It was the approach of Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, which cut short the Lord’s discourse. Here was a man of considerable prestige and authority among the local Jews. It was his responsibility to arrange for the Bible reading and appropriate instruction thereon in the synagogue services. Probably, also, he was the headmaster in the school attached to the synagogue.

It seems likely that Jairus had already had close contact with Jesus. It may well have been he who, on more occasions than one, had authorised Jesus to take the service in the Capernaum synagogue. So it is reasonable to imagine him witnessing the healing of the paralytic man let down through the roof (Mk. 2:1ff). Very probably he was one of the elders of the Jews who sought the help of Jesus on behalf of the dying servant of the Roman centurion (Lk. 7:2-5). And it would be surprising if he had not heard the full story of the healing of the Capernaum nobleman’s son, and indeed of many another miracle Jesus had performed in that locality.

This man came now to Jesus through the crowd. With intense anxiety written on his face he knelt before him and poured out the story of his great need. His only daughter (cp. Lk. 7:12; 9:38), a girl of twelve, had become grievously ill. Now it was all too evident that she was dying (Lk). In deep anguish he prostrated himself at the feet of Jesus, telling again and again (Mk.) in broken sentences charged with sorrow that she was near her end (Mk). Matthew’s report probably means: “Just now we thought her dead”. It says much for the confidence Jairus had in Jesus, and it is a measure of the extreme hopelessness of the poor child’s plight, that her father could tear himself from her bedside to go in search of the only aid that could snatch the sufferer from the cold hands of death.

The agonizing plea for help would have brought some sort of sympathetic response from the hardest heart. When Jairus intensified his prayer for help into an imperative: “Come, and lay thine hands upon her, and she shall live” (Mt.), it was beyond the power of this marvelously compassionate Jesus to do other than comply at once.

So he moved off with Jairus at his side. His close disciples came also. And so too did the crowd. Full of eager anticipation they pressed and pushed, heedless of the hindrance and discomfort they caused him. Thus quite effectively they reduced Jesus’ progress to a mere fraction of his normal walking speed. It all served to intensify the anxiety and frustration of Jairus.

Twelve years without healing

Before the interruption there had been one in the crowd who had been steadily and stealthily edging herself through the throng with set purpose to get close to Jesus. But the denseness of the multitude had made achievement of her objective almost impossible. Now that they were all on the move there was better opportunity, but even so it was no easy task. But she was set on getting within arm’s reach of Jesus.

Poor soul! She was only a young woman (Mt.), yet already for years life had been made miserable by an incurable internal haemorrhage. She, who should have been full of energy and vigour, felt and looked continually pale and listless. More than this, her wretched disability rendered her permanently unclean (Lev. 15:25). It effectively shut her out of society. It left her with little of present enjoyment in life and with no prospect of betterment for the future.

In desperation and eagerness for relief she had gone hopefully from one doctor to another, and these after their kind had “healed the hurt of the daughter of God’s people lightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there was no peace.” Through twelve long years that poor woman had persevered in her search for health, only to “suffer many things of many physicians’ (Mk.).

In those days medical diagnosis was mostly ignorance and guesswork, and the doctor’s pharmacopoeia was a veritable chamber of horrors. One of the more attractive prescriptions for this complaint was “Persian onions stewed in wine”. Other remedies were just unprintable.

No wonder, then, that this pathetic search for health left her “not one thing better, but rather she grew worse”. Mark’s phrase here is eloquent of disappointed expectations. Now, with health in irreparable ruin, she found herself reduced to proverry by the exactions of the sharks and mountebanks who had traded on her plight with their bogus claims and pretentious ignorance.

Faith and resolution

Hearing the almost unbelievable reports about the marvels wrought by Jesus of Nazareth, she pondered and believed. Her faith came by hearing, and hearing by the spoken word (Rom. 10:17) about the Son of God. Here surely was her last and best opportunity of restoration to normal health.

But how was she to go about it? Doubts and difficulties crowded in. It would be almost impossible to get a private interview with the Teacher. And if she did, what guarantee was there that Jesus would agree to heal her? In any case it would mean facing the acute embarrassment of telling him frankly all about her disability. And if she were to see him in the presence of the multitude or of his own disciples it would be even worse to have to tell all the details of her suffering. It might even come about that she would be severely reproved for taking her uncleanness amongst all these other people.

Pondering her problem, her wits sharpened by necessity and desperation, she decided that the only thing was to seek and receive her healing without Jesus even being aware of it. She thought over all that she had heard concerning his astonishing miracles-how he spoke a word and lame people walked, how he touched sightless eyes and they saw, how he laid a gentle hand on repulsive leprosy and the flesh came whole and firm and healthy under his fingers. Especially she thought on that expression so often on his lips: “Thy faith hath saved thee”-and what he meant was faith in himself. Then she would show her faith in her own special way. It would bring her healing-of this she was convinced-and yet she would be saved the acute embarrassment which an open appeal to Jesus would make inevitable: “If, if I also may touch his clothes, I shall be whole” (Mk.). What personal contact with Jesus had brought to others it would surely bring to her also.

So as the crowd round Jesus moved on slowly and excitedly, she summoned all her resolution and her flagging energies to edge surreptitiously closer to him without too much of the pushing or shoving which would bring notice and resentment on herself. At last Jesus was within reach. So, dropping to her knees-a risky device, this, in that dense heedless crowd—she put out a hand between the people who were immediately behind Jesus, and secured a momentary but fervent grip on the blue cord with which his robe was edged.

Healing and confession

It would have been so much easier to reach out and touch his shoulder or to get effective contact with his sleeve. Then why this awkward manoeuvre to grasp the border of his robe? The context in Numbers 15:38-41 explains. Fringes or tassels of blue (the colour of heaven; Ex. 24:10) were to be a constant reminder to godly Jews of their duty to keep the commandments which had come to them from heaven. So it is to be inferred that this poor sufferer was set on showing her total dependence on the virtue of Christ in his complete fulfilment of all that God commanded. Her healing lay in this unique fact and in her faith that only thus can stricken sinners be healed.

Accordingly, in that moment of contact her faith had its reward. There was immediate perceptible change in herself. She could feel (Mk: she knew) in her own body a sudden transformation to normality, so that she was ready to cry out with joy and thankfulness. A year later Roman soldiers were to find contact with the garments of Jesus having a like influence on themselves (Mt. 27:35, 54).

But in that same moment Jesus stopped dead, and speaking up above the buzz of the crowd, he asked: “Who touched my garment?” Those round about looked their surprise. The question was repeated (Mk.), only to elicit denials from all within reach. In her desperate fear of exposure the woman herself joined in the general disclaimer (Lk.), whilst Peter, as uninhibited as ever, spoke what was in everybody’s mind: “Thou seest the multitude thronging thee and sayest thou, Who touched me?” But Jesus persisted, turning round (Mk.) and scrutinizing the face of every woman (Mk.) within a few yards. “Someone did touch me”, he repeated, “for I perceived that power had gone forth from me” (Lk.).

Wild panicky thoughts raced through the woman’s mind. She had her healing, but how could she go against the repeated wish of her benefactor to know who had been healed? Then, too, was it possible that the one who had such marvellous powers to bless might also have the power to cancel out the blessing she had just received? But how could she bring herself to tell before them all what she had done, and why?
And what of the crowd’s bitter indignation when they knew of their contact with one unclean like herself?

But Jesus waited, and asked yet again. How unlike him to show such apparent unkindness, not only to the intensely embarrassed woman but also to frantic impatient Jairus, who saw the last hope (as he saw it) of recovery for his daughter now being frittered away over a triviality (as he saw it).

But Jesus knew that the salvation of a desperate soul was at stake, and he persisted.

So, confused and fearful, the woman spoke up her confession, and as the crowd moved back, she fell down before Jesus. There trembling with fear (Mk), glad in her heart that she was well again, yet terribly apprehensive of the present outcome, she poured out in a torrent of broken phrases all the story of her disease, her suffering, her faith, and her cure, whilst people all around (Lk) strained their ears to catch every word, and then shrank back-from her defilement.

The reaction of Jesus was, of course, just what-if she had had time to ponder it-she would have expected of him. “Daughter, take heart (Mt), your faith has saved you (he meant the word in a double sense). Go in peace, and stay healed of your disease.” And she did. The Sun of righteousness was risen with healing in his wings (s.w. Num. 15:38). That day she saw the Lord as upon a throne, high and lifted up, and the skirt of his robe (s.w.) filled the temple of which she was now a perpetually consecrated part. As the precious ointment went down to the skirts of Israel’s high priest, so now-this woman had proved-there was like fragrance in the robe of the High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. And had he not blessed her in the name of the most high God? So, from that hour (as in Mt. 15:28; 17:18) she had roses in her cheeks. And that blessing: “Go in peace” (Lk) echoed Eli’s benison on Hannah (1 Sam. 1:17), so perhaps it may be inferred that she who hitherto had had no hope of children was now given assurance that one day she would rear a holy family (Lev. 6:27a).

Assuredly, it was her faith which had saved her. There were scores of people in that crowd who had pressed upon Jesus and jostled him, yet to her only was virtue gone out. And she, herself pushed here and there in the throng, was unclean and ceremonially defiling: nevertheless through this Jesus, greater than Moses, there was no contamination for any others. Whilst healing her, Jesus cleansed them all.

Poor Jairus!

All this while Jairus, who had kept hard by Jesus, was in a mounting fever of anxiety and frustration. When he left home it had seemed to him that his beloved child had scarcely an hour to live. If Jesus had been able to shake off the crowd and, with that long easy stride of his, get to the house without a minute’s delay, there might have been time to save her. But now there was the double vexation of a slow-moving undisciplined crowd and this provoking delay to interrogate and re-assure a woman who had, so to speak, jumped the queue of blessedness. By this time desperation and impatience were written in large capitals across the face of Jairus. In these circumstances what human nature could hide it?

Then came the hardest blow of all. Even before Jesus was able to resume his journey to the house, messengers struggled their way through that sea of humanity to gasp out the bad news: “Your daughter is dead”. What use now to plead further the help of the Teacher? “Why troublest thou the Master any further?” It is a hard word meaning “rend, mangle, flay”, inserted into that message by one who loved Jesus and who, knowing him to be hard pressed, would fain spare him all possible strain.

With hopes dashed, the face of Jairus went grey with wretchedness. The wonderful cure of the woman in the crowd had at least buoyed up his confidence that the like power would restore his sick child. But now it was too late.

Too late? Was it? He felt the hand of Jesus on his shoulder and heard the reassuring words: “Do not fear! Only believe, and she shall be saved” (Lk). And, helped by the experience of the past ten minutes and by the strengthening gaze of Jesus, he did believe that, somehow, even now all would yet be well. Seeing this, Jesus spoke to the crowd in a loud authoritative tone that they must stay where they were. Peter, James and John only were to go forward with him to Jairus’ home (Mk). Jesus foresaw that they would be needed there. The rest of the apostles stayed behind to restrain the eager curiosity of the crowd.

Conventional lamentation

It was no small distance to the house, and by the time they arrived, the usual funeral arrangements were well in hand. The house was full of friends and relations besides the normal complement of professional mourners. This open lamentation by “singing men and singing women” (2 Chron. 35:25) was a long-established custom: “Consider ye, and call for the mourning women, that they may come ... and let them make haste, and take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may run down with tears, and our eyelids gush out with waters” (Jer. 9:17,18). Even the poorest man in Israel would lament the death of his wife with two pipers and one mourning woman.

Inside the house, Jesus stood and stared (Mk) with increasing disapproval at the simulated mourning and insincere lamentation of the hired professionals. Then he went into action. “Why do you make such tumult (Gk: riot)? Why are you weeping?” (Mk). Why, indeed? Because they were being paid for it! Then Jesus remonstrated: “The girl is not dead, she is asleep” (Mt). His words were a simple reminder of the teaching of the Scriptures, that those in the covenant of the Lord who sleep the sleep of death are quietly at rest until the day of waking up: “Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake” (Dan. 12:2). From this day forward the early church invariably referred to the death of those in Christ as a falling asleep. Even the graveyard was given a new name-the word “cemetery” is Greek for “dormitory”. The miracles of Jesus, followed by his own resurrection, made more real the Christian confidence of rising again from the tomb.

Those to whom Jesus spoke so peremptorily, knowing that the child really was dead, responded with a burst of derisive laughter (Lk). Thus they showed that their lamentation was all put on. But at least their scoffing guaranteed the fact of the girl’s death, and so turned to the glory of God by authenticating the miracle when Jesus restored her to life.


With a strong word of impatience (Mt) Jesus had them all out of the house in quick time, Peter, James and John making sure of prompt obedience. Then, taking the maiden’s parents and the three apostles who were with him (Mk), he went into the darkened room where she lay. There in the dim light as the rest stood back from that divan, he took her hand already colder than life, and suddenly called out briskly in the vernacular: “Talitha, kumi- My lamb, it’s time to get up” (Mk). By his action in taking her hand and, by his choice of this expression Jesus reminded those half-expectant parents of a Scripture which not only tells that “all flesh is grass” but which also brings the reassurance that “the Lord God will come with strong hand and shall gather the lambs with his arm” (ls. 40:6,10,11). That word “lamb” is the same in Hebrew: it is its only other occurrence.

The word of Jesus was effective at once. Immediately (Mk) “her spirit returned” (Lk and cp. Ecc. 12:7), that is, she was restored to life, and stood up forthwith (Lk). Then, seeing her father and mother, she walked (Mk) eagerly across to them, whilst they received her with caresses and a gladness past all power of human expression. After a little while Jesus intervened, partly for the benefit of the parents and partly for the girl’s own sake, and bade them get her some food. The reason for this is not difficult to discern. Most probably, during the last day or two of her fatal illness the child had eaten almost nothing. Now she was not only restored to life but was positively bursting with health, and her body craved food. Besides this, the simple activity of fetching food would be good for that over-wrought mother whose emotions had oscillated in less than an hour between the most violent extremes. More than this, the sight of their little girl eating with zest and enjoyment and talking happily between mouthfuls, would do more than anything else to convince those two blessed people that they had not been victims of hallucination or hasty misjudgement.

Resurrection and food

Time and again the New Testament makes the act of eating the strongest possible proof of resurrection. It was the Lord’s own most downright demonstration of his own resurrection — he ate fish and honeycomb before the incredulous gaze of his disciples (Lk.24:41-43). Lazarus, risen from the dead, is pointedly mentioned as being at the meal table (Jn. 12:1,2). The apostle Peter and also Luke in his summary at the beginning of Acts both stress that the risen Jesus ate food with his disciples (Acts 1:4 RVM; 10:41). And the saint’s hope of resurrection is couched in terms of the same matter-of-fact idiom: “I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof (of the memorial bread) until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God” (Lk. 22:16). “If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Rev.3:20). “To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God” (Rev. 2:7). “Blessed are they that are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev. 19:9).

It is noteworthy also how often personal contact between the one being raised from death and the agent of resurrection is pointedly mentioned in the Scripture narrative. The New Testament examples of the raising of the son of the widow of Main, of Eutychus and Tabitha, all follow the pattern of the present example of Jairus’ daughter. Elijah’s restoration of the son of the widow of Zarephath, Elisha’s recovering of the Shunamite’s child, and the amazing resuscitation of the man whose corpse touched the bones of Elisha-these are comparable Old Testament examples. No wonder Jesus said: “Except ye eat my flesh and drink my blood, ye have no life in you”-the idea is the same, but now on a higher plane.

Another acted parable

The two miracles considered in this study are bound together by a very singular fact-that the little girl was twelve years old, and the woman who was healed had been suffering for precisely that period of time (Lk. 8:42,43). This suggests what experience regarding the other miracles of Jesus would already lead one to expect, that these miracles were also intended as signs.

The daughter of the ruler of the synagogue is fairly evidently a figure of Jewry. It will soon be seen that the woman’s experience of suffering and healing may be read as a type of the conversion of the Gentiles. Her permanent uncleanness and inability to get any relief from recourse to doctors is a figure of the natural state of Gentiles who, finding all man-made religions useless, recognise that they are without God, without hope in the world-strangers from the commonwealth of Israel. Her present destitution through many an expensive useless treatment can be seen as a picture of all human dereliction apart from the grace of God. The resolve to seek a cure through coming to Christ expresses the fundamental of salvation-justification by faith. Her grasping of the hem of his garment underlines dependence on the obedience of Christ to the commandments of God (see once again Num.15:38,39). Zechariah foretells how “out of all the languages of the nations some will take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you” - i.e. you are Immanuel (8:23).

The crowd, unaware of the remarkable spiritual benefits going forth from Jesus in their midst represent the heedless nations of the world for whom also these blessings are available if only they shew the same faith.

That the woman came behind Jesus to grasp the benefit of close contact with him foreshadowed the call of the Gentiles to the faith after Jesus was crucified and risen from the dead. It was specially then that virtue went out of him. As the crowd refused at first to believe that any extraordinary miracle had happened, so at present the world around is unable to credit that Christ has special blessings for his inconspicuous faithful remnant. But before long the Lord will insist on a public witness to the fact that his greatest help has been secretly bestowed on those who have believed on him in their humble obscurity, and then he will pronounce yet greater blessing which will endure for all time. As this woman was called “Daughter”, so also will Jesus recognize his Gentile believers as true seed of Abraham.

In view of this correspondence, it is perhaps not surprising that there are marked similarities between this woman’s experience and that of the Prodigal Son, for in that best-known of all parables he likewise pre-figures the Gentiles. He too spent all he had, became unclean, and past all human help. He resolved that he must go for restoration to the only one who could and would be willing to help him. He came unannounced, and yet was known at once. He made his open confession, and was publicly acclaimed as Son, even as this woman was as Daughter. Such parallels do not occur in the gospels by accident.

By contrast with all this, the little daughter of the synagogue may be seen as a type of Jewry in the last days. The child’s sickness portrays Israel’s spiritual condition which none can cure save Christ. The synagogue is helpless. But there is delay in his coming “until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in”, and when he does come disaster will already have overtaken the nation-its own faithlessness will have brought all the adversities which lead to what appears to be a final end. Nevertheless in that hour of extremity there will be a faithful few, represented by Jairus (whose name means “enlightened by the Lord”). For the sake of these, Jesus will come in the hour of utter helplessness, he will rebuke those of the Dispersion who believe that there can now be no resurrection of the Hope of Israel, and will restore the stricken people. More than this, he will insist on the provision of sustaining food- he will put his law in their inward parts, and will write it in their hearts. This marvellous restoration from death will be the very climax of a triumphant ministry.

The blind and the dumb
As though to heighten yet further the cumulative impression of marvel and graciousness in this part of the ministry of Jesus, Matthew adds here to his long catalogue of miracles a brief mention of two other acts of healing.

Apparently it was as Jesus left the home of Jairus that he was followed by two blind men. It is necessary to assume that they had some helper to guide them, or how could they have followed him for even the shortest distance?

As they followed they cried out after him: “Thou son of David, have mercy upon us”. Word of the marvels just lately wrought by Jesus made them the more insistent. But there was intelligent faith in their plea also. They recognized Jesus as Son of David. This must mean not only that already Jesus was well-known as the scion of the royal family of Israel, but also that expectations were growing that he would proclaim himself the promised Messiah.

There may be further meaning behind this. Because of David’s frustrating experience over the capture of Jebus (2 Sam.5:8), in tribute to him and in token of their affection for him, Israel thenceforward excluded the blind and the lame from the sanctuary of the Lord set up in that captured citadel. So it may have been with reference to that decision that these blind men (and also those in Mt.12:23; 20:30) called him “Son of David”-as who should say: “We are not scornful enemies. We believe. Then give us our sight, so that we with you may worship in the House of the Lord”.

Perhaps it was because of this strong Messianic spirit, which they gave expression to that Jesus hesitated in granting their plea. Instead of healing them there and then, he apparently took no notice. Perhaps, as with the Canaanitish woman, he sought to test their faith (Mt. 15:26-28). It is possible that, like her, they were Gentiles (see note on v. 27), and for that reason Jesus, sent to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, had a certain reluctance. Or was he just trying to avoid publicity? Whatever the explanation, their eagerness was not to be gainsaid. They found the house to which he came and got their guide to lead them in to him, there to renew their importunity.

Now, away from the excitement of the crowd, Jesus was more willing to give them attention. “Believe ye that I can do this?” he asked. He knew without asking, but as with the woman whom he healed in the crowd, so also now he sought their open personal expression of faith in
himself: “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom.10:10).

In later days, with one blind man the Lord used spittle (Mk. 8:23). With another, he smeared blind eyes with mud (Jn. 9:6, 7). On this occasion, in response to their fervent assent, he now put his fingers on their eyes, with the words: “According to your faith be it unto you”, and forthwith sight was given them. Whilst they rejoiced at the wonderful new world now opened to them, Jesus laid it very emphatically on them that they must not allow this blessing given to them to create a lot of public excitement: “Ye see! Let no man know (who did this for you)”.

But his words fell on deaf ears. Lack of disciplined obedience marred the fervent faith they had shown in Christ. In their excitement they went out and told the story everywhere. It is difficult to admire their thankless self-indulgence. Even so, nearly all the Roman Catholic commentators applaud their disobedience!

As soon as Jesus and his disciples went abroad again, the crowd saw another sufferer brought to him-this time a man bereft of all power of speech, perhaps as the result of a stroke. When Jesus healed him before them all, their reaction on witnessing this further miracle found expression in a marvellous statement of faith: “He (God) was never so manifested in Israel!” If this reading is correct, it means that there were some here who saw in the wondrous works of Jesus a greater theophany than the Shekinah Glory seen in past ages by Moses and Isaiah and Ezekiel. This was the kind of response to warm the heart of Jesus. It was to this firm conviction that his miracles were designed to lead the nation. The people were being led on to see in Jesus the one who would fulfil yet more completely Isaiah’s gracious Messianic prophecy: “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped” (35:5). But how few saw also in Jesus “the way of holiness” (v.8)?

On the other hand the Pharisees, ever on the watch, and alert for every opportunity of denigration, did their utmost to counteract this growing faith in Jesus with a repetition of their foul slander: “He casteth out devils through the prince of devils”.

Notes: Mt.9:l 8-34

While he spake these things (about fasting). The context in Mt. is completely different from that in Mk. Lk. Is it possible that in his discourse (Mk. 5:21), Jesus had come back to this topic? - right attitudes to fasting.

There came a certain (one) ruler. AV is correct here, and the modern versions: “there came in a ruler”, are wrong. The error arises from telescoping two Gk. words into one.

Is even now dead. More exactly: ‘she just died’. How reconcile with Mk. 5:23, 35?

(a) With implied ellipsis: (so we thought), (b) An inference from how she was when he left the house some distance off. (c) Mt’s much abbreviated version anticipates Mk. 5:35.
Jesus arose, that is, from sitting as a teacher.
She said within herself Gk: she kept on saying. This was now her one assurance, her only hope, her sheet anchor.

His garment. Contrast hers: Jude 23.
Daughter. This is the only known time Jesus addressed a woman in this way. She must have been appreciably

younger than he, surely only in her twenties.
Put forth. Gk. passive voice probably implies unwillingness to go. This is why Jesus took the three disciples with him.
Blind. One 19th century traveller wrote that in Arabia he found at least one in five with serious eye disease. Note

the Biblical symbolism:

a. Retribution for sin in Israel: Dt. 28:29; ls. 59:10; Zeph. 1:17.

b. Israel made like unto Gentiles: ls. 42:18-20; 43:8; Mt. 15:4.

c. The healing of the Gentiles: ls. 29:18; Eph. 5:8.
Charged them. A very strong word, full of indignation; Mk. 1:43; 14:5.
In all that country (and v. 26). The phrase probably implies that when Matthew wrote, he was away from Galilee.


One of the rulers. Some synagogues had more than one; e.g. Acts 13:15.

Seeing him, as though not aware at first that Jesus was there. How reconcile with the implication (v. 35) that he had set out to seek the help of Jesus?
Healed. Literally: saved. The word is used in this narrative for both physical and spiritual healing (v. 34).
No better; s.w. Gal. 5:2.
Touch but his clothes. Cp. Acts. 19:11, 12; 5:15, 16. Capable of being interpreted as superstition or insight.
Plague. Literally: scourge; s.w. Acts 22:24; Heb.11:36.
Who touched me? Cp, questions intended to lead to repentance, in Gen. 3:9; 4:9; 2 Kgs. 5:25.
Go in peace. See also: Lk. 7:50; 17:19; 18:42.
Sleepeth. The list is a long one, and impressive: Jn. 11:11; Mt. 27:52; Acts 7:60; 13:36; 1 Cor. 7:39; 15:6, 18, 20, 51; 1 Th. 4:13-15; 2 Pet. 3:4.


Was a ruler. The verb might imply that Luke knew him to have been demoted later (through becoming disciple of Jesus?).
Thronged. An intensification of the word in Mk. 5:13: throttle, choke violently.

He had. A Hebraism in the Gk. text, to be expected in Mt. but here it is in Lk!
Believe... made whole (saved). Doubtless intended to remind Luke’s readers of Paul’s gospel of justification by faith.
RV: Give her to eat. The complete list is: Mt. 9:25; Lk. 7:14; Acts 9:41; 20:10; 1 Kgs. 17:21; 2 Kgs. 4:34; 13:21; Jn. 6:53. There are symbolic examples in Mt. 17:7; 8:15. Jn. 11:43 seems to be a rather remarkable exception. Why? 12:2?

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