18 “While he was saying these things to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples. 23 And when Jesus came to the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the crowd making a commotion, 24 he said, “Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him. 25 But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose. 26 And the report of this went through all that district.” (Matthew 9:18-19, 23–26 ESV)
When Jesus arrived at Jarius’ house, He saw flute players and a crowd making a commotion. Flute players (αὐλητής; auletes) were professional minstrels hired as mourners. The crowd was also making a commotion (θορυβέω; thorybeo). There was loud screaming and wailing. Vs. 25 says they were in the ruler’s house for after Jesus spoke to them, they were put outside.
.” In Mark’s account, Jesus permitted only Peter, James and John to follow Him (Mark 5:37). He also told Jairus to not fear but only believe (vs. 36). “Scripture never explains why these men were sometimes allowed to witness things that the other disciples were excluded from (cf. 9:2; 14:33), but the trio did constitute an inner circle within the Twelve,” explains Dr. John MacArthur.
Jesus said to the professional mourners and the crowd, ““Go away, for the girl is not dead but sleeping.” This was a figurative expression, Jesus meant that the girl was not dead in the normal sense, because her condition was only temporary. He would reverse it (John 11:11–14; Acts 7:60; 13:36; 1 Cor. 11:30; 15:6, 18, 20, 51; 1 Thess. 4:13–14).
“Jesus was not saying that her death was a misdiagnosis. This was a prophecy that she would live again. He made a similar comment about Lazarus’s death (John 11:11)—and then had to explain to the disciples that he was speaking metaphorically (John 11:14). Sleep is a designation for death in the NT (cf. 1 Cor. 11:30; 15:51; 1 Thess. 5:10),” states Dr. MacArthur.
The crowd laughed at Jesus. What a mockery of unbelief. What a contrast to the synagogue ruler who explicitly trusted Jesus to bring his daughter back to life.
After the crowd had been put outside the house, Jesus went in, took her by the hand and the girl came back to life. She arose.
What a parallel to our spiritual death prior to Jesus raising us to new life in Him. New life in Christ alone is by grace alone through God-given faith alone to the glory of God alone according to Scripture alone.
“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—” (Ephesians 2:1–5 (ESV)
A father’s despair gave way to widespread news of what Jesus had done (Matt. 9:26). This is comparable to when a sinner is converted. They share with anyone the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and their new life in Christ. There will be some who will mock. Others will think it fine for the individual in question, but not for them. Still others will be convicted of their sin and will also trust in Jesus Christ to raise them from spiritual death. They come to know the joy of God’s gracious salvation.
In which category are you? May you have a blessed day in Christ.
Soli deo Gloria!