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Luke 8

Wells of Living Water CommentaryWells of Living Water

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Verses 41-56

The Raising of the Daughter of Jairus

Luke 8:41-56


1. Death comes alike to all. The human race from the very beginning has fallen under the sway and power of death. God said unto Adam: "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Therefore, Adam and his wife were dead, dead in trespasses and in sins from the moment of their disobedience. They also had physical death written upon them. Every son begotten of Adam's race from that day to this, was born with a corruptible dying body.

In the fifth chapter of Genesis is the story of Adam's generations. It may be summed up like this:

"Adam lived * * and he died.

Seth lived * * and he died.

Enos lived * * and he died.

Canaan lived * * and he died," etc.

Thus the story goes on, with but one exception, until we come to Noah. Then Noah lived and he died. Enoch had a corruptible body, but he was caught up to God, and he was not for God took him.

With the exception of Enoch and of Elijah and perhaps of John, the beloved disciple, it may be said of each of the multiplied millions and billions who have lived since Adam "he lived and he died."

2. Death has no favorites. When death's reaper comes with his sickle he never considers the estate of the sons of men. We have already suggested that the daughter of the nobleman, the son of a widow, and the brother of two saints, Mary and Martha, alike were stricken by death.

The nobleman may have been shocked that death should enter his home. He had a lovely child. He was able to give to his child every advantage in the way of schooling, of food, and of raiment; and yet, the child took sick and died.

The king and the pauper, the peer and the poor, the mighty and the ignoble, the old and the young, all fall under the sway of death.

3. Death brings disappointment, sorrow, and heartache. Sometimes there is more reason for grief than at other times. It is easier to see an old man die, who has filled his years and served his generation than it is to see a child cut off. With the one there is only the sorrow of separation; with the other there is the sorrow of broken hopes, spoiled visions, crushed plans.

In the case of the nobleman's daughter, we may easily imagine the air castles that the parents had builded. The wonderful anticipations which they had placed upon their child. Their child was the joy of their home, and the light of their countenance.

4. Death is the result of sin. So many, when death swoops down upon them and breaks up their home, begin to criticize and to find fault with God. Others say, God gave and God hath taken away, blessed be the Name of the Lord. However, in each case, death comes as a part of sin's wreckage.

"Sin entered into the world, and death by sin." Therefore, death is the result of sin. Where there is no sin (in the glory light of Heaven), there will be no sorrow, no sighing, no tears, and no death.


Our Scripture verse tells us that when the daughter of Jairus was sick, that Jairus came to Jesus and fell down at His feet and besought Him that He would come into his house.

1. Sorrows pull us to God. It is quite likely that this man Jairus would never have sought the Master, if his daughter had not been stricken. He was a ruler in the synagogue, and the rulers of the synagogue, for the most part, were antagonistic to Christ.

To approach Christ was to make oneself the butt of ridicule, and of condemnation. Nicodemus, who was a ruler of the Jews, came to Jesus, but he came by night.

How often are there men and women who never attend church, who never pray, who never seek the face of the Lord, yet, when stricken, they immediately cry unto God for help. Is it not far better to cultivate His presence when the sun shines, and when all is well?

Surely, if we walk with God in the light, He will not desert us in the shadows. He who has clung to the Lord in the time of praise, will find Him a present help in the time of trouble.

2. Sorrows teach us the attitude of prayer. The ruler fell at Jesus' feet. Is not that the place for the suppliant? Worship means self-abasement, self-negation. We fall down because we acknowledge our own helplessness, and confess our own needs. We are weak, but He is strong; we are helpless, but He is mighty.

Our place at Jesus' feet, is the place where we acknowledge His Deity, His Lordship, His potency.

"Oh, that with yonder sacred throng.

We at His feet may fall,

We'll join the everlasting throng,

And crown Him Lord of all."


1. Divine reminiscences. As we think of Luke 8:42 , where we read: "He had one only daughter, * * and she lay a dying," we cannot keep our minds from remembering how God had an only Son, and how He gave Him to die for us all.

Our minds also go to Abraham for we read of him, that he had an only son, whom he loved. It was this only son, it was this son of his love, whom God asked him to sacrifice on Mount Moriah.

Let us never hesitate to give to God our only son or only daughter, that is the very best which we have; for God gave His only Son to us.

2. A breaking heart. As we read our verse, we feel like placing an emphasis on the fact that this ruler of the synagogue, named Jairus, "had one only daughter." It does not merely say that she was his one daughter, nor does it merely say that she was his only daughter, but it says that she was his one only daughter. Here is emphasis. This emphasis suggests that the whole life of Jairus was centered in this child. Upon her he was building his hopes, placing his affections. Thus, as she lay a-dying, his life seemed to be going out with her.

We wonder how many of us there are who are willing to place our all at His feet.

"The dearest idol I have known,

Whate'er that idol be,

Help me to cast it at Thy throne,

And worship only Thee."

We do not condemn Jairus because he sought to retain his one and only daughter. During the twelve years of her life, she had entered so fully into his life that she was, in fact, a part of him. It was not only natural but it was right that he should appeal unto the Lord, that she might live. However, in his appeal, he should have sought her restoration, not only for his own sake, but for the Lord's. He should have sought her restoration to himself only that he might have laid her restored and well as the gift of his heart at the Master's feet.

III. OBSTACLES BY THE WAY (Luke 8:42 , l.c.)

Our Scripture is like this: "But as He went the people thronged Him."

1. There are always obstacles which will hinder our getting to Christ. Those obstacles are oftentimes the very people who should assist us in our quest.

As Jairus sought the Lord, he found that Christ was thronged with people. Not only that, but he found the Master, Himself, busy with the cares of others. Everything seemed set to stop him in his quest.

There is one thing true, however, obstacles only hinder the indifferent. He who is dead in earnest will allow nothing to stop him in his approach to the throne.

Do you remember how blind Bartimaeus sought the Lord? He cried: "Jesus, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me." The more he cried, the more vehemently did the throng urge him to hold his peace. Did he cease to cry? Not he. He cried out the more. He cried the louder.

Shall we who long for peace and pardon stop at every criticism which is thrown at us? Shall we give up our quest because some friend would persecute us, or make light of our inquiry?

2. Our very obstacles God may use to help us on our way. The chief obstacle that stood between Jairus and the Lord was caused by a woman, who had come up behind the Lord Jesus, and had touched the border of His garment. Even when Jairus had pushed himself through the crowd, he soon found this woman holding the Master's attention. Was Jairus not the ruler in the Synagogue, and was she not his inferior? Was his daughter not lying at home a-dying, and could she who had impoverished herself during many years by spending her living upon the physicians, not step aside in his behalf? Why should he be barred from the Master by such as she? Such thoughts may have come to Jairus.

Yet, this is exactly what he needed. He needed to have his own faith increased. This is what occurred. "Jesus said, Who touched Me?" When she saw that she could not be hid she came trembling, and falling down before Christ, "She declared unto Him before all the people for what cause she had touched Him."

She then declared how she had been healed immediately. Jairus heard Christ say unto her, "Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole."

Do you see that while Christ was working this miracle, Jairus stood by? Do you see that Jairus was being made ready, by Divine providence; to exercise faith in God, a faith which was required to meet his own dire need?


Our verse says: "While He yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue's house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master."

1. We have here the hindrance of a new circumstance. The ruler had not come to Christ to seek the resurrection of a dead daughter, but to seek the healing of a dying daughter. Under the first circumstance, the ruler was ready to make his plea; under this added circumstance, he must have stood overwhelmed with what he supposed was a hopeless case.

How often do we circumscribe the power of God. We are willing to pray over small trivial affairs, but as the clouds deepen, we lose our grip, and the hope of faith takes wing.

2. We have here the hindrance of another's unbelief. One from the ruler's house, not only announced the death of the ruler's daughter, but he likewise gave the advice, "Trouble not the Master." In other words, he said: "It is too late now."

Is not Satan always sending some one to us to shatter our faith and to break our courage? There is always some Sanballat or some Tobias to mock us and to ridicule our attempts for God.

Beloved, let us remember, no matter how great the task, and how seemingly impossible the undertaking "With God all things are possible." When our God speaks no one can hold Him back. When we believe nothing can stop His working in our behalf.


1. The Lord knows our testings. We read, "when Jesus heard it." Of course He heard it. He always hears it. He knows the strategies of Satan. He sees the attacks of the tempter. We have a God who is not unmindful of the foes which beset us in the way.

2. The Lord disabuses our unbelief. To Jairus, Christ said: "Fear not." He was telling Jairus not to be stopped by the words of a hinderer.

A great book could be written on the disparagements and defeats of unbelief. We delight in reading in Hebrews 11:1-40 , "By faith Abel, By faith Enoch, By faith Noah, By faith Abraham," etc. Yet, how much can we read about "by unbelief." Let us remind you of Psalms 78:1-72 where the unbelief of the Children of Israel is so graphically set forth. God did this and God did that, but they believed Him not. They tempted God in their hearts, they "limited the Holy One of Israel"; they turned back and dealt unfaithfully, like their fathers.

Hebrews 4:1-16 tells us that they "entered not in because of unbelief."

3. The Lord strengthens our faith. To Jairus, He said, "Believe only, and she shall be made whole." On the one hand He had said, "Fear not," on the other hand He said, "Believe only."

Perhaps, if Jairus had not been hindered in his quest, while, with his own eyes he saw the healing of a woman who had an issue of blood of twelve years' standing, we say perhaps his faith might have wavered. Now, with the news that his daughter was dead, now with the advice of one of his household to trouble not the Master, he still clung on.

Jesus seemed to be putting His arm around Jairus. Do you remember when Peter, about to sink, cried, "Lord, save me, I perish"? Do you remember, also, how the Lord stretched forth His hand; and how the touch of that hand put new faith into the staggering disciple? Thus was Jairus strengthened by the words of Christ, "Believe only."

VI. ENTERING THE HOUSE (Luke 8:51-53 )

1. The journey toward the house of Jairus. Together they walked, the Lord and Jairus. Nothing is given us of any words which may have been spoken. Perhaps Christ had said His all when He said, "Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole."

In silence they may have pressed their way. With them, beyond doubt, the multitude went. The crowd had just seen one mighty miracle; they wondered what might happen next. They had seen the sick made well; were they to see the dead brought to life? Full of expectant excitement, they surged around the two as they journeyed.

2. What they found at home. As they reached the ruler's house, they heard the people weeping and bewailing the death of the ruler's daughter. The Lord quickly said, "Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth." The populace turned their weeping into laughter and into scorn. They knew that she was dead.

What effect had all of this upon Jairus? He heard the weeping, he heard the Master's words, he heard the laughter, he saw the scorn; and yet, obediently, he followed on.

3. The exclusion of all unbelievers. Putting everybody from the house, with the exception of Peter, James, and John; and with the exception of the father and mother of the maiden, Jesus entered the death chamber. The Lord quietly stepped up to the bed, took the dead child by the hand, and called, saying: "Maid, arise."

Beloved, we have a wonderful Lord, power belongeth unto God.


1. From death unto life. Luke 8:55 says "Her spirit came again." Her spirit, therefore, had gone. She was dead. What is death then? It is the spirit leaving the body. The body without the spirit is dead.

2. From weakness unto strength. She arose straightway. This is the message of our verse. There was no delay. The Lord did not order His disciples to march around the bed upon which the child lay, and to cut themselves with lances. He did not ask them to wail and cry and pray for hours till God might answer. He did not Himself agonize and go into any incantations. He simply said, "Maid, arise," and she arose straightway. She who had lain weak and wasted in her dying; now arose well and strong in her resurrection.

3. From famishing to feasting. We do not know how many days the child had been unable to eat, and to take nourishment to any extent. We do know that people who are dying are not eager for food. Now, however, her hunger had returned, her natural forces were quickened and Christ commanded them to give her meat. All of this shows the completeness of Christ's work in our behalf.

Do you marvel that her parents were astonished? Do you doubt that they were rejoiced? Christ charged them that they should tell no man what was done. He made Himself of no reputation.

Do you remember how the Apostles, Peter and John, healed the lame man at the Gate of the Temple, called Beautiful? Do you remember how the people rushed from the Temple to do obeisance to Peter and to John? Do you remember how the disciples said: "God * * hath glorified His Son Jesus; * *. And His Name through faith in His Name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know?"


"Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death; because it was not possible that He should be holden of it" (Acts 2:24 ). I had a bed of asters last summer that reached clear across my garden in the country. Oh, how gayly they bloomed! They were planted late. On the sides were yet fresh blooming flowers, while the tops had gone to seed. Early frost came, and I found one day that that long line of radiant beauty was seared, and I said, "Ah! the season is too much for them; they have perished." I disliked to go and look at the bed, it looked so like a graveyard of flowers. But, four or five weeks ago one of my men called my attention to the fact that along the whole line of that bed there were asters coming up in the greatest abundance; and I looked, and behold, for every plant that I thought the winter had destroyed there were fifty plants that it had planted. What did those frosts and surly winds do? They caught my flowers, they slew them, they cast them to the ground, they trod with snowy feet upon them, and they said, leaving their work, "This is the end of you!" And the next spring there were for every root, fifty witnesses to rise up and say, "By death we live." And as it is in the floral tribe, so it is in God's Kingdom. By death came "everlasting life." From Streams in the Desert.

Bibliographical Information
Neighbour, Robert E. "Wells of Living Water Commentary on Luke 8". "Living Water". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lwc/luke-8.html.
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