Luke 8:49 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New TestamentObserve here, 1. The doleful news brought to Jairus's ears: Thy daughter is dead. The Lord does sometimes suffer the faith and patience of his children to be greatly exercised and tried. The loss of dear relations, particularly of children, especially of an only child, is one of the greatest sorrows of human life; a trial which has often shocked an ordinary patience and constancy of mind.
Observe, 2. Our Saviour's seasonable word of advice and comfort: Fear not, only believe. Christ stands ready to comfort believers in the hour of their greatest trials and temptations.
Observe, 3. Christ's application of himself in order to the raising to life Jairus's dead daughter.
And here, 1. He goes into the house only with three of his disciples, and the father and the mother of the maid, which was sufficient to bear witness of the truth of the miracle. Our Saviour, to avoid all show of vain glory, would not work this miracle publicly before all the people.
2. Our Saviour rebukes them for the show they made of immoderate grief and sorrow for the dead damsel: they wept and wailed greatly, with minstrels making a noise, say the other evangelists, according to the custom of the Heathens, who, by a mournful sort of music, did seek to stir up the passion of grief at their funerals. To mourn immoderately for the dead is an heathenish custom and practice; it is hurtful to the living, it is dishonorable to the dead; nor is it an argument of more love, but an evidence of less grace.
3. Christ adds a reason for this rebuke given by him: For the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth; "She is dead to you, but asleep to me;" not so dead as to be beyond my power to raise her to life.
Souls departed are under the guard of angels, near her dead body, waiting the pleasure of God, in order to its disposal, either to restore it again to its body or to translate it to its eternal mansion.
Observe, farther, the nature of death in general, and of the saints' death in particular; 'tis a sleep. Sleep is a state of rest; sleep is a sudden surprisal; in sleep there is an insensible passage of our time; the person sleeping shall certainly awake. Oh how much it is our wisdom to prepare for the bed of the grave; and so to live, that when we lie down in it, there may be nothing to disturb our rest!
Observe farther, with what facility and ease our Saviour raises the dead damsel with a word speaking, and St. Mark tells us what the words were Damsel, I say unto thee, arise. Mar 5:41, Syriac words, to show the truth of the miracle; not like a conjuror muttering a charm in an unknown tongue. The miracles which Christ wrought were real miracles, and carried their own evidence along with them.
Observe lastly, the charge given by our Saviour not to publish this miracle; he charged them to tell no man what was done, that is, divulge it not imprudently to such of the scribes and Pharisees, as would not be convinced by it, but only cavil at it, and be the more enraged against him for it, and seek his death before his appointed time was come.
Again, tell it no man unseasonably, and all at once, but gradually and by degrees: for it was the will of God, that the divine glory of Christ should not be manifested to the world all at once, and on the sudden, but by little and little, during his state of humiliation; for his resurrection was the time appointed by God for the full manifestation of Christ's Godhead, Declared to be the Son of God with power, by the resurrection from the dead. Rom 1:4
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Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament
William Burkitt (1650 - 1703) was a Church of England clergyman, bible expositor, and devotional writer.
Volume 1: Matthew - John, was published in 1700.
Volume 2: Acts - Revelation was published 1703.