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The Ruler's Daughter

Author unknown; edited by Stephen Ross

Jesus is the good physician: He cured all kinds of diseases without delay, without money, and without pain. The blind were made to see, the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak, and the dead were raised to life again. Among those who died, and had their lives restored, was a little girl about twelve years old.

Jesus was sitting in the house of Levi, or Matthew, when there came to Him a person named Jairus. He was one of the chief people in the town where he lived; he was also a ruler, whose duty it was to take care of the synagogue, or house in which the Jews met to read the Scriptures and pray to God. His little daughter lay at the point of death. As he had heard of the wonders done by Jesus, he thought he might also obtain help for his child.

We may suppose we see him, asking directions to the house where Jesus was, and as he goes along, perhaps, saying to himself, "I have heard of the great and strange things He has done; I will try what He can do for me. Surely He will not slight the case of my dear child, for they say He is ready to relieve all who apply to Him."

When Jairus came to the house, he saw Jesus teaching the people, for Jesus was always "doing good." He quickly went towards Him, threw himself at His feet, and told Him of the case of his youthful daughter. Jesus listened to his sad tale, and His heart felt a tender pity for the parent and for the child. He was at once moved to help them; for when did He ever refuse to relieve the afflicted and distressed? He could have spoken a word, and she would have been made well, though He did not go to her; but He rose up and went out: for another miracle was to be worked as He passed along. This was upon a poor woman who had been afflicted for twelve years. How Jairus must have rejoiced when he saw the cure on the woman! Now, he must have thought, I am sure He can heal my child, for I have seen a proof of His great power.

But there came from the Jairus' house "certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?" Oh! how the father's heart sank in grief! But Jesus turned to him, and kindly said, "Be not afraid; only believe, and she shall be made whole."

They now all went forward. As they came near to the ruler's house they heard the friends weeping within, and the minstrels playing in front of the door. It was the custom in that land to hire women to mourn for the dead, who also played doleful tunes on the tambourines and pipes. Jesus at once went into the house, along with three of His disciples and the parents of the child.

He first spoke a word of comfort to the parents: "The maid is not dead, but sleepeth" -- meaning, that her death was only like a short sleep. He then took her hand, and bade her rise. The word was no sooner spoken than the spirit of the child came back to the cold body. The color of health again glowed on her cheeks, and she arose, as if she had just awoke from a pleasant sleep.

The parents embrace their child with joy, and then, as we suppose, fall at the feet of Jesus, to thank and adore Him for this act of might and mercy.

In this beautiful account which is given us in the New Testament we may see—

1. The power of Jesus. He can do more than we ask or think. The ruler asked Him to cure his sick child, and He raised back to life his dead child. Jesus can raise our souls from a state of sin; and there is coming a day when He will raise our bodies from the grave.

2. The love of Jesus. "He went about doing good." He did good every day. It was His delight to do good. Sometimes He taught the people; sometimes He worked miracles. He showed His love to the poor and to the rich; to the young and to the old. His love is still the same: it can never change. Jesus Christ is "the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever." (Hebrews 13:8)

From The Children of the Bible. Chicago: Moody Press, [ca. 1900]. Edited.

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