And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.…
The two miracles recorded in this passage were blended both in fact and in narrative, and together they illustrate some of the beauties of our Lord's character and work. Of these we select the following: -
I. HIS DISINTERESTED KINDNESS. NO doubt his miracles were attestations of Divine power, but none of them were wrought with the idea of gaining personal fame. On the contrary, he endeavored to silence the demands of gaping curiosity, and rebuked those who sought for signs and wonders. He refused the worldly homage which the people proffered when they wished to make him a king. He checked the spread of his own fame, lest men should care too much for material blessings, or should offer him the adulation a wonder-worker would have sought. If he had willed it, all the riches of the world would have been poured at his feet; but he had not where to lay his head; and although Jairus and others would have given all their possessions as the price of the benefits they sought, Christ bestowed the blessing "without money and without price." Herein he appeared as the true Representative - "the express image" of him who delights in mercy for mercy's own sake. God gives air and sunshine without any effort, or solicitation, or thanksgiving on the part of man. He makes the garden of the cottager as fruitful as the fields of the rich, who can do so much more in return for his gifts. Ferns grow in shady hollows, and flowers adorn lonely cliffs, and even heaps of refuse. With a lavish hand the Creator bestows his gifts. "He is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works."
II. HIS PERSONAL CONSIDERATION FOR EACH SUPPLIANT. If we are acquainted with many subjects, our knowledge of each is often proportionately inaccurate; if we know many persons, our acquaintance with them is but casual. If we concentrate our thought upon a person or a thing, that concentration is often exclusive of other persons and things. It was never thus with our Lord. Though he rules the worlds, there is not a single prayer unheard, or a feeble touch of faith unfelt. One who has been left alone to battle with his griefs may still say to himself, "But the Lord cares for me." He will no more hurry over a case than over that of the poor woman in the crowd, nor will he allow any delay to prevent the full coming of a blessing such as that which Jairus had at last.
III. HIS CONSTANT DESIRE FOR SPIRITUAL RESULTS. The temporal was to be the channel of the eternal. Healing of the soul often accompanied his healing of the body, and for the former he chiefly cared. On this occasion every moment was precious. The result of delay would be death and mourning in Jairus's home; yet he stayed not only to cure the woman, but to get her acknowledgment, and to give her and others fuller instruction. Had it been only her physical cure he sought, she could have waited a few hours; but the delay was largely for the spiritual good of Jairus. This ruler had not the faith of the centurion, who believed that Christ need not touch his servant, or even enter his house. Jairus's faith needed strengthening, and it was with this end in view that he saw what he did - a woman shut out from the synagogue of which he was ruler, who was saved by her simple faith, and this with the greatest possible ease on the part of the Lord. Hence it was that when the news came, "Thy daughter is dead," Jairus was not utterly dismayed, and under the influence of the cheering words of our Lord his faith revived in purer form. It is still true that delay in answer to prayer, during which grief and loss comes, is meant to work in us the peaceable fruit of righteousness.
IV. HIS BROAD SYMPATHIES AND ACTIVITIES. The love of Christ was not like some little stream which is confined between its two banks, and must be so confined if it is to be a blessing; but it was like the sea, which, when the tide rises, floods the whole shore, and fills every tiny creek as well as every yawning bay. He was never so absorbed in one mission as to neglect the side opportunities of life. Son if us have a tendency to absorption in one single duty, and the temptation is strong in proportion to the intensity and earnestness of our nature. But intenseness must not be allowed to make us narrow. To set before ourselves a special end is good, but this may lead to a neglect of other duties which is unnecessary and sometimes sinful. For example, some concentrate their interests in business or in pleasure, and declare that they have no time for devout thought; and at last they will find that they have grasped shadows and lost the substance. Christians fall into a similar error. Some do public service, and their names are widely known in the Church, but they have scarcely exercised any good influence at home. The Church benefits, but the children are neglected. And often the opposite is true; for to many the home is everything, and the Church is nothing. Others, again, are so absorbed in one special work (that of the Sunday school, or temperance reform, for example), that they have little sympathy for their brethren who are engaged in other spheres of the manifold life of the Church. And there are others more guilty by far than these, who are absorbed in future work. They are always "going to do" this or that; but meanwhile their neighbors are uninfluenced and their own children are neglected. As they are not faithful with the few things, it would be contrary to God's law if they became rulers over many things. If our Lord had been animated by the spirit displayed by any of these, he would have said to the woman, "My errand is one of life and death; there must be no touching even the skirts of my garment now. All else must wait till I have discharged this mission? But, by the course he took, he taught us this lesson. There is nothing within the range of our power that is beyond the range of our responsibility. In all these respects Christ has left us an example, that we should follow his steps. - A.R.
Parallel VersesKJV: And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.