Truth Taught- Jesus has the Authority and Power to Raise the Dead
Our account today follows on the heels of Jesus teaching the disciples of John that the New Covenant, the Gospel and His ministry are the new things God is doing and cannot be placed as a patch over bleeding Judaism. The point last time was that it is the presence of Jesus that makes all this a reality and feasting not fasting is appropriate. I pray that the world we are living in reminds us that Jesus will one day make all things new. I pray you’re longing for that today. In light of these teachings that Jesus makes all things new, we have three Gospel healings Matthew presents. Today, because of the providence of God we are looking at the first two.
Again we see Matthew being amazed at how Jesus’ Words are backed up or illustrated by the acts of Jesus found in the very next section. Here Jesus teaches that He is the New Covenant and He makes all things new. Now, we will discover there is no limit to Jesus’ authority and power to make all things new.
What Matthew does is to group two healings of Jesus that immediately follow His teaching that He is the new and His presence makes all things new.
Revelation 21:5 (ESV)
5 And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
Here, the examples Matthew tells us about are two events that really are sandwiched together by timing and compassion. Both have to do with Jesus touching those afflicted.
The first is, if I can just get Jesus to come and touch my daughter she will live. The second if I can just touch Jesus I will be made well.
In touching someone Jesus is showing that He is a personal and tender Savior. To touch conveys love. When a family member returns you embrace them. You hug your wife, hold hands, kiss all these are signs of intimacy.
The Gospels use the words “hands,” “fingers,” and “touch” nearly two hundred times, and the words often refer to Jesus: “Jesus put out His hand and touched him . . . So He touched her hand . . . . He went in and took her by the hand . . . . Then He touched their eyes . . . .. Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand . . . Jesus came and touched them . . . . Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray . . .”
Jesus wasn’t afraid to touch others. Leprous skin didn’t disgust Him, nor did He hesitate to handle the filthy feet of His disciples in the Upper Room. Now He wants to use our hands to send the same message of love, humility, and acceptance.
Psalm 104:28 (ESV)
28 When you give it to them, they gather it up;
when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
God opens His hands and we experience blessings and kindness.
We too are to open our hands in kindness toward others especially those within our family and church family. Is anyone in need? How can I use my hands to help?
Are your hands open? Are your hands generous toward a needy person whom God brings across your path? Toward His work that needs support? Toward those depending on your provision?
We must use our hands to help others. At the beginning of Christ’s ministry, we read in Luke 4:40: “When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them.”
This wasn’t a show like the TV preachers but Jesus was touching lepers whom no one would touch. He was healing disease with a touch. He was even raising the dead with a touch. All of which would make the normal person unclean but not Jesus.
So, let’s pick up right after Jesus taught about the new patch should not be sewn into old cloth…
Matthew 9:18–26 (ESV)
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. 20 And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, 21 for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” 22 Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well. 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.
1. Jesus, If You Touch My Daughter She Will Be Made New
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.
Jairus was a ruler of the synagogue in Capernaum. His daughter is dead. Mark and Luke tell us that when he began his journey to Jesus she was still alive but fading fast. Now, he discovers from a messenger that she has passed away. What began as desperate trip for healing now has become a quest for resurrection. He has seen Jesus heal those who were sick. He’s heard the accounts of how Jesus could touch the leper and say I Am willing be healed. Now, the news is devastating. How much authority and power does Jesus really have? He can heal but can He raise the dead?
This ruler kneels before Jesus. As powerful as Jairus is, he realizes his power is very puny compared to this Man whom he approaches in desperate humility. Bowing down before Jesus is a great act of humility and worship. He knows who Jesus is and what authority He has. His knowledge may not be perfect but he knows crucial things about Jesus. He knows that Jesus has all authority and that if he can get Jesus to come to his home and touch his daughter she would be raised and she would live.
We must also see here that our Lord doesn’t need convincing and doesn’t say well if you had real faith I could heal your daughter from a distance. Our Lord responds to even the least amount of faith because He knows if it is true faith even a small amount it has been given by God His Father.
I don’t know the level of faith in this man? Perhaps it was a little faith coupled with utter desperation. At any rate he approaches Jesus the right way.
So, Jesus doesn’t discuss anything with Jairus but immediately begins to go with him to raise his daughter from the dead.
The focus here is on Jesus, not the man and not our Lord’s disciples although they were there and that is how we receive this report.
Something happens along the way…
2. If I Just Touch Jesus I Will Be Made New
20 And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, 21 for she said to herself, “If I only touch his garment, I will be made well.” 22 Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, “Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And instantly the woman was made well.
Now if you read Mark and Luke’s report the little girl who has died was twelve years old and this woman had been suffering with this bleeding disease for twelve years. She had suffered for twelve long years. It had cost her everything she had. Doctor’s couldn’t heal her all the medicine they prescribed failed to heal her. Her case, humanly speaking was impossible, nothing worked.
She suffered from bleeding for twelve years. She was also considered unclean. She could not go to the synagogue to worship.
Leviticus 15:25 (ESV)
25 “If a woman has a discharge of blood for many days, not at the time of her menstrual impurity, or if she has a discharge beyond the time of her impurity, all the days of the discharge she shall continue in uncleanness. As in the days of her impurity, she shall be unclean.
It’s interesting that Jairus was the ruler of the synagogue and this woman was unable to go to that same place of worship. Was Jairus the one who enforced this Levitical law? Had they met before? Had he possible sent her away?
She believed that while a touch from her would cause others uncleanness but to touch Jesus would have the opposite effect…Jesus would not become unclean but His power and authority would clean her or literally heal her causing this woman to become healed and cleansed all at once.
She touches the edge of Jesus’ outer garment and immediately, healing comes forth from Jesus. We must not forget that Jesus and the disciples are following Jairus through a great crowd when this happens. She touches Jesus and immediately He senses that healing power has left Him and He turns toward this suffering woman. His response is words of tender compassion…
Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.
It is important that we see here that her healing did not come about by some sort of magic or even touching Jesus by itself but it came about because those things were accompanied by faith. Our Lord explains to her that there is nothing magic about His garment but her faith is what healed her.
Many scholars see more here than just physical healing. Our Lord’s Words are more than that. Literally, you are saved. You are healed and made clean not only from your disease but from your sins as well. Now, she is very ready to come boldly before the throne of grace, isn’t she? Her life has been completely made new. She is a new creation in Christ.
3. Jesus Touched The Young Girl and She Was Made New
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 picks up the account at Jairus’ house. In Ancient Israel burial would take place very quickly after death so they didn’t waste any time. Here the hired mourners and flute players were already on the job.
No doubt there were also family and friends weeping and mourning over this little one who had died. According to Matthew the scene is chaotic and the sound was loud. So, Jesus did not want this little girl to open her eyes to this scene so He puts them outside.
Jesus tells everyone that she is asleep and not dead. Some have taught that our Lord here makes a correct diagnosis that she wasn’t actually dead but merely sleeping. This is not the meaning of Jesus’ words here. Jesus didn’t wake her from her afternoon nap but miraculously raised her from the dead.
When Jesus told them this they literally laughed at Him as to make fun of Him. Laughed Him down is the Greek. They knew she was actually dead. Jesus uses this language to show that with His healing touch it’s like she is sleeping.
With everyone out, Jesus takes her hand and the same authority and power that just healed the woman raises this twelve year old from the dead.
Here again, it was not lawful to touch a dead body. A dead body would make you unclean. Our Lord reaches out and touches her, taking her by the hand and she is made new.
Numbers 19:11 (ESV)
11 “Whoever touches the dead body of any person shall be unclean seven days.
Now, Jesus moves from healing to raising the dead. His power overcomes death and the little girl rises and sits up.
The talk of this miracle was widespread. Everyone heard that Jesus raised this little girl from the dead.
What We Learned Today
I want to see together that these miracles seen today in Jesus’ healing the woman who had been sick for twelve years and raising the twelve year old from the dead are pictures of the Gospel and the Power of Jesus. The miracles Jesus did were signs of what God will do in us one day. So, they point forward to something amazing God will do in us.
In Christ we have been made new. We have been healed from our sin disease. There is no human remedy, no cure that mankind can come up with that heals is of our sin sickness.
Psalm 103:2–3 (ESV)
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4. Jesus’ Miracles Point Past the Event to Deeper Truths…
A. Show Us Jesus’ Power and Confirm His Teaching
John 3:1–2 (ESV)
3 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”
Hebrews 2:4 (ESV)
4 while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.
B. Show Us the Kingdom of God is Here and Expanding
Our Lord’s miracles show us that the Kingdom of God has begun.
Matthew 12:28 (ESV)
28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
Healings free people from the ravages of sin, demonic oppression, and other Messiah promises fulfilled.
Luke 4:18–21 (ESV)
18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”
One miracle is still being practiced today…God’s Good News is still being preached. This is the way God expands His kingdom here and now. Everytime the Gospel is shared and the Holy Spirit awakens a heart and plants saving faith within God’s Kingdom is added to.
Do you have faith? Could Jesus say to us, you faith has saved you?
Matthew by D A Carson in the Expositor’s Bible Commentary
A Theology of Matthew by Charles Quarles
A Gospel of Matthew by France
Matthew by Craig Bloomberg
Matthew by Doriani
Matthew by Charles Price
Matthew by Leon Morris
Blue Letter Bible