She’s Just Sleeping

While Jesus was still speaking to the woman in Mark 5:21-43, some people from Jarius’ house came to tell him that his daughter’s dead. “Why trouble the Teacher (Jesus) any longer?” But Jesus overheard them and encouraged Jarius, “Don’t fear, only believe.” When they’d reached the house, Jesus allowed nobody to follow Him in except for Peter, James, and John, James’ brother. Inside the house, people were wailing and weeping loudly. Jesus asked them, “Why? The child’s sleeping, not dead.” But they just laughed at Him. So Jesus put them outside also. Jesus then took Jarius, his wife, and Jesus’ 3 Apostles in to where the daughter was. He took her by the hand and told her, “Girl, get up!” Immediately, the 12 year old girl got up and began walking around. They were all overcome by amazement. Then, Jesus STRICTLY ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give the girl something to eat.

This event has been on my mind for the past several weeks now, and the 2 things that I continue to think about are when Jesus told them that the girl was just sleeping, and when He strictly told them not to tell anybody about this event of bringing the girl back to life. I have to wonder if the 2 aren’t connected. Check this out:

I’ve heard several sermons and teachings on the whole point of the girl’s sleeping and being dead. Some have compared death to sleeping from this text, some have used this text to explain what happens when somebody dies, and there are several other views, also. But I wonder if maybe the reason why Jesus said that the girl was just sleeping had no real deep theological point to it, but was instead to temporarily cover up this great miracle? If this was the case, then by telling everybody in the room that the girl was just sleeping, they could later bring the girl out, and everyone could see her and say, “Wow, He was right. She was just sleeping.” And when it came to her sickness, Jesus was already known as a healer, so that part would not bring up any suspicion. She was sleeping, and Jesus healed her from her illness. End of story.

Reflection:

  1. If Jesus was trying to cover up the miracle, then the question to raise is, why? What are some of your thoughts on the reason for the cover-up?
  2. Why do you suppose Jesus only allowed 3 of His 12 Apostles into the house? And why do you suppose Jesus kicked out those who were inside, weeping and doubting Jesus’ claims of her just sleeping?
  3. How could Jesus’ sending out of those who laughed at Him be connected with what Jesus told Jarius in verse 36 (look forward to chapter 6:1-5). Looking at this, why is it so important to be in the presence of people with faith in Jesus?

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