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give her meat. And her parents were astonished: but He charged them that they should tell no man what was done.
Our Lord's custom was to heal the sick in exactly the way in which He was asked to heal them. And thus when Jairus prayed Him to come and lay His Hand upon his daughter, He set forth to do so. A crowd of people gathered round them, and one among them came forward to be healed of a disease, and was made whole. This caused some delay, and word came from the house that the child was dead. This was a great trial to Jairus' faith; but Christ did not leave him to bear it alone. He supported him at once, by saying, “Be not afraid ; only believe. They went on to the house; but our Lord only allowed St. Peter, St. James, and St. John, to enter it with Him and Jairus. These were the three favoured disciples, who were with Him in His glory and in His agony, on the Mount of Transfiguration, and in the Garden of Gethsemane.
It is the custom among the Jews when there is a death in the family, to tear their hair, rend their clothes, and utter loud cries and groans, and also to hire mourning women and flute-players to wail and lament for the departed. All this noise and confusion was going on in the ruler's house, when our Lord entered it. He at once put these hired mourners out of doors. Why should they lament over one who was so soon coming back to life? Her death was nothing but a sleep, from which Christ had come to awake her. By His Word and the touch of His Hand He called her back to life in the presence of her father and mother, and of His three chief Apostles.
'Jeremiah, ix. 17, 18.
Thus did our Lord fulfil what Hannah had said in her song, "The Lord killeth, and maketh alive.' Thus does He shew us that 'as the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom He will.'? And thus does He now quicken souls who were dead in trespasses and sins, and raise them from the death of sin to the life of righteousness, that henceforth they may walk in newness of life.
VII.-THE HEALING OF THE WOMAN
WITH AN ISSUE OF BLOOD.
Our Lord was walking by Jairus' side to the house where his dying daughter lay, when a crowd of people collected around them, full of curiosity as to what would happen. Among them came one poor sufferer in hopes of relief, and she obtained it. Such overflowing grace dwelt in the Prince of Life, that as He was hastening to perform one miracle of mercy, He performed another by the way. The history is related in St. Luke, viii. 43-48, and has been given above.
This poor woman's faith and humility were very great. She knew herself to be unclean according to the Law of Moses, and not worthy to come before our Lord or ask for the touch of His Hand. She was satisfied to draw near among the crowd behind, and touch the hem of His garment. She touched, and she was healed. Thus once before a whole multitude sought to touch Him; for there went virtue out of Him, and " i Samuel, ii. 6.
* St. John, va 21
healed them all.?? Thus afterwards God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul, and those who touched aprons or handkerchiefs which had been brought from his body were healed.
The woman was healed secretly, and would have remained hidden, but for her own sake and for the sake of Jairus, whose faith needed strengthening, our Lord desired that she should confess and make known the benefit she had received. By His questions and His searching looks He brought her to His feet, and there she confessed why she had touched Him, and how she had been healed at once. And it would indeed have been a loss to her if she had not thus acknowledged God's mercies, and heard in return the gracious words : “Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath saved thee. Go in peace
VIII.-OPENING THE EYES OF TWO
BLINDNESS has always been more common in Eastern countries than in our own land, partly because of the greater heat and the dust and flying sand that fill the air, partly because the people there have a custom of sleeping in the open
air on the flat roofs of their houses. Thus they expose their eyes to the dews of the night, which are very dangerous to the sight. Isaiah had said long before of the days of the Messiah, Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened;' St. Luke, vi, 19.
Acts, xix. 12. * Isaiah, xxxv. 5.
and we read how this prophecy began to be fulfilled, in St. Matthew, ix. 27-31.
And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed Him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us.
And when He was come into the house, the blind men came to Him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto Him, Yea, Lord. Then touched He their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened ; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it. But they, when they were departed, spread abroad His fame in all that country.
The unbelieving Jews, though they beheld Jesus of Nazareth, could not see Him to be the Messiah; but these blind men, though unable to behold Him, owned Him for the Messiah, the Son of David. They asked for mercy; but what they wanted was, their sight restored to them. Our Lord did not grant it them at once.
He tried their faith, by walking away from them, and leaving them to come after Hin into the house. Then He questioned them, and brought them to confess their faith in Him. At last, with the touch of His Hand, He opened their eyes. We must observe that He always used some such token in giving sight to the blind. We never read that He opened their eyes by His Word alone.
He charged them to let no man know of the miracle; but they published it throughout all the country. No doubt they spoke out of gratitude and thankfulness. It must have been very hard to them to keep silence. But to obey is better
than sacrifice; and it appears to us that the Lord Jesus would have been more honoured by their obedience, than by all they said of Him.
IX.-THE HEALING OF THE MAN SICK
OF THE PALSY.
Tais miracle took place at Capernaum. This was a populous city on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee, where our Lord lived so much, that it is called in the Gospels His own city. Bethlehem was His birth-place, Nazareth His nursing-place, but Capernaum His dwelling-place. It was, however, none the better for this honour, but rather the worse; and our Lord Jesus upbraided it for not repenting, though He did mighty works in it. One of these mighty works was the healing the man sick of the palsy. It is related in St. Mark, ii. 1-12; and also in St. Matt. ix. 1-8; and St. Luke, v. 17-26. St. Matthew's account is read as the Gospel for the Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity.
And again He entered into Capernaum, after some days; and it was noised that He was in the house. And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door : and He preached the Word unto them. And they came unto Him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four. And when they could not come nigh unto Him for the press, they
St. Matt. xi. 20, 23.