Immediately the girl stood up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.
Immediately is a word used over forty times in Mark. Sometimes it is used simply as a connective like the word and. Here, it signifies time—the response to Jesus’ command to “get up” meets with an instant response.
Jesus didn’t restore the girl gradually. She didn’t slowly awaken, blink her eyes, and remain for a time in a semi-comatose state. The life in Him filled her up, while not exhausting the life that was in Him.
She stood and walked. Then, finally, Mark tells us her age: twelve. Her age connects her to the bleeding woman who had suffered for twelve years (5:25–34).
The bleeding woman was healed through her faith; but the little girl had no faith since she was dead. It was the faith of her father that brought Jesus to her.
You would think, in the wake of such a great miracle of raising Jairus’ daughter from the dead, that Jesus would want the news spread far and wide. Why, then, the order not to tell anyone?
Jesus already was pressed by huge crowds. News of a resurrection would have brought a mass of desperate beseechers asking Him to empty cemeteries. (One day He will do that—but not yet!) Jesus was determined to remain focused on teaching and inculcating kingdom principles. He couldn’t allocate all His time to performing miracles.
Further, Jesus didn’t want to lead the disciples or the crowd into false assumptions about the nature of His messiahship or kingdom. The “secret” of the kingdom—that the kingdom was internal and must be voluntarily received—would never be learned if His ministry consisted only of miraculous acts.
We can see the practicality of Jesus in this incident when He ordered that food be brought to the little girl. The order shows how complete the healing was—the little girl was able to resume normal life immediately. We never hear of her again. Perhaps she was known years later in the early church. People would say, “There’s Jairus’ daughter.” She would have been around fourteen when Jesus was crucified. Did she go on to become one of His witnesses throughout her life? We won’t know until the full story is told on the other side.
With the raising of this girl, the section from Mark 4:35 to 5:43 is ended. It contains a sampling of the four spheres in which Jesus showed power and authority: over nature, demons, illness, and death.
One day, nature will be no more. The heavens and earth will vanish in fervent heat. One day, demons will be forever doomed, never again to oppose or afflict God’s people. One day, illness and death will be banished eternally.
What we have in these four great miracles is a glimpse of what the eternal kingdom will be like. In performing these four miracles, Jesus moves the kingdom future into the kingdom present. It’s a tip-off for what things will be like in that Day.
Is His kingdom living in you today? If so, then you will be living in His kingdom in the age to come!
A Prayer: Lord Jesus, I’m grateful You have power to raise all Your followers up at the last Day and for all eternity.
Excerpted from Dr. Wood’s book, Fearless: How Jesus Changes Everything, available from Vital Resources.