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A Dead Girl and a Sick Woman

Read: Matt. 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43

Little girl . . . arise. (Mark 5:41)

This section of Matthew recounts two intertwined miracles. In both cases Jesus is not contaminated by contact with the unclean (a bleeding woman and a corpse), but instead is the source of healing and life.

Mark describes the scene at Jairus’s home in exquisite detail. Jesus approached the dead girl, took her by the hand and said, “Talitha cumi,” that is, “Little girl . . . arise!” (Mark 5:41). Jesus spoke in Aramaic, the people’s heart language. When he summoned this child back to life, Jesus called out to her heart. These words must have made a great impression upon the disciples who witnessed them because decades later when Peter came to tell Mark the story, he wrote them down verbatim.

But this is more than just a wonderful story. It is a sign pointing to the nature of God’s kingdom. It’s just not right that we live in a world where children die. Things like sickness and hunger and war and death don’t belong here. These horrible things come to us in the wake of humanity’s sin, but they cannot finally remain where God is. They were not part of God’s original creation; and they won’t be part of his kingdom when it comes in its fullness.

So kingdom miracles offer us a glimpse of the shalom of heaven and the world to come. And these signs serve as a preview of coming attractions. Because one day the Lord will take you by the hand, and say, “Child, get up.” And you will! —David Bast

As you pray, give thanks for the promise of life and the new creation.

About the Author

david bast

Rev. Dave Bast retired as the President and Broadcast Minister of Words of Hope in January 2017, after 23 years with the ministry. Prior to his ministry and work at Words of Hope, Dave served as a pastor for 18 years in congregations in the Reformed Church in America. He is the author of several devotional books. A graduate of Hope College and Western Theological Seminary, he has also studied at both the Fuller and Calvin seminaries. Dave and his wife, Betty Jo, have four children and four grandchildren. Dave enjoys reading, growing tomatoes, and avidly follows the Detroit Tigers.

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