Matthew 9:18. “While He spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped Him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay Thy hand upon her, and she shall live.”
Sometimes I wonder if we really understand the pathos in many of these stories. The immediate, obvious story here is the tragic death of a young girl, probably from some disease. Maybe a fever raged in her body, taking her swiftly. Maybe she had some sort of cancer that ate her slowly from the inside. We don’t know. But any parent can imagine the pain and grief when a dearly-loved child dies. It is out of time. The child is not supposed to die before the parent. I’m sure there was unbearable sorrow in the hearts of the parents of this girl.
This father had faith, but not the faith of the centurion. Remember, the centurion asked Jesus to simply speak the word, and his servant would be healed. This Jewish father, however, requested the physical presence of Jesus, and His touch.
The secondary meaning is a dispensational truth. Israel is often spoken of in the Old Testament as a daughter, the daughter of Zion. The daughter who has died is then a type, or picture, of the people of Israel. Only Jesus can bring life to Israel; only His presence can restore Israel. The first time He came, they would not come to Him for new, abundant life. But He is coming again to raise up His people, to bring to life the daughter of Zion.
Always, I am amazed at the deeper meanings in these stories. Jesus did nothing just for the sake of the miracle. His miracles were always significant of so much more than just the healing, or the feeding, or the bringing back to life.
There’s another interesting twist to this story, as well. We’ll take a look at that tomorrow.