Jesus Blesses Children09688_000_042
Jairus and his wife sat beside their daughter’s bed and worried. Their daughter grew sicker as each hour passed, and they feared she would die. They knew of only one more thing they could do to help her.
Jairus rushed out into the streets of Capernaum to try to find Jesus of Nazareth. Jairus knew that Jesus had healed people. Perhaps Jesus would come and heal his daughter.
Down near the seashore people gathered where Jesus had gotten off a boat. Jairus squeezed his way through the crowd until he was next to the Lord. Jairus fell on his knees and told Jesus that his daughter was sick and dying.
“I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live,” Jairus begged.
Jesus agreed, and many people followed them.
A messenger rushed to meet them and told Jairus that his daughter was already dead. It was too late for Jesus to come and help. Jesus said to Jairus, “Be not afraid, only believe.”
When they got to the home of Jairus, there was loud crying and noise. Many people were in the house, wailing with sadness.
Jesus walked into the house and told them not to weep, because the girl was not dead but only sleeping. Some of the people laughed at Jesus. They knew the girl had died.
Then Jesus sent all the noisy people away. He took Jairus and Jairus’s wife, along with His Apostles Peter, James, and John, into the room where the girl was lying on the bed.
Jesus took the girl by the hand and said, “Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.”
The girl stood up. Her parents were astonished and rejoiced. Their daughter was alive!
There were other times when Jesus healed and blessed children. One day in Perea, many people gathered around the Savior, listening to Him teach. Some people brought their children to see Jesus and to be blessed by Him.
The disciples of Jesus saw the children and tried to send them away. Jesus was busy with many people, and the children did not seem important. But Jesus told the disciples, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God.”
Then Jesus took each child in His arms. He put His hands on each one’s head and blessed them. Jesus told the adults that they needed to be humble like the little children.
Jairus was an important man in Capernaum. He was a ruler of the synagogue where all the Jews in the area went to worship.
When someone died in the time of Jesus, families paid people called mourners to come to their homes and cry loudly and play sad music on flutes. A person was buried within 24 hours after he or she died.
Damsel means a girl or young woman.
Top left: detail from Christ and the Rich Young Ruler, by Heinrich Hofmann, courtesy of C. Harrison Conroy Co.; other illustrations by Dan Burr