November 22, 2006

The Secret That Couldn't Be Kept

2006 1533 page13 capHEN JESUS RETURNED ACROSS the sea with his disciples, a great crowd were waiting to receive him, and they welcomed him with much joy. The fact of his coming being noised abroad, the people had collected in great numbers to listen to his teaching. There were the rich and poor, the high and low, Pharisees, doctors, and lawyers, all anxious to hear his words, and witness his miracles. As usual, there were many of the sick and variously afflicted entreating his mercy in their behalf.
At length, faint and weary with the work of teaching and healing, Jesus left the multitude in order to partake of food in the house of Levi. But the people pressed about the door, bringing the sick, the deformed, and the lunatic, for him to heal. As he sat at the table, one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus, by name, came and fell at his feet, beseeching him: “My little daughter lieth at the point of death. I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.”
2006 1533 page13The father was in great distress, for his child had been given up to die by the most learned physicians. Jesus at once responded to the entreaty of the stricken parent, and went with him to his home. The disciples were surprised at this ready compliance with the request of the haughty ruler. Although it was only a short distance, their progress was very slow; for the people pressed forward on every side eager to see the great Teacher who had created so much excitement, begging his attention and his aid. The anxious father urged his way through the crowd, fearful of being too late. But Jesus, pitying the people, and deploring their spiritual darkness and physical maladies, stopped now and then to minister to their wants. Occasionally he was nearly carried off his feet by the surging masses.
. . . As they resumed their way, a messenger pressed through the crowd to Jairus, bearing the news that his daughter was dead, and it was useless to trouble the Master further. The sympathizing ear of Jesus caught the words that smote the father’s heart like the death-knell of his hopes. The pity of the Saviour was drawn out toward the suffering parent. He said to him, in his divine compassion, “Fear not; believe only, and she shall be made whole.”
Hearing these words of hope, Jairus pressed closer to the side of Jesus, and they hurried to the ruler’s house. The Saviour suffered no one to enter the room with him where the child lay dead, except a few of his most faithful disciples, and the parents themselves. The mourners were making a great show of grief, and he rebuked them, saying, “Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.” The women, who, according to the custom of the country, were employed to make this external display of sorrow, were indignant at this remark made by a humble stranger, and they began to inquire by what authority this person came, commanding them to cease lamenting for the dead and asserting that the girl still lived. They had seen the touch of death change the living child to a pulseless and unconscious form. They laughed at the words of Jesus to scorn, as they left the room at his command. Accompanied by the father and mother, with Peter, James, and John, the Saviour approached the bedside, and, taking the child’s hand in his own, he pronounced softly, in the familiar language of her home, the words, “Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.”
Instantly a tremor quivered through the entire body. The pulses of life beat again in the blue-veined temples, the pallid lips opened with a smile, the bosom heaved with returning breath, the waxen lids opened widely as if from sleep, and the dark eyes looked out wonderingly. The girl arose, weak from her long illness, but free from disease. She walked slowly across the room, while the parents wept for joy. Jesus bade them give her food, and charged all the household to tell no one what had been done there. But notwithstanding his injunction to secrecy, the news spread far and near that he had raised the dead to life. A large number were present when the child died, and when they again beheld her alive and well, it was impossible to prevent them from reporting the wonderful deed done by the great Physician.
This selection is excerpted from a pamphlet titled “Redemption: Or the Miracles of Christ, the Mighty One” that first appeared in 1877. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. White exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry.