From: Over 50 Interpreters Explain the Gospel of Luke Return to Home
By Roland H. Worth, Jr. © 2015
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WEB: His mother and brothers came to him, and they could not come near him for the crowd.
Young’s: And there came unto him his mother and
brethren, and they were not able to get to him because of the multitude,
Conte (RC): Then his mother and brothers came to him; but they were not able to go to him because of the crowd.
Context: The apparent unspoken background for the incident with His family . The object of their present attempt to reach Jesus appears, from Mark 3:21, to have been to take Him in charge, perhaps put Him under restraint, as not in His right mind. When they sat the great commotion made among the people by His preaching and works, they went out to lay hold on Him; for “they said He is beside Himself.” (Compare verses 31ff.) This does not necessarily breathe hostility, but only an honest fear that He was going crazy, and needed to be taken care of. But it does, of course, show that they lacked proper insight into the plan of their brother, and sympathy with the spirit of His work.
Whether Mary shared the error of her sons, cannot be positively affirmed. Some think she had, like John the Baptist, become seriously perplexed by his failure to realize her conception of His destined course (compare John ). But it is equally probable that she may have accompanied her sons only in sympathy with Jesus, and to moderate their attempts upon Him.
Then came to Him his mother.
Joseph is never mentioned after the scene in the
and His brethren. James, Joses, Simon. Judas. Possibly (Matthew ; Mark ) His sisters also came. 
and could not come at Him for the press [crowd, NKJV]. The other Evangelists speak of the multitude. Luke alone expressly states that His relatives could not get at Him on account of the crowd. 
In depth: In what
sense did Jesus have "brothers" in His family ? (a) In Mk. 6:3 and Matt. four brothers are mentioned by name: James, Joseph, Simon and Judas or Jude. (b)
Two of these, James and Jude, became influential in the early Christian
church. Both were authors of epistles,
and James was bishop of
(1) The Cousin theory. Jerome (died 420) held that the so-called brothers of the Lord were really His cousins, i.e., children of Mary, the sister of the Virgin, and Alpheus, or Clopas; and that two of them, James and Jude, became His apostles. Objections: (1) the Greek term denoting their relation is always "brothers and sisters" and never cousins or kinsman. Sound exegesis must hold to the primary meaning of these terms until compelled to depart from it. (2) The correct translation of that passage is: "I saw none other of the apostles; but I saw James the brother of the Lord." This places James in contrast to the apostles and excludes him from them.
(2) The half-brother theory. Epiphanias, bishop
(3) The full-brother theory. Helvidius, a
layman, (living about 380 at
Against this view the Roman Catholics and others raise three objections: Obj. 1. It is derogatory to the dignity of the Virgin to suppose that after the birth of Jesus, she bore children to Joseph in the natural way. Answer: This would degrade Mary in the eyes of those only who, contrary to the teaching of the Bible, (a) regard celibacy as a higher state than God-ordained wedlock, and who (b) hold the dogma, of the "Immaculate Conception of Mary," (made an article of faith on Dec. 8, 1854 by Pius IX), which dogma asserts that Mary "from the first instant of her conception by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God was preserved from all stain of original sin." The "perpetual virginity of Mary" is based on a mistaken veneration of the Virgin.
Obj. 2. Why did His brothers not believe on Him? John 7:3. If younger than He, He could have molded their character. Answer: Their attitude was one of doubt, and not hostility.
Obj. 3. Why did Christ on the cross commit Mary to John, if she had children living? Answer: (1) Very likely the brothers were not present. (2) John was Mary's nephew. (3) He was Christ's intimate friend and more congenial to her at this time than even her own children (Andrews, 111-123).
WEB: It was told him by some saying, "Your mother and your brothers stand outside, desiring to see you."
Young’s: and it was told him, saying, 'Thy mother
and thy brethren do stand without, wishing to see thee;'
Conte (RC): And it was reported to him, "Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you."
And it was told him by certain which said, Thy mother and thy brethren stand without. Implying that the family was unable to approach close to Him. There is a possibility that they could have but did not wish to do so: What they wished to get Him to do involved what we today might call “dirty laundry” (embarrassing actions) and they wished to get Him apart from the crowd both to save embarrassment to themselves and to Jesus as well. They were, apparently, doing what they thought had to be done and weren’t out to humiliate Him. (Although it seems inescapable that word would have spread and that that outcome was inevitable. Or embarrassment to themselves at His absolute refusal to return.) [rw]
desiring to see Thee. Had He not understood their disposition towards Him, and probable design in coming, we should expect Him to have given more attention to their request. 
WEB: But he answered them, "My mother and my brothers are these who hear the word of God, and do it."
Young’s: and he answering said unto them, 'My
mother and my brethren! they are those who the word of
God are hearing, and doing.'
Conte (RC): And in response, he said to them, "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it."
And He answered and said unto them. An answer was obviously needed and inescapable. Rather than turn now the family request explicitly, He argues that all His disciples were also equally part of His extended family. Paying attention to them was also paying attention to the needs of His family. The words get the job done with the least embarrassment to anyone. [rw]
My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it. [“Are these:”] The word implies the “looking round at those sitting in a circle about Him” of Mark , and the “stretching forth His hand towards His disciples” of Matthew . “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you,” John (compare ; John 2:4, ; Hebrews ). His earthly relatives needed the lesson that they must recognize in Him a Being who stood far above all relationships “after the flesh” (2 Corinthians ). Even disciples must “hate” father and mother in comparison with Christ (compare Deuteronomy 33:9). 
WEB: Now it happened on one of those days, that he entered into a boat, himself and his disciples, and he said to them, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." So they launched out.
Young’s: And it came to pass, on one of the days,
that he himself went into a boat with his disciples, and he said unto them, 'We
may go over to the other side of the lake;' and they set forth,
Conte (RC): Now it happened, on a certain day, that he climbed into a little boat with his disciples. And he said to them, "Let us make a crossing over the lake." And they embarked.
Now it came to pass on a certain day. Literally, “On one of those days”—namely, those occupied by that preaching tour which Jesus was now accomplishing. 
From Mark 4:35; Matthew 8:18, we should infer that this event took place in the evening on which He began to teach the crowd in parables, and that—attracted by the beauty and novelty of His teaching they lingered round Him till, in utter weariness, He longed to escape to the secluded loneliness of the Eastern shore of the lake. Possibly the interference of His kinsmen may have added the last touch to the fatigue and emotion which imperatively demanded retirement and rest. 
that He went into a ship with His disciples. At what point He embarked is not certain, but it was on the west side of the lake. Did the former fishermen among His disciples retain some [ownership] interest in a boat, which they could command? Did Zebedee favor his sons and their Master with the use of one? Had they to pay the fare in one, out of the slender remnant of some private resources or by the liberality of helping men and women? We cannot tell. 
Before the boat pushed off, we learn that three aspirants for discipleship came to Him, Matthew 8:19-22 (Luke -62). 
and he said unto
them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. The Peraean side of
And they launched forth. Such was His weariness and eagerness to get away that they took Him “as He was”—without even pausing for any food or refreshment—into the boat, Mark . 
WEB: But as they sailed, he fell asleep. A wind storm came down on the lake, and they were taking on dangerous amounts of water.
Young’s: and as they are sailing he fell deeply
asleep, and there came down a storm of wind to the lake, and they were filling,
and were in peril.
Conte (RC): And as they were sailing, he slept. And a windstorm descended over the lake. And they were taking on water and were in danger.
But as they sailed, He fell asleep. Fatigued with the labors of the day, Jesus had withdrawn Himself to the hinder part of the vessel, and composed Himself to sleep. 
The day had been one of incessant toil; and He was resting (as Mark tells us reflecting the vivid reminiscence of Peter) “in the stern on the steersman’s leather cushion,” Mark : contrast with this Jonah 1:5. 
and there came down a storm of wind on the lake. An occurrence still very common and easily accounted for by the difference in elevation and temperature between the deeply depressed and sultry sea-level and the cool summits of the steep, surrounding hills. Gullying ravines guided the currents of cold air from the snow-clad mountains at the north to above the water. The effect on the little lake is often exceedingly formidable. The waves rise to heights which would hardly seem possible on so limited a surface. 
The outburst of this storm perhaps frightened back the boats which started with Him, Mark 4:36. 
and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. “The waves were dashing into the boat, so that it was getting full,” Mark ; “the boat was being hidden under the waves,” Matthew . The tossing ship (Navicella) has been accepted in all ages as the type of the church in seasons of peril. 
Weymouth: So they came and woke Him, crying, "Rabbi, Rabbi, we are drowning." Then He roused Himself and rebuked the wind and the surging of the water, and they ceased and there was a calm.
WEB: They came to him, and awoke him, saying, "Master, master, we are dying!" He awoke, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water, and they ceased, and it was calm.
Young’s: And having come near, they awoke him,
saying, 'Master, master, we perish;' and he, having arisen, rebuked the wind
and the raging of the water, and they ceased, and there came a calm,
Conte (RC): Then, drawing near, they awakened him, saying, "Teacher, we are perishing." But as he rose up, he rebuked the wind and the raging water, and they ceased. And a tranquility occurred.
And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, Master. Repeated as an evidence of their terror. 
we perish. Includes the fear of the Lord perishing with themselves. 
Rather, “we are perishing!” “Lord! Save! We are perishing,” Matthew 8:25. “Rabbi, carest thou not that we are perishing?” Mark . The peril was evidently most imminent. 
Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the
water. Speaking to the wind and the billows of the
water as though they were living powers, (Psalms 106:9, “He rebuked the
and they ceased, and there was a calm. Healing those plagued with debilitating disease was incredible enough. Curing the demon possessed with a spoken word was awesome. But this was something quite different: Even inanimate nature obeyed His command. If this did not point the apostles toward Jesus as someone / something far greater than any mere mortal, nothing could possibly have done so. He had done what God could do (see Psalms 106:9, above). [rw]
WEB: He said to them, "Where is your faith?" Being afraid they marveled, saying one to another, "Who is this, then, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?"
Young’s: and he said to them, 'Where is your
faith?' and they being afraid did wonder, saying unto one another, 'Who, then,
is this, that even the winds he doth command, and the water, and they obey
Conte (RC): Then he said to them, "Where is your faith?" And they, being afraid, were amazed, saying to one another, "Who do you think this is, so that he commands both wind and sea, and they obey him?"
And He said unto them, Where is your faith? “They had some faith, but it was not ready at hand.” Bengel. 
And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another. They were impressed, deeply impressed, but what happened simultaneously unnerved and scared them as well. [rw]
What manner of man is this! The ara expresses the same surprise and emotion conveyed by the potapos, “what kind of Being,” of Matthew. Psalms cvii. 23-30. 
for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him. They had absolutely no doubt what He had done; that was beyond challenge. What was bending their mind into a million shapes was trying to grasp just what this meant about His nature. [rw]
arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is
Young’s: And they sailed down to the region of the
Gadarenes, that is over-against
Conte (RC): And they sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is opposite
And they arrived
at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over
In depth: The three ancient readings for the name of the region . There is a perplexing difference in the reading of the older manuscripts here, but it is simply a question of the precise name of the locality where the great miracle was worked. In the three narratives of Matthew, Mark, and Luke the older manuscripts vary between "Gergesenes," "Gerasenes," and" Gadarenes."
a city of some importance, about three hours' journey distant from the southern
end of the
a small and very obscure town nearly opposite
In depth: Additional evidence as to the name used here and its possible origin and why the varying names were utilized . In all three narratives, here, Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-19, the manuscripts vary between Gergesenes, Gadarenes, and Gerasenes, and Tischendorf’s critical Greek text follows one particular early major manuscript] in reading Gadarenes (by a clerical error Gazarenes) in Matthew, Gerasenes in Mark, and Gergesenes here.
1. Gadara, of which the large ruins are now seen at Um Keis, is three hours’ distance from the extreme south end of the Lake, and is separated from the scene of the miracle by the deep precipitous ravine of the Hieromax (Jarmuk). Gadarenes may be the right reading in Matthew ([a number of important manuscripts] and manuscripts mentioned by Origen) but, if so, it only gives the name of the entire district. Gadara was essentially a Greek city, and had two amphitheatres, and a literary Greek society, and the worst features of Hellenic life.
2. Gerasenes may be the right reading in
now Djerash, is fifty miles from the Lake, and
almost in Arabia, but it was an important town (Josephus, Wars of the Jews,
iii. 3), and like
3. Gergesenes is almost certainly the right reading
here. It was the reading which, because
of the distance of Gerasa and Gadara,
Origen wished to introduce into Matthew 8:28, being
aware that there was a small town called Gergesa
in the Wady Semakh which
was known also to Eusebius and Jerome, and was pointed out as the scene of the
miracle. Yet the reading, “Gergesenes” of Luke, could hardly have been due to the mere
conjecture of Origen in the parallel passage of
Matthew, for it is found in other uncials, in most cursives, and in the Coptic,
Ehtiopic and other versions. Geresa has however
nothing to do with the ancient Girgashites
(Deuteronomy 7:1; Joshua 24:11), who were probably at the West of the
The question as to the place intended as the scene of the miracle (whatever reading be adopted) may be considered as having been settled by Dr. Thomson’s discovery of ruins named Kerzha (the natural corruption of Gergesa) nearly opposite
WEB: When Jesus stepped ashore, a certain man out of the city who had demons for a long time met him. He wore no clothes, and didn't live in a house, but in the tombs.
Young’s: and he having gone forth upon the land,
there met him a certain man, out of the city, who had demons for a long time,
and with a garment was not clothed, and in a house was not abiding, but in the
Conte (RC): And when he had gone out to the land, a certain man met him, who had now had a demon for a long time. And he did not wear clothes, nor did he stay in a house, but among the sepulchers.
And when He went forth to land. As it was late in the day when they sailed, we may suppose that Jesus and His company spent the night on the boat, and whether so or not, that the incident about to be mentioned took place not until the next morning. 
there met him out of the city a certain man. This rendering contradicts what follows. Rather, “there met him a man of the city.” [In other words,] he had been a native of Gergesa till his madness began. 
which had devils long time. The most miserable specimen of that unhappy class presented to us in the Gospels. 
One of the
current Jewish traditions was that these evil spirits were not fallen angels,
but the spirits of wicked men who were dead (see Josephus, '
and ware no clothes. Greek, “he did not put on an outer garment.” 
Or: He may
have been naked, since the tendency to strip the person of all clothes is
common among madmen; here however it only says that he wore no himation. He may
have had on the chiton, or under-garment. Naked, homicidal maniacs who live in caves
and tombs are still to be seen in
neither abode in any house. The inclusion of this would seem to hint that some demon possessed could dwell among the people and even in their homes. This is confirmed by the case of the boy in Mark 9: “And ofttimes it hath cast him into the fire, and into the waters, to destroy him: but if thou canst do any thing, have compassion on us, and help us” (Verse 22). [rw]
but in the tombs. This was partly a necessity, for in ancient times there were no such things as asylums and an uncontrollable maniac, driven from the abodes of men, could find no other shelter. This would aggravate his frenzy, for the loneliness and horror of these dark rocky tombs (traces of which are still to be seen near the ruins of Kherza or the sides of the Wady Semakh) were intensified by the prevalent belief that they were haunted by shedim, or “evil spirits,”—the ghosts of the wicked dead (Nidda, f. 17a, etc.). Mark gives (verse 4) a still more graphic picture of the superhuman strength and violence of this homicidal and ghastly sufferer. 
WEB: When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, "What do I have to do with you, Jesus, you Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don't torment me!"
Young’s: and having seen Jesus, and having cried
out, he fell before him, and with a loud voice, said, 'What
-- to me and to thee, Jesus, Son of God Most High? I beseech thee, mayest thou not afflict me!'
Conte (RC): And when he saw Jesus, he fell down before him. And crying out in a loud voice, he said: "What is there between me and you, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you not to torture me."
When he saw Jesus, he cried out. A verb is used which signifies, specifically, “to croak,” “to give a hoarse scream,” “to shout vociferously.” It was at first the inarticulate expression of his rage and hatred and fear, at the sight of one whose presence, he instinctively felt, foreboded no good to him. 
and fell down before Him. In humility, fear, and “acted out” admission that he could do nothing to stop anything Jesus decided to do. And that he already knew (verse 29). [rw]
and with a loud voice said. Caused by his fear and horror that He won’t be able to stop Jesus from casting him out if He carries out His intention. [rw]
What have I to do with thee, Jesus. Why shouldest thou meddle with me? Why not leave me alone? This is the prayer of his unholy dread, in the presence of self-revealing holiness and divine authority. 
Baur refers to obvious imitations of this narrative in the
story of the
thou Son of God most high? Probably the epithet was customary in exorcisms or attempted exorcisms, and hence we find it used by another demoniac (Acts ). Jesus is not so called elsewhere, except in . 
I beseech thee, torment me not. If the human part of him was speaking: In this form of possession one remarkable and very terrible feature seems to have been the divided consciousness; the sufferer identifies himself with the demons, and now one speaks, now the other. 
Or: Torment in one form or another was what he had come to expect. Even those who tried to keep him from running around naked and hurting himself probably inflicted (at least emotional) pain and anguish when they used to limit his actions--when he was “kept bound with chains and in fetters” (verse 29). What more could he possibly expect of Jesus? Rather than learn, he tries to get Him to leave. Even having the demons expelled (verse 29) seemed just a new way of adding torment to his life. [rw]
If the demonic part of him was controlling the speaking: “The demons . . . believe and tremble,” James . On this conception of torment see Mark 1:24; Matthew 18:34. 
Whatever the demons expected as their ultimate destiny, they knew that in the “immediate here and now” this Jesus could cause them bountiful problems—at the minimum their expulsion from their human “host” and much beyond that they probably tried not to think about. [rw]
WEB: For Jesus was commanding the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For the unclean spirit had often seized the man. He was kept under guard, and bound with chains and fetters. Breaking the bands apart, he was driven by the demon into the desert.
Young’s: For he commanded the unclean spirit to
come forth from the man, for many times it had caught him, and he was being
bound with chains and fetters -- guarded, and breaking asunder the bonds he was
driven by the demons to the deserts.
Conte (RC): For he was ordering the unclean spirit to depart from the man. For on many occasions, it would seize him, and he was bound with chains and held by fetters. But breaking the chains, he was driven by the demon into deserted places.
For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. An explanation for why the demoniac cried out to escape the “torment” that would accompany this—while “inside” the sufferer he was “peacefully” at rest; expelled, he was subject to whatever wrath Jesus desired to inflict. [rw]
For oftentimes it had caught him. The possession was either not ongoing but intermittent or only periodically erupted into active aggression. Surely resulting in his being only half-trusted even when he was temporarily his normal self since no one could tell when the situation would turn bad and the active possession would renew itself. Surely these periods were “torments” (verse 28) to the man himself. The demon feared the anguish he had gleefully inflicted. [rw]
oftenimes. Pollois chronois usually means “for a long time.” 
and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands. This description applies to him while yet retained in the town—in chains and under guard. 
and was driven of the devil into the wilderness. So the demons could get their perverse pleasure in causing the poor man to harm himself—whenever, wherever, and to what extent they wished and without the danger of human intervention to stop it. 
into the wilderness. Rather, “into the deserts”—regarded as a peculiar haunt of Azazel and other demons. Matthew 12:43; Tobit 8:3; [Luke] 4:1. (There are obvious allusions to the Gospel narrative of this demoniac and the demoniac boy in Lucian, Philopseudes, 16.) 
WEB: Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" He said, "Legion," for many demons had entered into him.
Young’s: And Jesus questioned him, saying, 'What
is thy name?' and he said, 'Legion,' (because many demons were entered into
Conte (RC): Then Jesus questioned him, saying, "What is your name?" And he said, "Legion," because many demons had entered into him.
And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? The question was no doubt asked in mercy. Gently to ask a person’s name is often an effectual way to calm the agitations and fix the wavering thoughts of the sufferers. 
And he said, Legion. This name may have been assumed by the man, to signify his persuasion, not only that he was possessed by a multitude of evil spirits (a Legion consisted normally of six thousand men), but that their fiendish power over him was as rigorous and irresistible as that of the Roman arms over her conquered provinces, 
The answer shewed how wildly perturbed was the man’s spirit, and how complete was the duality of his consciousness. He could not distinguish between himself and the multitudes of demons by whom he believed himself to be possessed. His individuality was lost in demoniac hallucinations. 
It should be noted, however, that the numbers were not necessarily so vast at all. If it was purely guess work on his part, what more logical one when a large number were present than the use of a term that designated a multitude? If this is what the demoniac had told him—or was directly telling Jesus—were they necessarily telling the truth? Demons, by their inherent nature, have never had a good reputation for truth telling! And “intimidation by numbers” would surely have been a logical tool for them to use—no matter what their actual number—to force the sufferer to give up resistance. And in talking to Jesus (if they were doing it personally), a repeated lie becomes what you tell everyone and therefore would have automatically responded with it to Jesus. The assumption that they were telling the truth and were in the thousands derives from the size of the herd they entered. A quite reasonable deduction but falling just short of being conclusive. [rw]
because many devils were entered into him. If this was the man himself speaking or an interlocking of man and demon speaking together: Note that the possessed did not necessarily mean a Legion literally: just that there were so “many” they seemed a multitude to the poor man on the receiving end. If this was strictly a spokesdemon (for lack of a better term!): He may have been hoping that Jesus would wish to avoid a conflict with such a large number at one time. He knew that Jesus could do it; the task was to avert Him from doing it. About the only tool he had, was to exaggerate his actual number. [rw]
WEB: They begged him that he would not command them to go into the abyss.
Young’s: and he was calling on him, that he may
not command them to go away to the abyss,
Conte (RC): And they petitioned him not to order them to go into the abyss.
And they besought Him. They were so unnerved about their future that they were literally begging to avoid it. All their claims of power. All their exertions of real power were hopeless before the ultimate power of God. Faced with that, all they could do was beg. Yet for what possible reason might they expect they would get what they really wanted? When had they shown mercy? [rw]
that He would not command them. Now they were “spinning their wheels,” throwing out words in the hope to avoid any definitive commitment that would require them to do something specific. They were “buying time.” They recognized all too well that when the “command” was spoken, they were going to have to do what was ordered.
to go out into the deep. ἄβυσσον -- Literally, the bottomless. Transcribed into our abyss, as [in] Revelation. Mark has a quite different request, that he would not send them out of the country (Mark ). In Romans 10:7, used of Hades, to which Christ descended; and in Revelation always of the bottomless pit. The demons refer to their place of abode and torment. 
St. Mark's expression here is a curious one. He represents the spirits requesting Jesus "not to send them away out of the country." The two accounts put together tell us that these spirits were aware, if they were driven out of the country—whatever that expression signified, this earth possibly—they must go out into the deep, the abyss, what is called "the bottomless pit" in Revelation 9:1, 2, 11. Any doom seemed to these lost ones preferable to that. 
WEB: Now there was there a herd of many pigs feeding on the mountain, and they begged him that he would allow them to enter into those. He allowed them.
Young’s: and there was there a herd of many swine
feeding in the mountain, and they were calling on him, that he might suffer
them to enter into these, and he suffered them,
Conte (RC): And in that place, there was a herd of many swine, pasturing on the mountain. And they petitioned him to permit them to enter into them. And he permitted them.
And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain. Mark says “about 2,000.” Of course, if the owners of these swine were Jews, they were living in flagrant violation of the Law; but the population of Peraea was largely Greek and Syrian. 
and they besought
Him that He would suffer them to enter into them. [The Jews]
believed that demons could take possession even of animals, and they attributed
to demons the hydrophobia of dogs and the rage of bulls. “Perhaps,” says Archbishop Trench (On the
Miracles, page 185), “we make to ourselves a difficulty here, too easily
assuming that the whole animal world is wholly shut up in itself, and incapable
of receiving impressions from that which is above it. The assumption is one unwarranted by deeper investigations,
which lead rather to an opposite conclusion—not to the breaking down of the
boundaries between the two world, but to the shewing in what wonderful ways the lower is receptive of
impression from the higher, both for good and for evil.” Further than this the incident leads into
regions of uncertain speculation, into which it is impossible to enter, and in
which none will dogmatize but those who are least wise.
And He suffered them. A classical example of how you may “get what you want” and yet it turn out to be the last thing you really wanted. A “parable” (so to speak) well applicable to our own desires, hopes, and dreams for when they do not work out as we planned. I dreamt of becoming a college teacher somewhere; financial problems kept me from getting the necessary degree. Yet if I had been successful, I would almost certainly having been teaching in a small institution in the middle of nowhere that would have been too far away from the kind of large medical facility that was able to save my life from a massive heart attack. [rw]
WEB: The demons came out from the man, and entered into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake, and were drowned.
Young’s: and the demons having gone forth from the
man, did enter into the swine, and the herd rushed
down the steep to the lake, and were choked.
Conte (RC): Therefore, the demons departed from the man, and they entered into the swine. And the herd rushed violently down a precipice into the lake, and they were drowned.
Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine. Only Mark gives the number of the swine, two thousand. 
and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake. Near Kherza is the only spot on the entire lake where a steep slope sweeps down to within a few yards of the sea, into which the herd would certainly have plunged if hurried by any violent impulse down the hill. 
and were choked. Some such visible proof as the sight of the evil and unclean forces that had mastered him so long, transferred to the bodies of other creatures and working their wild will upon them, was probably a necessary element in his perfect cure. 
In depth: On the
premise that the population was at least predominantly Jewish there could have
been a major element of visual rebuke in the destruction . It is likely that Jesus wished to show his
indignation at the flagrant disregard of the Mosaic Law, at the open
disobedience to the Divine injunctions respecting swine, which was shown by the
presence of so vast a herd of these animals pronounced unclean by the Mosaic
Law under which these people were professedly living. In this district the large majority of the
inhabitants were Jews. The keeping or
the rearing of swine was strictly forbidden by the Jewish canon law. Other Oriental peoples also held these
animals as unclean. Herodotus (it. 47) tells us that
In depth: On the
objection that private property was being destroyed . If it be
asked whether this was not a destruction of property, the answer is that the
antedating of the death of a herd of unclean animals was nothing compared with
the deliverance of a human soul. Our
Lord would therefore have had a moral right to act thus even if he had been a
mere human Prophet. Besides, to put it
on the lowest ground, the freeing of the neighbourhood
from the peril and terror of this wild maniac was a greater benefit to the
whole city than the loss of this herd. Jesus
did not command the spirits to go into the swine; if He permitted
anything which resulted in their destruction it was to serve higher and more
In our modern world, governments routinely destroy property in order to build up the (supposed) value and welfare of the entire community. If this can be done routinely on a financial level, why should it be thought strange if it be done to salvage a man otherwise emotionally crippled? Is not a human being of far greater value than a mere piece of property? [rw]
Weymouth: The swineherds, seeing what had happened, fled and reported it both in town and country;
WEB: When those who fed them saw what had happened, they fled, and told it in the city and in the country.
Young’s: And those feeding them, having seen what
was come to pass, fled, and having gone, told it to the city, and to the
Conte (RC): And when those who were pasturing them had seen this, they fled and reported it in the city and the villages.
When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country. Not mentioned—but surely included—are the owners of the herd(s) that were involved. To lose a pig or two would be embarrassing and need to be explained, but to loose this huge a number had to be reported on immediately. For that matter, it would not be surprising if a shade of guilt (if Jewish) or fear (if either Jewish or Gentile) would overcome their being: If pigs got treated this way, just what might happen to the pig herdsmen? Being somewhere—anywhere—else than where they were currently standing must have sounded like the smartest idea they had ever heard in their lives! [rw]
WEB: People went out to see what had happened. They came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus' feet, clothed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.
Young’s: and they came forth to see what was come
to pass, and they came unto Jesus, and found the man sitting, out of whom the
demons had gone forth, clothed, and right-minded, at the feet of Jesus, and
they were afraid;
Conte (RC): Then they went out to see what was happening, and they came to Jesus. And they found the man, from whom the demons had departed, sitting at his feet, clothed as well as in a sane mind, and they were afraid.
Then they went out to see what was done. What they had heard surely sounded like a “Texan tall tale” to the people. It couldn’t happen, but all the herd keepers insisted it had. So there was no real choice but to go out and investigate and find out for themselves. [rw]
and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus. Since they were in the outdoors, sitting down was a logical posture, but we aren’t told what he was doing. Depending on how much time had passed, he may still have been passionately thanking the Lord for the miracle. On the other hand, surely after the first few minutes had gone by, the next thought to occur to Jesus or the apostles was to get some food into this man. The conditions under which he lived, one can hardly imagine him being much more than skin and bones from a meager and difficulty gained diet. Just as his body had been given back to his own control, there was the needed to physically build up that body as well. The traveling food they carried may have been meager, but it surely more than met the healed man’s immediate needs! [rw]
clothed. Perhaps one of the disciples had thrown a cloke (himation) over his nakedness or his rags. 
and in his right mind. Calm. Quiet. Self-restrained. Freely talking with this small traveling company. Something the city people had seen far too little of in the past—assuming that he ever was fully in his right mind. (One did not have to be violently dangerous to be erratic and uncertain in behavior. So even when he was in one of his “better” periods the term might well be applicable only in a far more extent than they would have preferred.) [rw]
and they were afraid. No pigs. A sometimes (often?) dangerous and untamable demon infested local who now was acting just like any one else. No hints of concern or fear among Jesus and His disciples. This was strange, indeed. The only one who could possibly have caused the stampede was this strange man Jesus. How could there not be a connection between the stampede and His presence? And if it happened once—well, any sequel was fearful to contemplate. A concern surely heightened (verse 37) after they learned the details of the healing (verse 36). This Man spoke and things happened. Would they happen again? (And they surely weren’t thinking in positive terms of healings at this point.) [rw]
WEB: Those who saw it told them how he who had been possessed by demons was healed.
Young’s: and those also having seen it, told them how the demoniac was saved.
Conte (RC): Then those who had seen this also reported to them how he had been healed from the legion.
They also which saw it. A different set from the swine-herds who had carried away the report; the disciples, and, perhaps, others with them. 
told them by what means he that was possessed of the devils was healed. Whatever was told by the keepers of the herd about the demoniac (Matthew ) surely took second place to the economic catastrophe—which a hard-hearted owner might well try to blame on them! There was a coincidence in timing between the appearing of Jesus and the destruction of the pigs, however, and now the townspeople are told that there was also a cause-effect relationship as well. [rw]
WEB: All the people of the surrounding country of the Gadarenes asked him to depart from them, for they were very much afraid. He entered into the boat, and returned.
Young’s: And the whole multitude
of the region of the Gadarenes round about asked him
to go away from them, because with great fear they were pressed, and he having
entered into the boat, did turn back.
Conte (RC): And the entire multitude from the region of the Gerasenes pleaded with him to depart from them. For they were seized by a great fear. Then, climbing into the boat, he went back again.
Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear. The opposite to the request of the Samaritans (John ). 
What period of time this took we are not told. It is impossible to imagine all of them showing up at the same time, so presumably we are dealing with the passage of several hours at least, in which the crowd grows ever larger. The one thing that stays the same is that no one has the slightest sympathy for the idea of Jesus remaining. But whatever good He had done for one of their citizens—they could hard have denied that!—they could only sense potential danger (to all their pigs at least!) if He remained. So they urged Him to leave and go some place else. Any place else. [rw]
and He went up into the ship, and returned back again. Our Lord acted on the principle of not casting that which was holy to dogs, nor pearls before men whose moral character tended to become like that of their own swine. For other instances of prayers fatally granted, see Exodus 10:28, 29; Numbers 22:20; Psalms lxxviii. 29-31; on the other hand, a refused boon is sometimes a blessing. 2 Corinthians 12:8, 9. 
WEB: But the man from whom the demons had gone out begged him that he might go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying,
Young’s: And the man from whom the demons had gone
forth was beseeching of him to be with him, and Jesus sent him away, saying,
Conte (RC): And the man from whom the demons had departed pleaded with him, so that he might be with him. But Jesus sent him away, saying,
Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought Him that he might be with Him. Respect and gratitude were surely part of the motivation. Yet his periods of behavior that was uncontrolled by the demons had existed in the past (verse 29: “For oftentimes it had caught him”). Not a word has been preserved of his being assured that this healing was permanent and that he would never again have to live in fear of the demons returning. Even with such a reassurance there would surely have been a small piece of him which persisted in thinking—“but what if”? Shall we mention that by this time, the repeated bouts of insanity and demon possession would have “worn out his own welcome” in the area as well? It would be a matter of re-establishing shattered relations a little at a time until full confidence was restored. That also would make it seem better to leave and be with Jesus. [rw]
but Jesus sent him away, saying. After all this man had been through, he needed not just the command of what to do, but a reason why it would be the right thing to do: It would show to others the grace of God in action (verse 39). [rw]
WEB: "Return to your house, and declare what great things God has done for you." He went his way, proclaiming throughout the whole city what great things Jesus had done for him.
Young’s: 'Turn back to thy house, and tell how
great things God did to thee;' and he went away through all
the city proclaiming how great things Jesus did to him
Conte (RC): "Return to your house and explain to them what great things God has done for you." And he traveled through the entire city, preaching about the great things that Jesus had done for him.
Return to thine own house. Either (1) showing that he still had local kin who would take him in or (2) still owned technical title to a residence and presumably kin either took care of it when he went into these fits or actually lived there since one could not determine when they would occur. [rw]
and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. We see thus that a privilege was granted him which had been withheld from many. They were forbidden to speak of Christ’s mercies. The reason probably was that there was no danger in the Gergesene country of an unhealthy excitement, and there was no other way of spreading the gospel news there. The redeemed man was allowed to do for Jesus what the latter could not do for Himself, being driven out of the country. 
And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him. He fully and with enthusiasm shared the story of what had happened to him. And as time went by and he never had any more relapses, the local awe and respect for Jesus must have grown immeasurably. When the apostles or other disciples ultimately returned with the story of the resurrected Jesus, they surely received a reception far greater than they otherwise would have. [rw]
WEB: It happened, when Jesus returned, that the multitude welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him.
Young’s: And it came to pass, in the turning back
of Jesus, the multitude received him, for they were all looking for him,
Conte (RC): Now it happened that, when Jesus had returned, the crowd received him. For they were all waiting for him.
And it came to
pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received Him: for they
were all waiting for Him. They would see the sail of His boat as it
started back from Gergesa, and the storm had probably
driven back the other boats. He would
naturally sail to
WEB: Behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. He fell down at Jesus' feet, and begged him to come into his house,
Young’s: and lo, there came a man, whose name is Jairus, and he was a chief of the synagogue, and having
fallen at the feet of Jesus, was calling on him to come to his house;
Conte (RC): And behold, a man came, whose name was Jairus, and he was a leader of the synagogue. And he fell down at the feet of Jesus, asking him to enter into his house.
Introduction: The chronological order of the feast that day and the healing of Jairus’ daughter . Matthew places this message of Jairus after the farewell feast which he gave to his friends before abandoning for ever his office of tax-gatherer. At that feast arose the question about fasting and Matthew () says that Jairus came “while Jesus was yet speaking these things,” and in so definite a note of time, on a day to him so memorable, he could hardly be inexact. On the other hand, Mark says, and Luke implies, that the message reached Jesus as He disembarked on the sea-shore.
Hence it has been supposed that Jesus heard the first entreaty from Jairus on the shore when his daughter was dying (verse 42; Mark 5:23), but instead of going straight to the house of Jairus went first to Matthew’s feast; and that Jairus then came to the feast in agony to say that she was just dead (Matthew 9:18). The very small discrepancies are however quite easily explicable without this conjecture, and it was wholly unlike the method of Jesus to interpose a feast between the request of an agonized father and His fact of mercy.
And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue. The synagogues had no clergy, but were managed by laymen, at the head of whom was the “ruler,” whose title of Rosh hakkeneseth was as familiar to the Jews as that of Rabbi. His functions resembled those of a leading elder. The appeal of such a functionary shews the estimation in which our Lord was still held among the Galileans. 
and he fell down at Jesus' feet. An astounding show of humility, respect, and desperation for a prestigious local synagogue leader to show to a mere traveling “rabbi.” But the desperation was great and the reports of Jesus’ healing powers widespread and from fully credible sources. [rw]
and besought him that He would come into his house. Pleading, begging for assistance that Jesus would (1) heal his daughter and (2) violate His normal practice of healing just those who came to see Him. Though he may have heard of a violation of this norm in the past (encouraging him to bring his own petition?) it was just that—an exception of normal practice. The reason, though, was a very good one—the child was dying. One would naturally go out of the way for the dying to a degree they would not for others. [rw]
Weymouth: for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying. And as He went, the dense throng crowded on Him.
WEB: for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. But as he went, the multitudes pressed against him.
Young’s: because he had an only daughter about
twelve years old, and she was dying. And in his going
away, the multitudes were thronging him,
Conte (RC): For he had an only daughter, nearly twelve years old, and she was dying. And it happened that, as he was going there, he was hemmed in by the crowd.
For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age. Luke is the only one of the Evangelists who uses the pleonasm, one only daughter. The statement of the age is also confined to him--facts, both of which show that he drew his materials from an independent source. The expression "little daughter" (Mark v. 23), is, according to the Talmud, thus explained: A daughter, till she had completed twelve years, was called "little," or, "a little maid," but when she became of full age of twelve years, and one day over, she was considered "a young woman." 
When Nathan would express the extremity of the poor man’s tenderness for his own ewe lamb, he said, it “was unto him as a daughter.” 
and she lay a dying. Matthew says “is even now dead.” Perhaps we catch in these variations an echo of the father’s despairing uncertainty. 
But as He went the people thronged Him. Which allowed His being touched by someone in the crowd (verse 44) without the identity being immediately obvious. Indeed, even noticed as she did it. [rw]
WEB: A woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her living on physicians, and could not be healed by any,
Young’s: and a woman, having an issue of blood for
twelve years, who, having spent on physicians all her living, was not able to
be healed by any,
Conte (RC): And there was a certain woman, with a flow of blood for twelve years, who had paid out all her substance on physicians, and she was unable to be cured by any of them.
And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years. In other words, a long-term problem. A woman suffering from this for only a few months or year, her remission might be dismissed as simple good fortune. But something of this duration had proven that there was no reason to believe—short of a miraculous act from God—that it would ever go away. [rw]
which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any. To be broke, but well is one thing; to be broke and still sick takes misery to an even worse level. It is hard to imagine her psychological state being anything short of chronic despair. Not to mention being in a perpetual state of ceremonial “uncleanness” under the Mosaical Law. [rw]
Luke, perhaps with a fellow-feeling for physicians, does not add the severer comment of Mark, that the physicians had only made her worse (verse 26). The Talmudic receipts for the cure of this disease were specially futile, such as to set the sufferer in a place where two ways meet, with a cup of wine in her hand, and let some one come behind and frighten her, and say, Arise from the flux; or “dig seven ditches, burn in them some cuttings of vines not four years old, and let her sit in them in succession, with a cup of wine in her hand, while at each remove some one say to her, Arise from thy flux.” (Lightfoot, Hor. Hebr., ad loc.) 
In depth: Later, post-Biblical stories about this woman
. Eusebius preserves a curious legend in
connection with this act of healing. In his time (fourth century) the house of
this happy one who met Jesus in her sad life-journey, was shown at Paneas, a town in the north of
WEB: came behind him, and touched the fringe of his cloak, and immediately the flow of her blood stopped.
Young’s: having come near behind, touched the
fringe of his garment, and presently the issue of her blood stood.
Conte (RC): She approached him from behind, and she touched the hem of his garment. And at once the flow of her blood stopped.
Came behind Him. This was not only because of the crowd, but because she was unclean, and according to the Jewish law, had no right to touch any one. For the touch of an unclean person would make another ceremonially unclean. But this was not so with our Lord. On the contrary, this touch of Him, even of His garment, even of the fringe of His garment, was the means of her healing. 
By the Levitic law she had to be “put apart, and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean” (Leviticus , 25). Probably the intense depression produced by her disease, aggravated by the manner in which for twelve years every one had kept aloof from her, had quite crushed her spirits. She sought to steal (as it were) a miracle of grace and fancied that Christ’s miracles were a matter of nature, not of will and purpose. 
and touched the border of His garment. The word translated “border” (kraspedon, Hebrew tsitsith) is a tassel at each ‘wing” or corner of the tallith or mantle (Matthew ). The Law (Numbers -40) required that it should be bound with a throat (not as in E.V. ribband) of blue, the colour of heaven, and so the type of revelation. The strict Jews to this day wear these tassels, though they are usually concealed. The Pharisees, to proclaim their orthodoxy, made them conspicuously large, Matthew 23:5. One of the four tassels hung over the shoulder at the back, and this was the one which the woman touched. The quasi-sacredness of the tassels may have posted her impulse to touch the one that hung in view. 
and immediately her issue of blood stanched [stopped, NKJV]. Without a delay; without any time passing. That she hoped for healing is obvious from her doing what she did. That she hoped for something this dramatic and quick, one can’t help but wonder: This was a far different medical problem from those Jesus usually dealt with. Those were immediate, but given the duration of her problem and its difference from those other healings, even the beginning of getting better would have been counted a triumph by her. But what she actually received was a healing just as full and complete and immediate as anyone else. [rw].
WEB: Jesus said, "Who touched me?" When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, "Master, the multitudes press and jostle you, and you say, 'Who touched me?'"
Young’s: And Jesus said, 'Who is it that touched
me?' and all denying, Peter and those with him said, 'Master, the multitudes
press thee, and throng thee, and thou dost say, Who is
it that touched me!'
Conte (RC): And Jesus said, "Who is it that touched me?" But as everyone was denying it, Peter, and those who were with him, said: "Teacher, the crowd hems you in and presses upon you,and yet you say,'Who touched me?' "
And Jesus said, Who touched me? He was aware of the seizure of His garment, and in the manner of it recognized the touch of faith, which He had answered with the healing influence. But He would know more distinctly who was the person that had received the blessing, in order to the moral advantage of that person, and to show to all that there was no magical efflux of power from His person. 
Peter and they that were with Him said. Mark merely says His disciples, but the question is in exact accordance with that presumptuous impetuosity which marked the as yet imperfect stage of Peter’s character. 
Master, the multitude throng thee and press Thee, and sayest Thou, Who touched Me? Their protest was a totally logical
one: How should they know? Who could know? The crowd was too thick and clustered about
Jesus. And somewhere in their minds
surely must have been the thought: Why
are we being diverted from seeing the dying child? [rw]
WEB: But Jesus said, "Someone did touch me, for I perceived that power has gone out of me."
Young’s: And Jesus said, 'Some
one did touch me, for I knew power having gone forth from me.'
Conte (RC): And Jesus said: "Someone has touched me. For I know that power has gone out from me."
And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me. Jesus had surely been in such a crowd before without saying a word. That alone should have alerted Peter that in some important manner this case was far different. [rw]
for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. I.e., the healing power. Out of me, literally, away from—external rather than internal separation being denoted by the Greek preposition. 
Weymouth: Then the woman, perceiving that she had not escaped notice, came trembling, and throwing herself down at His feet she stated before all the people the reason why she had touched Him and how she was instantly cured.
WEB: When the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared to him in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.
Young’s: And the woman, having seen that she was
not hid, trembling, came, and having fallen before him, for what cause she
touched him declared to him before all the people, and how she was healed
Conte (RC): Then the woman, upon seeing that she was not hidden, came forward, trembling, and she fell down before his feet. And she declared before all the people the reason that she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed.
And when the woman saw that she was not hid. Her specific identity was not yet known, but it would have to be someone within arm’s reach and that didn’t leave many people to choose from. So in not more than mere seconds, she would be asked by someone if it were her. So she realizes she can no longer be anonymous however much she would prefer to keep it that way. [rw]
she came trembling. For she, an unclean woman, had touched a holy Rabbi, and had made Him ceremonially unclean until evening. 
This [touching] by one of the Rabbis or Pharisees would have been regarded as an intolerable presumption and wrong. To this day [c. 1900] the Jewish Rabbis (or Chakams) in the East are careful not even to be touched by a woman’s dress (Frankl., Jews in the East, ii. 81). 
and falling down before Him. Out of respect and honor. And, surely, in light of what so incredibly had just happened—the instantaneous cure of her decade-plus long problem—more than a small touch of awe. [rw]
she declared unto Him before all the people for what cause she had touched Him, and how she was healed immediately. Some of them would have known her personally and a larger number surely heard of her case. If they were able to get over their shock soon enough, a few were likely thinking: “ If He could do this with her incurable problem what will He do with the dying child?” Thinking in wonderment, but also growing hope? [rw]
WEB: He said to her, "Daughter, cheer up. Your faith has made you well. Go in peace."
Young’s: and he said to her, 'Take courage,
daughter, thy faith hath saved thee, be going on to peace.'
Conte (RC): But he said to her: "Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace."
And He said unto her, Daughter. This is the only place in the Gospels where our Lord is reported to have used this loving word to any woman. 
be of good comfort. Critical texts omit this and Christ’s goodwill toward the woman is surely covered quite well by the closing words, “go in peace.” If one accepts them as part of the text, the words would be intended to reassure her: What she had done was intended to be in secret and with Him unaware. He holds no grievance with her in spite of that. [rw]
thy faith hath made thee whole. Literally, “hath saved thee.” Thy faith—not the superstitious and surreptitious touch of my tallith’s fringe. Jesus thus compelled her to come forth from her timid enjoyment of a stolen blessing that He might confer on her a deeper and fuller blessing. 
go in peace. I have no grievance with you: depart with My blessing and good-will. [rw].
WEB: While he still spoke, one from the ruler of the synagogue's house came, saying to him, "Your daughter is dead. Don't trouble the Teacher."
Young’s: While he is yet speaking, there doth come
a certain one from the chief of the synagogue's house, saying to him -- 'Thy
daughter hath died, harass not the Teacher;'
Conte (RC): While he was still speaking, someone came to the ruler of the synagogue, saying to him: "Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble him."
While He yet spake. Speak of irony: within a minute or two of a woman being healed of a chronic health problem, word comes that the Jairus’ daughter has died—going to whose home caused the woman to be able to get close enough to touch Jesus and be healed in the first place. Perhaps foreknowledge of this was one of the reasons Jesus took the time to interrupt His trip in the first place? If not, then the knowledge that if any delay took too much time, there was still the option of resurrecting her. Either way her physical calamity would be resolved as well. [rw]
there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue's house. Of what rank he was, we have no idea. One could easily imagine the most senior servant carrying out the task. Having someone junior in status might easily be misinterpreted as a show of disrespect. [rw]
saying to Him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master. The use of “Master” indicates a fundamental respect toward Jesus but the “trouble not” argues that respect there may well have been, but not a belief that even Jesus could do anything now. [rw]
WEB: But Jesus hearing it, answered him, "Don't be afraid. Only believe, and she will be healed."
Young’s: and Jesus having heard, answered him,
saying, 'Be not afraid, only believe, and she shall be
Conte (RC): Then Jesus, upon hearing this word, replied to the father of the girl: "Do not be afraid. Only believe, and she will be saved."
But when Jesus heard it. The remark was addressed to Jairus, and Mark says that Jsus “overheard it.” 
He answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only. At this point there was literally nothing that he could do to help his daughter; he could “believe only.” Belief he had; if he did not give that up things would work out fine. This is in contrast to the convert to whom the instruction to “believe only” would be an instruction to stop short rather than fully develop his or her discipleship. Without repentance what value is faith? “The devils also believe and tremble” (James ). Without the conversion fruits of faith such as baptism (Mark ), of what value is “believe only” if we leave out the rest that goes with it? Do we have the authority to rewrite God’s plan of salvation? [rw]
and she shall be made whole. This carries the implicit argument that (1) the messenger is wrong in reporting the death—an extremely unlikely possibility since no one of his servants would want to be responsible for carrying such an erroneous report; or (2) that somehow Jesus would enable her to escape the bonds of death. He doesn’t “spell it out” explicitly; in essence, what He says is “wait and see!” [rw]
WEB: When he came to the house, he didn't allow anyone to enter in, except Peter, John, James, the father of the child, and her mother.
Young’s: And having come to the house, he suffered
no one to go in, except Peter, and James, and John, and the father of the
child, and the mother;
Conte (RC): And when he had arrived at the house, he would not permit anyone to enter with him, except Peter and James and John, and the father and mother of the girl.
And when He came into the house. Specifying the place where things would happen; “the house” carrying the natural connotation of “Jairus’ house;” where else would she likely be? [rw]
He suffered no man to go in. Most of His miracles were done quite publicly, but this was a case where privacy was called for. Jairus would be a man fighting against grief and those in the house would already be grieving. In that context, bringing others in would be, inherently, a terrible imposition. [rw]
save Peter, and James, and John. This is the first time we read of the
selection of these three. They were to
enjoy still closer intimacy, for they were to be Christ's chosen companions at
the transfiguration (Matthew 17:1) and at the agony in
and the father and the mother of the maiden. Their daughter; their death. They were the most concerned parties and they deserved the respect of joining Jesus in the death chamber. [rw]
WEB: All were weeping and mourning her, but he said, "Don't weep. She isn't dead, but sleeping."
Young’s: and they were all weeping, and beating
themselves for her, and he said, 'Weep not, she did not die, but doth sleep;
Conte (RC): Now all were weeping and mourning for her. But he said: "Do not weep. The girl is not dead, but only sleeping."
And all wept and bewailed her. The Jews, like other Eastern nations, hired professional mourners whose duty it was to indulge in signs of grief; to "beat on their breasts," to utter loud groans, and to shed forced tears (Luke 8:52-54; Amos 5:16). "There are in every city and community women exceedingly skilful in this business. They are always sent for and kept in readiness. When a fresh group of sympathizers comes in, these women 'make haste' to take up a wailing, that the newly-come may the more easily unite their tears with the mourners" (Thomson, Land and Book, page 103). 
but He said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. So of Lazarus: "Our friend Lazarus is fallen asleep: but I go that I may awaken him out of sleep." Sleep, the twin-brother of death. Death and sleep are alike to Jesus; and death is to Him what sleep is to others; for He can wake the dead. "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also that are fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with Him," etc. (1 Thessalonians 4:14-18). 
Or: To take this literally is to contradict the letter and spirit of the whole narrative. It is true that in “our friend Lazarus sleepeth” the verb used is not katheudein but koimasthai; but that is in a different writer (John ), and the word better suits one who had been four days dead. Our Lord’s object was to silence this idle uproar. 
Weymouth: And they jeered at Him, knowing that she was dead.
WEB: They were ridiculing him, knowing that she was dead.
Young’s: and they were deriding him, knowing that
she did die;
Conte (RC): And they derided him, knowing that she had died.
And they laughed Him to scorn. Literally, “were utterly deriding Him.” 
These were, no doubt, the hired mourners. Familiar as they were with death, they ridiculed the idea of one whom they knew had passed away, awaking again as from a sleep. These public mourners were customary figures in all Jewish homes, even in the poorest where a death had occurred. 
knowing that she was dead. They of all people recognized the symptoms of unquestionable death! How could He be so oblivious of the reality? So far as the reality of death, they were absolutely correct. That it had to be the end of hope when Jesus was available was a different matter entirely. [rw]
WEB: But he put them all outside, and taking her by the hand, he called, saying, "Child, arise!"
Young’s: and he having put all forth without, and
having taken hold of her hand, called, saying, 'Child, arise;'
Conte (RC): But he, taking her by the hand, cried out, saying, "Little girl, arise."
And He put them
all out. These words being omitted by [several major
manuscripts], are probably interpolated here, from the other Synoptists. Our Lord
could not feel the smallest sympathy for these simulated agonies of people, who
(to this day) “weep, howl, beat their breasts, and tear their hair according to
contract” (Thompson, Land and Books,
and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. St. Luke preserves this gentle detail, as well as the kind order to give her food. Mark gives the two Aramaic words which our Lord used, Talitha cumi! On these occasions He always used the fewest possible words (vii. 14; John xi. 43). 
WEB: Her spirit returned, and she rose up immediately. He commanded that something be given to her to eat.
Young’s: and her spirit came back, and she arose
presently, and he directed that there be given to her to eat;
Conte (RC): And her spirit returned, and she immediately rose up. And he ordered them to give her something to eat.
And her spirit came again. For it to “come again” argues it had already departed. In other words this was not a “near death” experience misdiagnosed as the real thing. It also argues that when true death does come the separation of spirit and body is a rather rapid process in contrast to those theories through the centuries that hold that the separation does not occur until significantly later. [rw]
and she arose straightway. That she was alive was amazing enough; that she was strong enough that she could immediately get up and on her feet (to hug her shocked and rejoicing parents?) is even more so. The case that this was unquestionably a real miracle was made even stronger. [rw]
and He commanded to give her meat [something to eat, NKJV]. The agony of dying would have taken an immense amount out of her. That she could get up and about did not change the fact that she had been through a deeply traumatic experience. What more natural thing to do, than to give the child food? There are few who do not feel encouraged after going through a “rough patch” at having something enjoyable for nourishment. Hence this request may well speak more to her psychological rather than physical needs. [rw]
WEB: Her parents were amazed, but he commanded them to tell no one what had been done.
Young’s: and her parents were amazed, but he
charged them to say to no one what was come to pass.
Conte (RC): And her parents were stupefied. And he instructed them not to tell anyone what had happened.
And her parents were astonished. The natural reaction was to share what they had seen. And as “ruler of the synagogue” his word would have a massive impact. But He provides them the very last instruction they were likely to expect: silence. [rw]
but He charged them that they should tell no man what was done. And as usual the injunction was probably unheeded. Matthew 9:26. 
In a very real sense there was no need for them to say anything. Once there daughter was seen out and about, everyone would know. Furthermore they would have the testimony of the professional mourners who could verify that the girl had, unquestionably, been dead. So even keeping their silence, the word would invariably spread. Why then the demand? Two factors could well play a role: (1) As beneficial and helpful as healings were, they could easily result in less time for what was even more central to His ministry—teaching God’s word. (2) It could well be that Jesus wanted to protect the synagogue ruler from any backlash that would come from saying kind words about Jesus. He could just keep His mouth shut, allow his daughter to be seen, and simply say: “I gave my word I wouldn’t say a thing—so I can’t.” That itself would add to the popular aura of mystery about the cure. [rw]
(with number code)
1 = Adam Clarke. The New Testament . . . with a Commentary and
Volume I: Matthew to the Acts. Reprint,
2 = Marvin R. Vincent. Word Studies in the New Testament. Volume I:
The Synoptic Gospels, Acts of the Apostles, Epistles of Peter, James,
and Jude. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1887; 1911 printing.
3 = J. S. Lamar. Luke. [Eugene S. Smith, Publisher; reprint, 1977 (?)]
4 = Charles H. Hall. Notes, Practical and Expository on the Gospels;
volume two: Luke-John.
5 = John Kitto. Daily Bible Illustrations. Volume II: Evening Series:
The Life and Death of Our Lord.
6 = Thomas M. Lindsay. The Gospel According to St. Luke. Two
7 = W. H. van Doren. A Suggestive Commentary on the New Testament:
Saint Luke. Two volumes.
8 = Melancthon W. Jacobus. Notes on the Gospels, Critical and
Explanatory: Luke and John.
Brothers, 1856; 1872 reprint.
9 = Alfred Nevin. Popular Expositor of the Gospels and Acts: Luke.
10 = Alfred Nevin.
The Parables of Jesus.
Board of Publication, 1881.
11 = Albert Barnes. "Luke." In Barnes' Notes on the New Testament.
Reprint, Kregel Publications, 1980.
12 = Alexander B. Bruce. The Synoptic Gospels. In The Expositor's
Greek Testament, edited by W. Robertson Nicoll. Reprint, Grand
13 = F. Godet. A Commentary on the Gospel of St. Luke. Translated
from the Second French Edition by E. W. Shalders and M. D. Cusin.
15 = Henry Alford. The Greek Testament. Volume I: The Four Gospels.
16 = David Brown. "Luke" in Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and
David Brown, A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the
Old and New Testaments.
Volume II: New Testament.
S. S. Scranton Company, no date.
17 = Dr. [no first name provided] MacEvilly. An Exposition of the Gospel
of St. Luke.
18 = H. D. M. Spence. “Luke.” In the Pulpit Commentary, edited by H. D.
M. Spence. Reprinted by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company,
19 = John Calvin. Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists,
Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Translated by William Pringle. Reprint,
20 = Thomas Scott. The Holy Bible . . . with Explanatory Notes (and)
21 = Henry T. Sell. Bible Studies in the Life of Christ: Historical and
22 = Philip Vollmer. The Modern Student's Life of Christ.
Fleming H. Revell Company, 1912.
23 = Heinrich A. W. Meyer. Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the
Gospels of Mark and Luke. Translated from the Fifth German
Edition by Robert Ernest Wallis. N. Y.: Funk and Wagnalls,
1884; 1893 printing.
24 = John Albert Bengel. Gnomon of the New Testament. A New
Translation by Charlton T. Lewis and Marvin R. Vincent.
25 = John Cummings. Sabbath Evening Readers on the New Testa-
26 = Walter F. Adeney, editor. The Century Bible: A Modern
missing from copy.
27 = Pasquier Quesnel. The Gospels with Reflections on Each Verse.
Volumes I and II. (Luke
is in part of both).
D. F. Randolph, 1855; 1867 reprint.
28 = Charles R. Erdman. The Gospel of Luke: An Exposition.
29 = Elvira J. Slack. Jesus: The Man of
Board of the Young Womens Christian Associations, 1911.
30 = Arthur Ritchie. Spiritual Studies in St. Luke's Gospel.
The Young Churchman Company, 1906.
31 = Bernhard Weiss. A Commentary on the New Testament. Volume
Two: Luke-The Acts.
32 = Matthew Henry. Commentary on the Whole Bible. Volume V:
Matthew to John. 17--. Reprint,
Company, no date.
33 = C. G. Barth. The Bible Manual: An Expository and Practical
Commentary on the Books of Scripture. Second Edition.
34 = Nathaniel S. Folsom. The Four Gospels: Translated . . . and with
Critical and Expository Notes. Third Edition.
Upham, and Company, 1871; 1885 reprint.
35 = Henry Burton. The Gospel according to Luke. In the Expositor's
36 = [Anonymous]. Choice Notes on the Gospel of S. Luke, Drawn from
Old and New Sources.
37 = Marcus Dods.
The Parables of Our Lord.
Revell Company, 18--.
38 = Alfred Edersheim. The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah.
39 = A. T. Robertson. Luke the Historian in the Light of Research.
New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1920; 1930 reprint.
40 = James R. Gray. Christian Workers' Commentary on the Old and
ion/Fleming H. Revell Company, 1915.
41 = W.
Sanday. Outlines of the Life of Christ.
Scribner's Sons, 1905.
42 = Halford E. Luccock. Studies in the Parables
Methodist Book Concern, 1917.
43 = George H. Hubbard. The Teaching of Jesus in Parables. New
44 = Charles S. Robinson. Studies in Luke's Gospel. Second Series.
45 = John
Laidlaw. The Miracles of Our Lord.
Wagnalls Company, 1892.
46 = William M. Taylor. The Miracles of Our Saviour. Fifth Edition.
New York: A. C. Armstrong & Son, 1890; 1903 reprint.
47 = Alexander Maclaren. Expositions of Holy Scripture: St. Luke.
New York: George H. Doran Company, [no date].
48 = George
Miracles of Our Lord.
George Routledge & Sons, 1878.
49 = Joseph Parker. The People's Bibles: Discourses upon Holy Scrip-
50 = Daniel Whitby and Moses Lowman. A Critical Commentary and
Paraphrase on the New Testament: The Four Gospels and the Acts
of the Apostles.
51 = Matthew Poole. Annotations on the Holy Bible. 1600s.
52 = George R. Bliss. Luke. In An American Commentary on the New
53 = J. W. McGarvey and Philip Y. Pendleton. The Fourfold Gospel.
54 = John Trapp. Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. 1654.
55 = Ernest D. Burton and Shailer Matthews. The Life of Christ.
Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1900; 5th reprint,
56 = Frederic W. Farrar. The Gospel According to St. Luke. In “The
the University Press, 1882.