Luke 8:53

ESV And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead.
NIV They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead.
NASB And they began laughing at Him, knowing that she had died.
CSB They laughed at him, because they knew she was dead.
NLT But the crowd laughed at him because they all knew she had died.
KJV And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead.

What does Luke 8:53 mean?

Peter, John, and James have followed Jesus as He accompanies a synagogue leader whose daughter has died. As they enter his house, people are "weeping and mourning for her" (Luke 8:49–52). They aren't friends and family come to comfort the girl's parents. They're hired mourners who have come to make a spectacle of death (Matthew 9:23; Mark 5:38).

Jesus intends to heal the girl, but quietly. He has already left the mob (Luke 8:40) and most of the disciples outside. Now He needs to get rid of the racket. He uses a common euphemism (1 Thessalonians 5:10) and tells the mourners, "Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping" (Luke 8:52). If the mourners had cared about the girl and her family, they would have either rejoiced in hope or berated Jesus for lying and being uncaring. Instead, they scornfully laugh. The girl's father is doing everything he can to keep faith that Jesus can raise the dead (Luke 8:50; Matthew 9:18). These people are not helping.

This is a common experience in life, especially for those of faith. The faith journey is difficult, and it's made more so when those who should support and encourage us choose to mock us instead. Several times, the New Testament tells us to encourage one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 10:23–25). It's worth considering how we spend time and resources, and if those things are actually tearing us down.

Jesus kicks the mourners out (Mark 5:40). This is just a job for them, and their services are no longer required. Then He enters the room where the girl has been laid.
What is the Gospel?
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