What does Mark 5:43 mean?Jesus comes to raise a dead girl, insists to the professional mourners that she is only sleeping, resurrects the girl, and now tells the parents to keep her resurrection a secret. This turns out to be untenable, and soon the entire district knows of His work (Matthew 9:26). His command may have been realistic, as the professional mourners may not have seen the girl. The parents would not have been lying to repeat the statement that she was asleep, as Jesus used the word (Mark 5:39). But people are drawn to the flashy, not the reasonable, and the beneficiaries of Jesus' miracles are not good at holding their peace (Mark 1:44–45).
There are several reasons as to why Jesus may have asked the girl's parents to give her something to eat. They'd had an extremely stressful day, and focusing on the ordinary can go a long way in re-establishing equilibrium in a household. This also puts the parents' focus on the girl and her needs. Outside the door are several professional mourners suddenly out of a job and a good part of the city waiting for news. The girl needs to be cared for, not made a spectacle of. The act of eating, in and of itself, serves as proof that the girl is alive and able to function.
This is not the last time Jesus will use eating as a proof of life. When He appears to the disciples after the resurrection, they are not convinced that He lives by looking at Him, but by watching Him eat fish (Luke 24:36–43).
The implications of these moments don't leave out us, the modern readers. In the end times, God will give Christ-followers glorified bodies and invite us to the marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7–10). There we will feast to celebrate our resurrection and new life in the grandest meal in human history. And there will be no need to keep quiet about it.