Matthew 9:18

ESV While he was saying these things to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live.”
NIV While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, 'My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.'
NASB While He was saying these things to them, behold, a synagogue official came and bowed down before Him, and said, 'My daughter has just died; but come and lay Your hand on her, and she will become alive again.'
CSB As he was telling them these things, suddenly one of the leaders came and knelt down before him, saying, "My daughter just died, but come and lay your hand on her, and she will live."
NLT As Jesus was saying this, the leader of a synagogue came and knelt before him. 'My daughter has just died,' he said, 'but you can bring her back to life again if you just come and lay your hand on her.'
KJV While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.

What does Matthew 9:18 mean?

Matthew, Mark, and Luke all mention the incident recorded in this passage. Matthew's habit is to leave out some details and not necessarily group stories in chronological order. Instead, he often arranges similar stories in blocks, to fit particular topics or themes.

The ruler who knelt before Jesus to beg for his daughter's healing was a man named Jairus, a ruler of the Jewish synagogue (Mark 5:22). Matthew also shows the man telling Jesus that his daughter is already dead. Luke, though, describes the man's only daughter, about 12, as "dying" (Luke 8:42). By the time Jesus gets to Jairus's house, the girl is dead. Most likely, messengers arrived during the exchange to let him know the sad news.

Like the Roman centurion who asked Jesus to heal his paralyzed servant (Matthew 8:5–13), this synagogue ruler also humbles himself and shows faith in Jesus' power to heal. Unlike most of the other Jewish religious leaders we see, Jairus does not want to judge or accuse Jesus. He simply believes in Jesus' power to heal and wants his daughter to live.

There is a stark difference between Jairus and the centurion, however. The centurion understood that Jesus could heal with a word without having to be near the sick person. Jairus, so it seems, is convinced Jesus will need to put His hand on the girl for her to be made well.
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