What does Mark 5:38 mean?
ESV: They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly.
NIV: When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly.
NASB: They *came to the house of the synagogue official, and He *saw a commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing.
CSB: They came to the leader’s house, and he saw a commotion—people weeping and wailing loudly.
NLT: When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw much commotion and weeping and wailing.
KJV: And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly.
NKJV: Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly.
Verse Commentary:
Upon His return from freeing a man with a legion of demons, Jesus was approached by Jairus, a leader of the local synagogue, whose daughter was dying. Jairus learned that while he was traveling home, she had passed, but Jesus encouraged him to maintain his faith (Mark 5:36).

Jesus, Peter, James, John, and Jairus arrive to find the house filled with professional mourners (Matthew 9:25). Professional mourning was well-known in Jesus' day around the Middle East and Asia. Matthew 9:23 mentions flute players and a crowd. Oddly enough, the career is making a comeback in some western nations, where families can hire actors to provide a suitable atmosphere at funerals and memorial services.

Unlike modern professional mourners who study the life of the deceased and make small talk to friends and extended family of the deceased, these mourners are neither somber nor reserved. "Commotion" is from the Greek root word thorubos which means noise, clamor, and public disorder. "Wailing" is from the Greek root word alalazo. It's the "alala" sound soldiers made when rushing into battle, similar to what is referred to as ululation.

The custom of hired mourners shows how we have always been uncomfortable with our grief. Anger, control, and even detachment are easier places to dwell in than the raw vulnerability of acute loss. But God promises to meet us in grief. He sees our sadness (Psalm 56:8) and promises to turn it into joy if we will trust Him (Psalm 30:11–12).
Verse Context:
Mark 5:35–43 returns to Jesus' encounter with a synagogue leader and his ailing daughter, after pausing to describe Jesus healing a woman who had suffered for years with a debilitating hemorrhage. The scope of Jesus' power and authority has built to this moment. He controlled a fierce storm (Mark 4:35–41), expelled a legion of demons (Mark 5:1–13), and healed a chronically ill woman without even trying (Mark 5:25–34). Now He will raise the dead. This is the first of three times Jesus is recorded as raising the dead (John 11:1–44; Luke 7:11–17). Despite this display, Jesus will soon go to His hometown of Nazareth where He will be rejected by the people who have known Him longest. This account can also be found in Matthew 9:23–26 and Luke 8:49–56.
Chapter Summary:
Jesus arrives on the other side of the Sea of Galilee and heals a man afflicted by a ''legion'' of demons. In the aftermath of this event, Jesus once again crosses the waters within this region, known as the Decapolis. There, He is approached by a synagogue leader, begging Him to come and save a dying girl. In the midst of this trip, Jesus stops the crowd to identify a woman who attempted to covertly touch his robes; her faithful act results in healing. Jesus then continues on to the home of the synagogue leader and resurrects his recently-deceased child.
Chapter Context:
Mark 4:35—5:43 sees an increase in the scope of Jesus' miracles. He has just calmed a violent storm on the Sea of Galilee. Now, He expels a legion of demons, heals a woman without overtly acting, and brings a girl back to life. All three situations—related to tombs, blood, and death—show Jesus bringing healing to unclean circumstances. In chapter 6, the tone of His ministry will develop. He will be rejected by those who should know Him best, He will send out His followers to do His work, and His direct link to the Old Testament prophets will be explained.
Book Summary:
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 7/23/2024 7:08:02 AM
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