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REMBRANDT, THE LIFE OF CHRIST: Part 7
 

Only Believe

When Jesus returned from the more deserted side of Lake Galilee, he was approached by a temple ruler, Jairus by name. The man threw himself upon Jesus, and begged him, "Good Teacher, come help my young daughter! She lies at the point of death." Immediately, Jesus went with Jairus, and they were followed by a great number of curious people.

But before they push through the crowded streets that led to the rich man's house, servants came with this message: "Do not trouble Jesus any further. Your daughter is dead."

The man's heart broke with sorrow, but Jesus comforted him, saying: "Do not fear. Only believe." Having said this, they continued on to the place where his daughter was lying.


The waking of Jairus' daughter
Pen and brush drawing; 19.8 x 19.8 cm; c. 1655-60
Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett der Staatlichen Museen

Arriving at the house, they had to press through a great many mourners. Hired by the family, as was the custom of that time, these professional mourners were casting up a great wailing to grieve the departure of Jairus' daughter. Jesus called to them, "Why are you making such a commotion? The child is not dead, but sleeping."

Then he commanded that all of the mourners be put outside of the house. He entered the girl's room, and said to her, "Talitha, cumi," which is translated, "Little girl, arise." Immediately, the disciple Mark records in his Gospel, the young girl arose and was able to walk. "Give her something to eat," Jesus said to the astonished family.

Matthew reports that Jesus departed for the northern region known as Tyre and Sidon, close to the border of modern-day Lebanon. A woman of Canaan approached Jesus and said, "Have mercy on me Son of David! My daughter is possessed by demons!"

At first, Jesus seemed to disregard the woman's cries. Undaunted, she pursued him, and called after him even more.

"O woman," Jesus said, turning then to her, "Great is your faith. Let it be to you as you have prayed." Reports followed that her daughter was set free from that very hour.


Jesus and the woman of Canaan
Pen and ink drawing; 15.2 x 22.6 cm; c. 1660
Vienna, Albertina