Luke 8:55- Why Did Jesus Command the Girl Be Given Something to Eat?

Since I’m an IT geek, I tend to keep my blogs secular, but since I don’t have the readership I’ve been hoping for, I decided I’ll just write about whatever I want. One of my interests is the Bible. I decided a while ago, thanks to Dr. Chuck Missler, not to claim to take the Bible literally. Instead, I claim to take the Bible seriously. I’ve probably read through the whole thing a good five times, and other sections even more. I have no idea how much study it will take to actually learn the Bible. It seems that the more I study, the more I come to realize how little I know. At one point, I felt ready to teach the Bible. At another, I was ready to tell my church I can’t teach; I don’t feel like I know anything.

As I was doing my "daily" reading the other day (daily as in I attempt to read a certain amount of the Bible each day, but I don’t always succeed), I came across the passage in Luke 8 where Jesus healed Jairus’ daughter as well as the woman with the issue of blood. Jairus’ daughter was 12, and the woman with the issue of blood had suffered that issue for 12 years. Interesting, ain’t it? Apparently, the woman could not have been Jewish (like Jairus’ daughter) as a Jewish woman with a bleeding problem would have to stay outside the camp.

I’ve read this passage many, many times. I’ve heard plenty of sermons and Bible podcasts on it, I’ve read books and blog entries on this passage, and the other day when I read it, something just jumped out at me in such as way that I don’t feel like I can sleep until I settle it (yes, I have slept.) Watch this:

[55] Then her spirit returned, and she arose immediately. And He commanded that she be given something to eat.

For whatever reason, I can’t stop wondering why Luke felt it was important to record this information. I honestly can’t. I’m a firm believer in inspiration and infallibility, but of course that is within the bonds of the individual writers. These people put words on scrolls, possibly with full knowledge that God was working through them and possibly without. Luke was an accomplice of Paul’s, and it’s possible that Luke and Acts were trial documents sent ahead of Paul’s plea to Ceaser (Nero, of all people). Scrolls were not cheap, which is why the codices (early books) became popular with the early church. Why did Luke feel compelled to include the statement that Jesus commanded the girl be given something to eat?

I started to wonder if her death had something to do with not eating. I admit; I need to spend a lot more time in study of the culture at the time, but I have a hard time imagining that a ruler of a synagogue, even in a poor, crappy town (and there’s no real indication that this fits) would have trouble feeding his family. I still wonder, why? Was the girl anorexic, or have I spent more time in 21st century America than I’ve spent studying the Bible and ancient Jewish culture? Did this guy have problems ruling his home? Or was there no point? I don’t exactly buy the possibility that there there is no point. I’ve found that the most obscure comments in the Bible have the most reward or scholarly yield when chased down.

If you have any ideas, please feel free to post in the comments. If I come across anything, I’ll let you know. I did think to check Matthew Henry, who often does yield amazing insights. In this case, he was no help.

Technorati Tags: Bible,Luke 8,Jairus’ daughter,Bible study,Ancient Jewish Culture


2 Responses

  1. Perhaps she had been fasting to come closer to God. Fasting can prove to be deadly for diabetics for example. If this were the case then she would need to eat to get her blood sugars up to the normal level. Interestingly, if she had been fasting and praying to come closer to God, she sure got what she was seeking.

    PapaJoe Gordon

    • Good point. Fasting hadn’t occurred to me, nor had diabetes or a similar disorder.

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