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Talitha Cumi טְלִיחָא קוּמִי

The Gospels were written in Greek. But in all of them certain Aramaic or Hebrew words are included and are usually translated. 

One of the reasons for this is that the writer was present when striking Hebrew words were spoken. They were so vivid in Mark's mind, that he quoted them. I believe that is true when Matthew and Mark quote Jesus on the cross saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani," "My God, my God, Why have you forsaken me!" Although this is also a quote from the 22nd Psalm.

One particular case of this is found in the raising of the daughter of Jairus. Jesus had entered the home of Jairus the Synagogue Ruler whose daughter had died. Jesus allowed no one to go with Him into the girl's room, but her mother and father, Peter, James, and John. There Jesus raised the child from the dead. Mark 5:41-42 reads,

"Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement."

But we know Mark was not there to hear those words spoken by Jesus. Jesus only allowed the child's parents, and three Disciples into that room. However, what is considered to be reliable tradition tells us that Mark was the protege of Simon Peter. I suspect Peter's description of this event was so vivid that Mark couldn't help repeating it. And we see several things from this.

First we have an eye witness reflection of the tenderness of Jesus. "Talitha" was an Aramaic endearment for a little girl. I cannot read this story from Mark without melting at our Master's tender voice. I would like my voice to reflect His love as I tell His story.

We have here an eye witness reflection of the authority of Jesus. The authority of Jesus is reflected in who people were saying He was. People were perplexed about who Jesus really was. He didn't just heal a person here and there. When He entered a town or region, hundreds of sick people were brought to Him and He healed them all. But this healing was different. The little girl was dead. And while Jesus charged them not to tell anyone, those in the room witnessed His authority over life and death. I want to know and share the One with that authority.

Finally, we have an eye witness reflection of the reality of the event. The use of the very words of Jesus brings us into that room as well. I think it is interesting that Mark tells us that she got up and walked because she was 12 years old. Have you ever addressed a 12 year old as a little child? If so, you did not please the child. Of course it was fitting for Jesus to call her talitha in the aftermath of the tragedy. But Mark explains that she was nearly grown. Luke also records this event. He tells us Jesus told the parents to give her something to eat. They were evidently too overcome with joy and amazement to think about what they needed to do for her. That would have been a detail too mundane for a myth. This is evidence of the reality of the event.



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