What is the meaning of talitha cumi?

Author: BibleAsk Team


Talitha Cumi

The phrase “Talitha cumi” is recorded in the Gospel of Mark in the story of Jesus resurrecting Jairus’ daughter. The passage reads, “Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise” (Mark 5:41). Talitha is a term of endearment that can also mean a “lamb.” The words Talitha cumi reflect the fact that Jesus spoke in Aramaic, which is seen also when He used other words like, “Ephphatha” (Mark 7:34) and “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani” (Mark 15:34).

Resurrecting Jairus’ Daughter

Jairus, one of the rulers of the synagogue, came to Jesus asking Him to lay his hands on his dying daughter to heal her. So, Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed them (Mark 5:21-24). On their way, a certain woman, who had a flow of blood for twelve years, came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she believed that if she touched his cloths, she would be healed. Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed (verse 28,29).

Then, Jesus immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?” (Mark 5:30). At this point, the woman came and told Him the whole truth. Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction” (verse 34). Jesus affirmed to her that it was faith that had brought healing to her, not the surreptitious touch.

While Jesus was still speaking, some came from Jairus’ house reporting that his daughter is dead and he doesn’t need to trouble Jesus. But Jesus said to him, “Do not be afraid; only believe” (Mark 5:36). Jairus believed that Jesus could heal his daughter (verse 23). But now he was called to exercise even greater faith—faith that the clutch of death could be broken. The miracle of the invalid woman helped Jairus’ faith get stronger. When fear haunts our souls, let us “only believe,” for “all things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23).

Jesus permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John. And he entered the house of Jairus, and saw many people that wept and wailed loudly. And He asked, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping” (verse 39).

Jesus identified death as sleep. In death, the eyes of those, who love God and look forward to when His voice shall awaken them to life immortal, are closed in the undisturbed sleep of death (1 Corinthians 15:51–55; 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17). The comforting figure of speech by which “sleep” stands for “death” seems to have been Jesus’ favorite way of symbolizing this experience (John 11:11–15). Death is a sleep, but it is a deep sleep from which only the Savior can awaken one, for He alone has the keys to the grave (Revelation 1:18; John 3:16; Romans 6:23). He is the One, who had “life in himself” (John 5:26; 1:4).

Then, Christ took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying. And He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi.” Christ’s words, Talitha, cumi” gave life to the dead body and the girl immediately got up and walked. All that witnessed the miracle were overcome with great amazement. But Jesus commanded them that no one should know it. The charge was in harmony with His repeated attempts, at this stage of His ministry, to avoid undue publicity (Mark 1:43, 44; Matthew 8:4; 9:30). And Jesus asked the parents to give the girl food, which shows His tender and thoughtful care.

By Jesus’ words, talitha cumi, any soul that is caught in the clutches of spiritual death, can be raised. Therefore, ”Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). He who makes it a habit to go daily to the throne of grace for a fresh supply of God’s mercy enters the “rest” of soul that the Savior has provided for every Christian (John 15:4).

For more information on the state of the Dead, check: https://bibleask.org/bible-answers/112-the-intermediate-state/

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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