Mark saith, Mar_5:39,40, When he was come in, hesaith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? The damsel is notdead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. But when he hadput them all out, he taketh the father and mother, and them thatwere with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying. Luke saith, Luk_8:51-53, When he came into the house, he sufferedno man to go in, ( that is, into the chamber where the dead body lay), save Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother ofthe maiden. And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. The history is plain: when Christ came into the house, there was a mixed noise of fiddlers or pipers, and mourners. Christ coming in, with Peter, James, and John, asked them what they made such ado for? The maid was not dead, but asleep. They apprehending that she was dead, mocked him. He desires to go into the chamber where the corpse lay; but would suffer none but Peter, James, and John, and the father and mother of the maid, to go in with him; the reason appeareth afterward, because he did not desire that this miracle should be presently published. The only question is, in what sense our Saviour saith, she is not dead, but sleepeth; whereas they knew she was dead.
1. Some think our Saviour speaketh ambiguously, for death is in Scripture often called a sleep, 1Ki_14:20Joh_11:11Act_7:601Co_15:6 with respect to the resurrection.
2. Others think that our Saviour speaks ironically, knowing that some of them would so diminish the miracle, to calumniate him, or abate his reputation. But it is a better answer to say that he speaks with reference to their opinion; she is not dead in that sense you judge her dead, so as she shall not come to life before the resurrection; she is not so dead but she shall come to life again; as he said to Mary concerning Lazarus, Joh_11:23.
3. Or, to me she is not dead.
4. Or shall we say, as soon as Christ was come into the house, who is the resurrection, and the life, Joh_11:25, her soul again returned into her body, which though to their appearance it was separated from her body, was not yet fixed in its eternal mansion?
In what sense soever he spake it, they judged it ridiculous, and laughed him to scorn.