ESV - 43 And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.
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Reasons that occur to me: -- As Jesus Himself said elsewhere (Mark 10:45), He had not come to be served, but to serve. He was therefore not seeking publicity, or to make a name for Himself, but to do the will of God the Father. -- He did not want to be known solely (or even primarily) as a worker of miracles or wonders, which might cause people to seek Him out or follow Him for wrong reasons. His overriding mission was spiritual, and especially achieving the redemption of humanity from sin that only He could accomplish. -- Increased knowledge of His powers might intensify the opposition of His adversaries, and thus disrupt God's perfect timing for the accomplishment of all that He needed to do. -- At the same time, publicity for His miracles might encourage people who would misguidedly want Him to use His powers for political purposes (for example, in freeing Israel from Roman domination).
I think Jesus wanted to keep the miracle a secret to protect Jairus and his family. If the miracle spread like wildfire, it would fuel Jesus popularity and the resentment of the religious leaders in Jerusalem. These leaders would likely come and try to discredit this miracle. They would likely persecute Jairus and his family to pressure them to recant that a miracle had happened, to admit that their daughter was not really dead. They could threaten to throw Jairus and his family out of the synagogue if they didn’t recant. This kind of reaction could be similar to the persecution experienced by the man born blind whom Jesus had healed. Jesus wanted to protect them from this kind of persecution and suffering from his opponents.
My answer will dovetail off of Tim's answer above. There was a New Testament scholar and archaeologist named Bargil Pixner (1921-2002). You can find his books on Amazon. "Paths of the Messiah" is a good one. He points out a couple of things about Jesus' ministry that I think can be helpful to understand the context of why he would say what he says. Pixner points out that the area surrounding the Sea of Galilee was quite segregated in Jesus' day: - Tiberius (SW corner) was Herod's capital and Jews would not go there. - the Decapolis (SE corner) was pagan and Jews would avoid that area. - The (NW corner) was where Jesus conducted the majority of his ministry (Magdala, Capernaum) - in the North East quadrant - was a city called Gamla. Gamla was the headquarters for the Zealot movement. The Zealots wanted to bring about the kingdom of God by using violence. Jesus rejects this, of course. When Jesus does a miracle near the northern part of the Sea of Galilee - where there may be Zealots - he says "don't tell anyone" (Mark 5:43). Notice though, in the same chapter (Mark 5), Jesus had gone over to the Decapolis. No Zealots over there. The Zealots would not set foot in the Decapolis because they did not want to be defiled. After Jesus does a miracle he says, "now go tell everyone." (Mark 5:19). Why the difference? Jesus did not want to start a war. The Zealots wanted a war. They wanted to make Jesus "king" and go to war with Rome (John 6:15). The "Feeding of the 5000" happens in the northwest corner of the lake - next to the city of Tabgha - a majority Jewish area. After Jesus miraculously feeds 5000 the crowd wants to make him king (John 6:15). That is a sign of wanting to go to war. Think about it. Miraculously feeding everyone - what a great skill to have in a war! You could feed all the troops! The Zealots loved it! Jesus of course came in peace - to teach the power of forgiveness - not to start a war. There is an added step of learning about the context of first-century Israel - like the regions surrounding the Sea of Galilee. It is extra work, but many people find that once you know the context little details in the text start to make more sense. It's worth to effort to do some context study. Bargirl Pixner is a great resource.
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