Questions From Readers
● Did Jesus become unclean when he touched a dead girl, as reported at Matthew 9:25, in order to resurrect her?—England.
According to the Mosaic law, an Israelite who touched a human corpse became ceremonially unclean for seven days. In order to be clean again, he would have to go through a purification ceremony. This included bathing and washing his garments on the seventh day.—Num. 19:11-19.
The apostle Matthew tells us that a Jewish leader, named Jairus, once came to Jesus and said about his daughter who was sick and expected to die: “By now my daughter must be dead; but come and lay your hand upon her and she will come to life.” (Matt. 9:18) The Gospel accounts by Mark and Luke assure us that by the time Jesus reached her the girl was dead. “While he was yet speaking, some men from the home of the presiding officer of the synagogue came and said: ‘Your daughter died! Why bother the teacher any longer?”’ (Mark 5:35; Luke 8:49) So, if Jesus touched her corpse, would that make him unclean? No, not at all.
Jesus resurrected the girl, brought her back to life. Matthew writes: “He went in and took hold of her hand, and the little girl got up.” (Matt. 9:25) Far from Jesus becoming unclean, he removed the source of uncleanness, the dead body. He did this by bringing the child to life. “Immediately the maiden rose and began walking.” Thus, she was not unclean and was not making anyone touching her unclean. Jesus was the means of bringing cleanness, and he had no need to undergo any purification ceremony.—Mark 5:41, 42; Luke 8:54, 55.