Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Do not fear, but only believe

In today's Gospel reading from the St. Mark's gospel, (5:21 - 43) we are presented with several characters who are asked to trust in Jesus. The first is the synagogue ruler Jairus, who approaches Jesus to ask that He would heal his little daughter who is at the point of death. He has enough faith in Jesus to believe that Jesus can lay His hand upon his daughter and she will be healed.

The next character is a woman who has heard about Jesus and trusts that He can heal her of the hemorrhaging which she has suffered for 12 years. Her faith is strong enough to believe that she will be healed even if she simply touches the hem of Jesus' garment as He passes through the crowd. She dare not do more because she is ritually unclean with her flow of blood, and Jesus is a holy rabbi. After she has touched him Jesus perceives that power has gone out of Him, and he questions who has touched him. The woman's worst fear is realized. She has been discovered. However, Jesus assures her that her faith has made her well.

The final character we meet is a servant of Jairus. He comes up to Jesus and Jairus at what might already be Jairus' breaking point. Jairus is anxious to begin with, but now that Jesus has been "delayed" by the healing of the woman, he is probably ready to grab Jesus by the hand and run to his daughter. However, Jairus' faith is yet to be tested even more because the servant announces that Jairus' daughter had died. The servant adds, "Why trouble the Teacher any further?" Jesus turns to Jairus and says, "Do not fear, only believe."

Many times we think that faith is some incredible leap into the unknown. It is a blind leap of faith. However, when we place our trust in Jesus, we realize that our faith can be reasonable even logical. The key is to know Jesus. How often are we like the servant who takes the "reasonable" line of thinking. The young girl has died so what is the use. But, what if we thought about from a more reasonable approach that takes into account who Jesus is. Jairus has begged Jesus to heal his daughter, and Jesus had gone with the man. Jesus allowed Himself to be "delayed" on His initial goal to heal another daughter of Israel. Although during this delay, the Jairus' daughter died, it did not change Jesus' goal. Why would Jesus set out to heal the little girl and be hindered by circumstances? If we know Jesus, we know that He is not hindered by circumstances. The more logical faith is that what Jesus set out to do, He will accomplish.

The servant's lack of faith is actually illogical. He assumes that because the daughter has died, she cannot be restored. What Jesus began cannot be completed. Again, this reminds me of myself, when I forget that what God has begun, He will complete.

Jairus does not lose hope, but heeds Jesus' words to believe. Our response to Jesus can be one of faith or fear. Fear leaves us dead to God, but faith restores us to life with God.

Posted by David at 10:32 AM  |  Comments (0)  | 


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