Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Be Not Afraid, Only Believe!

There is a story in Mark 5 that speaks to me on several different levels. It's about a father who comes to Jesus because his little girl is sick. Really sick. So sick, in fact, she dies before Jesus has a chance to heal her.

I'm a mom of two amazing young men. Though they aren't little boys anymore--they're 21 and 18--I still worry about them. About their health. Their future. Their choices. Recently our younger son called to tell us he was sick. He's going to school in Oklahoma, so there wasn't much I could do except pray, sympathize and advise. Thankfully it wasn't the flu and he got over it in a few days. But worry, worry, worry plagued me, thinking of all the terrible things that could go wrong with him so far away from home. So far away from me. 

Jairus, the father in the story in Mark 5:21-43, was worried. His little girl was sick. He held an important job in the synagogue, so he had probably already sought help for her. Priests, doctors, healers. Nothing worked. She was still gravely ill. When word reaches him that Jesus is nearby, he hurries to find him. Now, mind you, Jesus wasn't too popular with the religious leaders. Only two chapters before this some were plotting how to kill Jesus. So it's a big deal that Jairus went to him. What I find beautiful is that even though Jesus may have been Jairus' "last resort" Jesus still said, "Sure, I'll come to your house and put my hands on your little daughter." (Is Jesus your "last resort"? He'll come to you whenever you ask!)

On the way to see the girl, however, a woman who had been bleeding for twelve long years also seeks out Jesus. She is so ashamed of her condition, all she wants to do is touch Jesus' clothes as he passes by without making a big scene. But something amazing happens when she does. Not only does her bleeding stop, but Jesus recognizes that healing power left his body. "Who touched me?" he asks. I think he knew who it was but wanted her to boldly admit, right there in front of everyone, what had just happened. She does and is "freed" from her suffering. Awesome!!

The delay, however, is devastating for Jairus. Some men approach him while he's waiting--no doubt impatiently--for Jesus to finish with the woman. They tell him not to bother Jesus anymore. His little girl is dead. 

Oh no!

I can only imagine how awful that must have been for Jairus!! Here was Jesus, with power he'd just witnessed, standing right next to him, on their way to the house....but now it's too late. His precious little girl died before the One who could heal her had a chance to touch her. How Jairus' heart must have broken in that terrible, soul-rending moment.

But God is a God of the brokenhearted. Ignoring the men who brought the bad news, Jesus looks Jairus in the eye and says some of the most beautiful, wonderful, hopeful words I have ever heard:

"Don't be afraid; just believe." (v.36)

Jairus didn't have to fear death. Jesus conquers death! 

The woman with the bleeding didn't have to fear sickness. Jesus conquers every disease known to man!

I don't have to fear for my boys. Jesus knows them by name and has a plan and a future for them!

"Be not afraid, only believe." (KJV)

Jairus did believe. They continued on to his home where Jesus took the girl by the hand and told her to get up. She did. 

This week's Prayer Shout-Out countries are:
USA, United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, Moldova, Sweden, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Ireland, South Korea, Cook Islands

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