Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Fear vs. Belief
Mark 5:36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.”
Here we have two stories of Jesus' healing power that are folded into one. A leader from the synagogue comes to Jesus and asks him to come to his home because his little daughter is sick. Before he can get there a woman steps out of the crowd, reaches out and touches the hem of Jesus' garment because she is in desperate need of healing. She is healed but it stops Jesus in his tracks. He knew that power had flown out of him. He then commends the woman telling her that it was her faith that made her whole. But in the meantime he has been delayed in getting to the home of the synagogue leader whose little daughter is sick. At that very moment people from the leaders home show up and tell them not to bother to come. Jesus didn't make it in time -- the little girl has died.
It is in this very moment that we are brought into today's verse of Scripture. Jesus overhears the message that is brought from the home. What was it that Jesus had just told the woman? He had told her that it was her faith, or her belief in him, that had made her well. He wants the official to understand this truth. Fear cannot rule the day but instead there must be a belief or trust in Jesus. "Do not fear, only believe." Jesus went to the house and the daughter was healed. He asked that they keep the story quiet. He didn't want a lot of attention for the things that he was doing, although that was inevitable. The temptation would be for people to come to Jesus wanting to see his "magic tricks" and not to have faith in him as the Messiah. He was not bringing magic to the people, he was bringing a faith or belief that would literally transform their very lives and future.
Fear and belief can be found on opposite ends of a spectrum. Our relationship with Jesus Christ will also be found somewhere on that spectrum. Unfortunately when it comes to putting our wholehearted trust in Jesus Christ we often cling to our own fears. There are times when we cloak our fears in rationalization; over thinking situations, and believing that we must take control of our circumstances. The Lord is asking us to put aside our natural tendencies which will lead to fear and wholeheartedly abandon ourselves to him.
There are so many things in life over which we have no power or control. We can worry and focus on those things which bring fear or we can focus on Jesus Christ who transcends the things of this world. When we become focused on the path we will live in fear, when we focus on the goal, we will live in faith.
Lord, please help me to keep my eyes on you today -- the goal of all things. Amen.