Christians are called to live a life of faith. When we have faith in Jesus Christ we are saying that we trust Him, that our life belongs to Him, and that we may not know what lies ahead, but we know that He is there. As we journey through Mark’s Gospel we see many people responding in faith to Jesus and His works and words. This is what we do – we hear / read / follow Jesus. He amazes us by what we see in Him – his love, sacrifice, mercy, grace, hope. The life of faith requires certain things of us… today we want to think about how faith requires BELIEF. Do we really believe in Jesus Christ? If we do, what difference does it make in our everyday life?
Our text tells of a man named Jairus – a synagogue leader who was in a desperate situation – his daughter was dying. He asked Jesus to come and lay hands on her so she could get well and live. (Luke 8:41 He fell down at Jesus’s feet and pleaded with him…)
While he was still speaking, people came from the synagogue leader’s house and said, “Your daughter is dead. Why bother the teacher anymore?”36 When Jesus overheard what was said, he told the synagogue leader, “Don’t be afraid. Only believe.” 37 He did not let anyone accompany him except Peter, James, and John, James’s brother. 38 They came to the leader’s house, and he saw a commotion—people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 They laughed at him, but he put them all outside. He took the child’s father, mother, and those who were with him, and entered the place where the child was. 41 Then he took the child by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum” (which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, get up”). 42 Immediately the girl got up and began to walk. (She was twelve years old.) At this they were utterly astounded.Mark 5:35-42, CSB
This story turns on the short statement Jesus made in vs 36: “Don’t be afraid. Only believe.”
BELIEVE WHEN WE FEEL HELPLESS (Mark 5:35)
There is nothing as helpless as death – it seems so final. Yet Jesus was not intimidated by death at all. He encouraged Jairus to believe, even though others had given up and didn’t want to bother Jesus any longer. To them, Jesus was of no use against this enemy. They didn’t know the power of Jesus the way we do!
Helplessness, weakness, feeling like giving up – all of these are addressed by our faith. Abraham and Sarah were old and unable to have children, yet an angel asked them if anything was too hard for the Lord! (Genesis 18:14)
We give up on life, marriage, relationships, hopes, and even that we might be saved. When we Believe Jesus, we are never helpless – we have the greatest helper that has ever walked the earth! Jairus was so desperate, yet he had faith – he believed. That’s what faith requires.
BELIEVE WHEN OTHERS HAVE GIVEN UP (Mark 5:36-40)
Living the life of faith in a world of faithlessness can be challenging. Sometimes people who had faith have given up. Sometimes people will discourage our faith. Sometimes the difficulties of life will discourage faith.
Jesus walked through the house with doubters and laughters, and walked into the room with Jairus’ daughter. When we are afraid, He is not.
-When we do not know the future, He does.
-When we have no power, He is powerful.
-When we aren’t sure, He is faithful.
BELIEVE BECAUSE HE CAN (Mark 5:41-42)
We are not people of faith because we have such great wisdom, strength and power – but because He does! We believe because we know that Jesus CAN. There is nothing that is beyond his power. His resurrection proves that even death does not hold the ultimate keys of power any longer.
How often do we defeated because of what we cannot do? We must learn to place our concerns, cares, and grievances in the hands of Jesus. Jairus was a believer – a desperate man who regarded Jesus as the last hope for his sick daughter.
BELIEVE BECAUSE HE IS OUR LAST HOPE (Mark 5:25-34)
Sandwiched into this story was an interruption – a woman who crawled to Jesus through the crowd.
Now a woman suffering from bleeding for twelve years 26 had endured much under many doctors. She had spent everything she had and was not helped at all. On the contrary, she became worse. 27 Having heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his clothing. 28 For she said, “If I just touch his clothes, I’ll be made well.” 29 Instantly her flow of blood ceased, and she sensed in her body that she was healed of her affliction. 30 At once Jesus realized in himself that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 His disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing against you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 But he was looking around to see who had done this. 33 The woman, with fear and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. 34 “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be healed from your affliction.”Mark 5:25-34, CSB
I can’t imagine this woman’s desperation. A twelve-year flow of blood had left her hopeless. Doctor after doctor had been unable to help her. She had no more money because she spent everything trying to find a cure … instead…she got worse. Then she heard that Jesus was near and determined that “If I just touch his clothes, I’ll be made well.” She reached out and touched him, and was immediately healed. Jesus told her “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be healed from your affliction.” Just like Jairus… she believed, even though helpless; she believed when others had given up, she believed because Jesus could do what no one else could do.
Our last hope is Jesus – when we have done all we can do to repair the damage of our own sin, we must then turn to Him.
Conclusion Belief is core to Christianity – one cannot be a Christian without it.
*Tevin was born premature and ill. He was born three months early and weighed just 3.5 lbs He was only given a 20% of surviving the initial days after his birth. Tevin Coleman today is a running back for the San Francisco 49ers. He recently said, “I’m here for a reason. I’m here to do something. I’ve literally been a fighter since I’ve been
born. It reminds me that I can never give up. God has blessed me to be here on this earth.”
When we want to give up, we should remember that we are here and God blesses us as we serve Him.
-When you’re feeling helpless – believe Him!
-When others have given up – believe Him!
-When in doubt, believe Him because He CAN!
-When you’re feeling hopeless – believe Him beyond all others.
Jairus’ daughter was twelve years old. The woman suffered with the issue of blood for twelve years. One seems a new health issue, the other one long term. Whether you need God’s help for healing, hope, strength, freedom, finances, relationships – whatever it is you need most from God today: Don’t lose faith when the battle takes a long time or seems too late. Trust the One in whom we can place all of our faith with assurance.