WEEKLY DEVOTIONAL – “Be Not Afraid, Only Believe”

Jairus, one of the rulers of the synagogue, was out of options.  According to the narrative, on this particular day he came to Jesus and “when he saw Him, he fell at His feet, and besought Him greatly, saying, ‘My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.’ And Jesus went with him” (Mark 5:22-24a, KJV).

However, as they walked back to the house surrounded by people following Jesus, they were interrupted by the woman with the issue of blood (vv. 25-34). As Jesus spoke with the woman after her healing, “there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, ‘Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?'” (v. 35). In that moment, Jairus was probably devastated! If only the woman had not interrupted them! If only Jesus had not bothered to stop and talk with her! From the perspective of the crowd, Jesus was, as Bible Scholar John Gill observes, “a very worthy person, an eminent doctor and prophet, a master in Israel, and one that had done great cures on living persons in distress; yet imagined it was wholly out of His power to raise one from the dead.” The girl was dead, it was over; there was no point in bothering Jesus any further.

Mark tells us that “as soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, ‘Be not afraid, only believe'” (v. 36). “Don’t listen to them; just trust me” (The Message).  Right there and then, heartbroken Jairus had a decision to make. Here was Jesus saying to him, “Jairus, you believed that I could heal your daughter; now trust me that I can raise her from the dead.” Could Jesus be trusted? Could He do what He was implying He could do? The narrative does not record any response from Jairus, but it is significant that when Jesus got to the house and put out the unbelievers, He took Jairus and the mother of the girl, along with Peter, James, and John into the room where the dead girl was lying (v. 40).  In that room, Jesus brought joy to the household with another of His miracles which left the onlookers “astonished with great astonishment” (vv. 41-42).

What do you do when you are faced with a seemingly impossible situation?  It is easy to become discouraged by the facts of our circumstances.  While those are real and should not be ignored, it is worth remembering that there is a higher truth to which believers can subscribe; there is nothing that we face that is too difficult for the God that we serve. What Jesus said to Jairus, He is saying to us today: “Don’t listen to them; just trust me.” To paraphrase that, “Don’t listen to the fact of your circumstances; just trust me that I am bigger than anything you face.” Do you believe Him?



  • Colin Wilson

    Easy going, dislike negativity, and an optimist. I believe that amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday living, each day is a gift from God and if we stop and think about it, there is at least one thing for which we ought to be thankful. In addition, I believe that every day is a great day to be alive. No matter how bad we think we have it, there are any number of people who are on the "other side" who, if they could, would gladly trade places with us. Email me at [email protected]

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