“Do not fear, only believe.” Mark v.36b
Fear and unbelief can be quite contagious. When we are surrounded by skeptics who take pride in their rational and pragmatic ways, the temptation to conform to their ‘reasonable’ unbelief is difficult to resist. Our circumstances too might offer sufficient grounds for fear, unbelief and anxiety. Jesus’ words—“Do not fear, only believe”—will be all the more relevant to us in such situations.
Most Jews of Jesus’ time dismissed him as a miracle-working attention-seeker. Some honored him as a Rabbi, a teacher. They flocked to him to see his miracles. Many of them sought Jesus’ intervention in their life-situations such as sickness or demon possession. Jairus, a prominent leader of a Galilean synagogue approached Jesus with this request, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.” (Mark 5:23). Jesus went with Jairus.
While they were walking to Jairus’ house, a few men met them with this terrible news, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” No teacher or healer whom they had known had ever brought anyone back from the dead. Therefore, it was quite ‘reasonable’ for them to assume that Jesus couldn’t help them anymore. Before Jairus could be swept away by the ignorance and unbelief of his friends; even before he could get overwhelmed by a sense of irrecoverable loss, Jesus intervened to rescue his faith. He said, “Do not fear, only believe.” Faith honors God; and God sustains our faith. When we are tempted to boast of our faith in God, we might as well remember God’s unseen hand that sustains our faith!
Have we prescribed limits to Jesus’ ability? Do we reckon our difficulties as impossible cases beyond God’s redeeming arm? Do we refrain from “troubling” Jesus with our insoluble problems? Have we scaled down our prayers to suit our limited faith? If so, Jesus wishes to bolster our faith in Him. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He hasn’t stopped working miracles and He is interested in the lives of all who seek His face. “Do not fear, only believe.”