Faith Amid Fear | Mark 5:35–37
35 While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” 36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James.
There are lengths of our journey where it seems that life gets worse while we’re with Jesus, and faith begins to run dry. Jairus must have felt that way—he came to Jesus asking Him to come and heal his daughter (vv. 22–24). However, Jesus delays and heals someone else (vv. 24–34), and now the message of his daughter’s death (v. 35). He risked ridicule and scorn from the scribes and Pharisees, came to Jesus, and seemingly, all for naught.
Perhaps the messengers pulled Jairus aside while Jesus healed this girl, but Jesus still overheard the conversation. He speaks directly to Jairus and says, “Do not fear, only believe.” Luke notes that Jesus added that “she will be well” (Lk 8:50). Jairus demonstrated faith in coming to Christ, and now Jesus tells him to continue in that belief—a difficult command we need to hear as fears well up in our own souls.
Do not fear if you don’t see. We who read ahead know how this will end, but in the moment, Jairus walks without sight. He has to walk back home with Jesus believing everything will be all right when they arrive. He has no evidence other than the word of Christ. He doesn’t even have the excitement of the crowd anymore—only Jesus and three disciples walk this part of the road.
Believe based on what you know. Perhaps the delay added difficulty to his faith, but it probably helped Jairus to witness Jesus’s healing of the woman’s hemorrhage (vv. 25–34). It confirmed what Jarius already knew about Jesus, that He could heal the sick. Moreover. her issue lasted for the same number of years his daughter had life, perhaps drawing Jairus’s mind to the possibility of Christ healing his daughter specifically.
We must not entertain doubts, allowing them to rob faith. We have the Word of God, and we know what God has done in the past for other people and ourselves. Even though the road gets quiet and clouded, don’t fear to continue with Jesus in faith.