The Only Reaction to Christ that Counts | Mark 5:21–24a

21 And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea. 22 Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet 23 and implored him earnestly, saying, “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.” 24 And he went with him.

Jesus, rejected by the people on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, returns to Capernaum on the northeastern shore.  Not much time had passed, so we are not surprised to find this crowd of people awaiting Him.  Indeed, the crowds of the opposing shores represent opposing reactions to the ministry of Christ—one of rejection and one of welcome.  Nonetheless, Jesus didn’t follow just anyone in the jubilant crowd, and we see a hint of the only reaction to Christ that means anything.

It’s not enough to simply have a positive view of Jesus.  Western society becomes more secularized every day, with more people adopting anti-Christian beliefs.  It’s tempting to view and use Christianity as simply the needed political or countercultural reply.  So, like the crowds here, church goers affirm their belief that Jesus is good for society and personal improvement.  The unfortunate reality is that a positive view of Jesus does little more for you spiritually than having a negative one; many come to Jesus calling Him “Lord” and holding good works, but they are not saved (Mt 7:21–23).

One must come to an exalted Jesus in full humility.  Whereas the gathered crowd may have come for numerous reasons, a few, including this man, came in humility and faith.  Jairus was a ruler of the Capernaum synagogue, so he had heard Jesus’s authoritative teaching and witnessed His miracles.  He knew that Jesus was the only hope his daughter had, came with nothing in his hand but belief, fell to his knees before the Lord, and began to beg. 

Don’t have faith in your involvement with church, in the excitement of the crowd or the causes trumpeted by the gathering.  Don’t be concerned with whether you are on the “right side of history” any more than with whether you’re on the eastern or western shore of the Sea of Galilee.  Come to Christ with nothing but your need for His salvation, and make sure that your steps are as directed by Him through the crowds of life.

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