Emmitsburg Council of Churches


 The Holy Gospel According to St. Mark 5:21-43

5:21 When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. 5:22 Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw Jesus, fell at his feet 5:23 and begged him repeatedly, "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." 5:24[and] So Jesus went with him. And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. 5:25 Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. 5:26 She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. 5:27 She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 5:28 for she said, "If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well." 5:29 Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 5:30 Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, "Who touched my clothes?" 5:31 And his disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, 'Who touched me?'" 5:32 He looked all around to see who had done it. 5:33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. 5:34 He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease." 5:35 While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader's house to say, "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?" 5:36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, "Do not fear, only believe." 5:37 He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. 5:38 When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 5:39 When he had entered, he said to them, "Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping." 5:40 And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child's father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. 5:41 He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha cum," which means, "Little girl, get up!" 5:42 And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. 5:43 He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

This is the Gospel of the Lord . . . praise to you O Christ!

Only Believe, Do Not Fear Do Not Fear,
Only Believe

The Story of Jairus' Daughter sounds hopeful at first, and then suddenly hopeless *(the little girl has died) But then Jesus tells Jairus and his wife (FATHER AND MOTHER of little girl) Do Not Fear, Only Believe! What do you think they were afraid of?? Well, we know that this mother and father must have been terribly afraid that they had just lost their little girl. This kind of dreadful news strikes fear into the breast of even the bravest souls among us. The threat of losing one's own child at any age leaves us with a dreadful feeling inside. "This kind of thing is not supposed to happen."

Jesus told Jairus and his wife, "Do Not Fear, Only Believe!" What do you think Jesus wanted them to believe? I think that the answer to that question was standing right there beside and before them. Jesus himself was the answer. Jesus was encouraging Jairus and his wife to believe that the answer to their little girl's safety and future was there directly in their presence. Christ himself was the answer to what and who they should believe.

Note in the story how Jesus dismisses the crowd of mourners--those who laughed at Jesus when he announced to the family, "The child is not dead but sleeping." Jesus cannot entertain unbelief. People without faith and a vision for the things of God will not be included when God chooses to reveal God's-Self through the miracle of healing or some other deliverance. Jesus puts out these people who cannot accept that God's grace and love are so amazing and powerful that the little girl will be raised up from the dead. Instead Jesus only allows for the parents and his closest disciples to be present when he goes in to pray for the little girl.

We are not to fear, but to believe that God will do miraculous things in our lives. We should not hang around for long with people who do not have faith, lest we also become discouraged and disheartened and closed to the things that God would do in our lives or in the world around us . . . if only we would trust and believe.

However, faith can also be fickle. We may feel we have great faith one day, in fact when I preached this sermon last Sunday, I came into the early service with a fairly confident faith, but when a prayer request was expressed for an 8 year old with a life threatening form of cancer – my faith became weak. I became less confident in my words as I tried to speak of the faith of Jairus and of the woman with the issue of blood. I knew in my heart that my faith was not strong enough to look upon the family who was related to the 8 year old, who was in real danger in the here and now. (Her name is Morgan, please pray for her and her family down in Georgia).

I knew in my head that Jesus would be with little Morgan, but I was having trouble in my own inner-confidence level . . . perhaps, now that I am able to reflect on this, I am recognizing that I did not entrust the situation to Jesus, but was instead allowing my own poor faith to be the basis of confidence . . . which was a mistake!

Jesus is telling me and you and the family of Jairus' that we are to place our full confidence in him. Yes, we must listen to what the Doctors have to say and to allow the wisdom of those trained in various fields of medicine to work their profession. But in the final analysis, we are to look to Jesus who is the Author and Perfecter of our faith. It is he who calms the wind and the waves that threaten us in our life's journey. It is Jesus alone who has overcome the world, even death itself could not keep him in its stronghold–he was raised from the dead!

We certainly cannot trust in our own self-confidence, even if we feel that we do have great faith . . . let us not trust in ourselves (as I was prone to do, which caused me to falter in my faith and stumble because of my inadequacy, but let us give ourselves wholly to Christ who encourages us not to fear, but to believe. It is in him that we are to live and move and have our very being. In Christ alone are we to find our confidence!

When we believe in Jesus we are believing in and accepting that he is truly God, come in the flesh. We must also believe that Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. He is the beginning and the end and he is always going to be there for us and with us, no matter what!!

Even if we are the one who is sick unto death. Or if it is merely a recurring nightmare that troubles us. We are encouraged to trust in Jesus love and presence. We are encouraged to call out to Jesus and trust him to deliver us from any fearful thing. Do not allow fear or unbelief to discourage you in your walk with Jesus. When the pathway becomes dark or obstructions rise up and threaten your faith. Then cry out to Jesus, fall at his feet, reach for even the hem of his garment, and he will be there for you and he will tell you, "Go in peace, be clean, return to your family, go and do great things now, for I am the one who heals you, I am the one who makes you whole. Apart from me you can do nothing, but I will be with you – even unto the end of the age."

So be strong in faith Christian brothers and sisters. Go now to love and serve others. In Jesus Name.


Read more writings of Pastor Jon