“Do not fear, only believe.” This quote from today’s passage is easy to say and very hard to do. From time to time we all find ourselves in places of trial, struggle, and fear. It’s in these very moments that we find out how much faith we really have and learn in whom or what we really trust.
- What are some of your current struggles or fears?
- Ask God to lead you and meet you in this passage as you face these situations and emotions.
READ THE WORD: MARK 5:21-43 (ESV)
21And 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 23and 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.” 24And he went with him.
And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. 25And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, 26and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. 27She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. 28For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” 29 And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” 31And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?'” 32And he looked around to see who had done it. 33But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. 34And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
35While he was still speaking, there came from the ruler’s house some who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” 36But over hearingwhat they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter and James and John the brother of James. 38They came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and Jesus saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly.39And when he had entered, he said to them, “Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40And they laughed at him. But 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. 41 Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42And immediately the girl got up and began walking (for she was twelve years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. 43And he strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- How are Jairus and the bleeding woman different (status, culture, wealth, power, etc.)?
- In what ways are Jairus and the woman the same or similar in this passage?
- Who do you relate to most in this passage and why?
- What would it look like for you to not be afraid but to “only believe” (vs. 36) in your life right now? What help do you need to take your next step of faith?
RESPOND TO GOD
For as long as Jairus’s daughter had been alive, the unnamed woman in this passage had been bleeding and suffering and wasting away. I love that Jesus is as concerned for his “daughter” (vs. 34) as Jairus is for his little girl. God knows us and loves us and chooses to be the father that we need. This simple truth changes everything.
- Spend some time in prayer thanking God for his father-love for you, and ask him for faith to face the trials of the day.
- Confess the fears you have and give them to God’s great care.