Yesterday we looked at the first of two episodes that are told together in the gospel. A woman who for 12 years had suffered from an issue of blood which long medical treatment and all her money had been unable to alleviate, she touched Jesus and was healed. The other story is about Jairus and his daughter. He was a ruler of the synagogue, and his daughter had died. Jesus takes her by the hand, commands her to arise and she arose.
And there came a man named Ja’irus, who was a ruler of the synagogue; and falling at Jesus’ feet he besought him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. As he went, the people pressed round him. (The woman with the flow of blood interrupts Jesus’ journey to Jairus’ house)While he was still speaking, a man from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she shall be well.” And when he came to the house, he permitted no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. And all were weeping and bewailing her; but he said, “Do not weep; for she is not dead but sleeping.” And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child, arise.” And her spirit returned, and she got up at once; and he directed that something should be given her to eat. And her parents were amazed; but he charged them to tell no one what had happened. Luke 8:41, 42, 49-56
“Do not fear, only believe.”
Telling a father to believe beyond all hope after this kind of news – man. I am wondering if the disciples got it yet. They have just witnessed, in order, the stilling of the storm, the demon possessed man is freed and the woman with a flow of blood healed. And now Jesus is saying that death has lost it’s touch. I would like to think that the disciples would have understood that the One who calms wind and waves and exorcises a man with a legion of demons and heals an unhealable woman without word or effort can bring a girl back to life like he was waking her up from a nap. But here is the question; do you believe this?
Faith is not, simply, knowledge about Jesus, though that is important. We cannot trust him if we do not know about him. Faith is not simply an intellectual agreement that the facts about his life are true. The faith we need to cultivate is that a faith that trusts. A faith that hopes when all hope is lost.