January 14, 2021

Just One Thing

Mark 5:21-24, 35-43

“Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

—  Mark 5:36

Jesus has controlled a storm, overpowered evil spirits, and healed a woman whose life was draining out of her. Now there is a greater test of Jesus’ power, because Jairus has learned that his daughter, who was sick, has actually died.

But in the face of death Jesus says, “Don’t be afraid; just be­lieve.” Through gales and storms, dangers and demons, disease and now death, Jesus invites us to have faith in him.

Going into Jairus’s home where the child was, Jesus says, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!” His authority, tough on wild seas and raging demons, is also as tender as a shepherd’s hand lifting a little lamb. The girl gets right up, and Jesus tells her parents to give her something to eat.

Jesus is inviting us to trust in him. This does not mean we have a fully formed faith or even a fully informed faith. He is simply calling for an initial trust, a beginning of faith. After all, as far as the story goes, we are only in Mark 5, and Jesus has not yet died and risen from the grave to pay for our sins and give us new life.

At this point he says, “Just believe.” Let’s start with that, and then keep on trusting. Let’s go with what Jesus is showing and telling us about him—and see where it leads. As Mark is sharing the story of Jesus, he is building his case—who can deny that Jesus is Lord?

Jesus, help me with this one thing—to keep believing in your power over all things. Open my heart to know that even when things seem hopeless, you have the power to restore and make new. Amen.

About the author — Douglas MacLeod

Rev. Douglas MacLeod is a church pastor in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has served as a pastor for over 36 years with five congregations in Michigan and Iowa. He and Cathy, his wife of 40+ years, are grateful for their three children and four grandchildren.

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