By Rev Victor Neill
'Be not afraid, only believe' Mark 5 v 36
These were words spoken to Jairus by Jesus when he had been informed that his seriously ill daughter had died before Jesus could reach her (vs 35). Of course, the news was the worst possible news for Jairus and in this situation and without Jesus, it would have been despair and darkness. But with Jesus there is always light in the darkest of places! The words that Jesus spoke were both comforting and challenging, comforting for Jairus was told - ‘do not be afraid'.
Perhaps there is someone reading this, and you find yourself in a difficult and dark place, the future seems bleak and you are fearful and do not know where to turn to. If that is the case the word of comfort from the Master to you today is ‘be not afraid' - may it be a pillow to rest your head upon. At the same time not only did Jesus speak a word of comfort but there was also a word of challenge to Jairus: 'only believe‘. Or to put it another way Jesus was saying ‘just trust Me’. There will be occasions like this throughout life when the best and indeed sometimes the only thing we can do is to trust in the Lord and commit the situation to Him, in the confidence that He is the One who can meet us at the point of our need. It seems to me that is what Jairus did and His trust was in the One who said ‘only believe - trust in me‘. If that had not been the case then he would have followed the advice of his friends when he was told that his daughter had died – 'thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?' (vs 35) and he would have said to Jesus 'It is too late for you to do anything now - there is no point in you going any further'. But despite the darkest of situations Jairus dared to believe the word of Jesus!
However, there were others who certainly did not believe and when Jesus came to the home and said "Why make ye this ado (uproar), and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed Him to scorn‘‘ (vs39 & 40a). This young girl may have been in a deep coma with no signs of life and had been pronounced dead and certainly at that point beyond human aid - but not beyond our Saviour’s power! Their scornful laugh of the so called ‘mourners’ was the evidence of their unbelief and sometimes the world will laugh when the believer against all the odds still trusts in the Lord. Thank God we still have a Saviour that can intervene in the grimmest of situations and bring light and peace where there is nothing but darkness and despair. Let me finish with a poem:
'Trusting when the sky is bright, trusting when my heart is glad, trusting in the gloom of night, when my every thought is sad. Trusting when tis well with me, trusting whatsoever befall, trusting Jesus’ love for me, simply trusting that is all.‘