Only Believe

Mark 5:21-43

THERE is much comfort for us in the healing of the woman with the issue of blood (Matt. 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43; Luke 8:40-56) which is so interwoven with the healing of Jairus’ daughter that we give here the scripture including both. This poor woman had the double aggravation of being ill and having spent all on doctors in vain, a circumstance familiar to many of us. Doubtless her faith was rather crude and perhaps mixed with some superstition, but it was such faith as she had, and she used it. The Word does not stress the quality of it (except to say that a little will work wonders, Matt. 17:20) but the object of faith, and since Christ was the object here, the blessing followed—as it always does.

Our Lord called her back to make it clear that she had been healed through no magical virtue of His but because of her faith. “According to your faith be it unto you,” He declared long ago, but still we do not believe it; we try roundabout methods to secure what comes only by believing.

This was made clear in this same passage in the case of Jairus. He had summoned Jesus to help his daughter who was at the point of death. While our Lord dealt with the woman, someone came from Jairus’ house saying, “Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?” Ah, that is always the attitude of this poor world. “My case is hopeless; why pray?” But our Lord answered, “Be not afraid, only believe.” Would that we could hear Him today in the moment when all seems lost, when fondest hopes have perished, when dearest ones lie dead, saying still as still He does, “Be not afraid, only believe.” No matter what your circumstance, keep your confidence in Him and He will do what is for the best. There come so many times when, through the voice of others, the evil one says, “What is the use in calling on the Lord? It is a dead prospect; why trouble Him any further?” But there never was a situation in which faith is not the victory. He may not raise our dead as He did then, but He will raise them one day; and there is no occasion to be afraid, for we know that all things work together for good to them who are His.

So He went on into this “impossible” situation, and when He declared the maid not dead but only asleep, they laughed Him to scorn. Still the world laughs at Him as He moves among our “impossible” situations, our sorrows and broken hopes. “What good does it to trust in Jesus? What can He do for you?” But every day those who trust Him know that He still works His wonders if we only believe.

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