Where do you fix your gaze?

24 July 2013

In last Sunday’s passage from Mark 5.21-43, Jesus says something shocking. He is on his way to the home of a local ruler to see his sick daughter, when news arrives that she has died. The Jesus says, ‘Do not fear, only believe’. This is a shocking thing to say to a man who has just learned that he has lost his daughter. Shocking, unless Jesus really means it.

It turns out he does. A little later Jesus has raised her back to life, and they are – understandably – ‘overcome with amazement’. People back then may not have learned about Newton’s laws of thermodynamics at school, but they knew that dead people didn’t come back to life (for a great discussion of Jesus’ miracles, we recommend C. S. Lewis’ classic book, Miracles).

What is this all about? Just as we saw last week, Jesus is making the same point multiple times in different ways: trust me. Whatever the crisis, whatever the situation, I am greater still. However out of control things seem, I am in control. This means that followers of King Jesus do not need to fear things that are frightening. A thousand years before Jesus, King David of Israel had penned exactly this in Psalm 23: ‘even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil’.

This blog post was written by Dan Martin.