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ONLY believe

Discipled to Disciple

Do not be afraid; only believe. - Mark 5:36b

“Jesus loves the little children, ALL the children of the world . . .” I know you can finish the song. Sorry if I got it stuck in your head.

We like to think about Jesus as the mild, inclusive shampoo model we all saw in paintings as children. He just looks so nice.

But the “nice” Lord is the same Lord who commanded his followers to “be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16) Jesus DID love everyone, but he was also strategic, and he was far from transparent. Especially in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus often commanded the beneficiaries of his miracles to keep the miracle a secret.

Even though he loved everyone, he didn’t treat everyone the same.

He was strategic and a little exclusive in the way he used his time. He didn’t spend time with everyone. Some scholars believe he based his ministry out of Capernaum because Peter lived there. If so, Jesus spent most of his ministry in one house and with only twelve guys.

So how did Jesus decide who to spend his time on? One thing we can do is look at the things those people have in common.

Peter, James and John immediately left their livelihoods to follow Jesus as soon as he asked them to. The woman with a bleeding problem had already lost her livelihood. Jairus had lost his daughter. I can’t even imagine the hopelessness of the woman’s or Jairus’ situation, and I can only barely imagine the hope Peter, James and John must have had in Jesus to drop everything for him.

Jesus seemed to spend his time on people that completely depended on him. They only believed in him, and the believed only in him. If we want to be people who Jesus spends special blessing on, we should follow their example.

Alternatively, you can just take what Jesus said seriously. He said, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”

Peter, James and John left their jobs because they only believed in Jesus. The bleeding woman was healed, Jesus said, because she only believed in Jesus. Jairus’ daughter was raised because he only believed in Jesus.

Would Jesus have let you in the room for his miracle? Do you trust in anything instead of or in addition to Jesus? Do you do anything but believe in Jesus? Or do you only believe in Jesus?

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