Jesus loves faith! He seems attracted to it, He delights in it and responds to it. Faith is believing God when there isn’t anything to grasp onto, isn’t anything to see as yet. Faith has a focus, an object and so you cannot have faith in nothing. When it comes to God, the object, the focus of our faith is God Himself and His faithfulness, His ability to transform a situation, heal a person and faith that He wants to do so.
In Mark 5:21-43 we meet an important Jewish man, named Jarius who had reached a point of faith in Jesus. We don’t know what exactly his journey had been, we don’t know exactly what he had seen and heard of Jesus but he had seen or heard enough to believe that Jesus was both able and willing to respond to individual people’s requests. And because of this faith, this synagogue ruler came to Jesus in front of a crowd of people and threw himself at Jesus’ feet, an action that showed his desperation, desire, humility and belief that Jesus could, even would heal his little daughter.
“Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” (vs23)
What a statement of faith! Effectively this man was saying; ‘Jesus I know that if you lay your hands on my little girl she will be healed of this life threatening condition.’ His confident faith is the reason he is in the dust and dirt before a crowd at Jesus’ feet.
Jesus seemingly can’t resist such faith. Mark simply records; “And He (Jesus) went with him” (vs24). As they go to his daughter the crowds are pressing in around Jesus, they too have some measure of expectation now – ‘what will Jesus do, let’s go and see’…
In the midst of the throng is another person with faith pulsating inside her which is remarkable really. Remarkable because she has been repeatedly hopeful then frustrated and disappointed for 12 years with countless physicians at great financial cost attempting to help her but to no avail. Now she is left impoverished with a condition that had worsened rather than improved (vs26).
But she had faith in Jesus. Because she ‘had heard the reports about Jesus’ (vs27) and so she pushed through the crowd and touched Jesus’ garment believing that if she could only touch His garments she would be healed (vs28).
And in an instant she was dramatically and instantly healed, she felt it happen to her, and so did Jesus in the midst of the commotion of the crowd pressing around Him. He stops and wants to meet the person who touched Him with faith… She comes forward and Jesus says to her; “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” (vs34) Jesus loves it when we trust Him, when we anchor our faith in Him, in His ability and in His willingness to transform our situations!
The passage concludes with Jesus going on to raise Jarius’ daughter from the dead as she passed away while He was enroute. Jarius’ faith is rewarded, the woman’s faith is rewarded…
What do we learn from these encounters? God loves faith!