Frankly, there are still people who run to Jesus but do not know or care who He really is. For some, He is a symbol of peace and love, but not the Son of God. For others, He is the One they believe will provide health and wealth and make all their dreams come true. Some recognize Him as a historical figure, but they don’t know who He is.
We cannot surrender to the culture and allow the currents of moral decline drive us away from our God ordained destination. Instead, we must “fight the good fight of faith [and] lay hold on eternal life “(1Ti 6:12). Don’t stop pressing, don’t stop pushing, don’t stop rowing in the right direction because deep in the midnight hour, God’s gonna turn it around. You are not alone. God sees you and He will come swiftly to your rescue.
Jesus said they were like sheep without a shepherd, and then Mark records, “So He began to teach them many things” This brings us back to the topics of priorities, goals, and training. Jesus saw the spiritual need of the people and moved with compassion He began to teach them. They were walking in spiritual darkness and His teaching was the light that could lead them out of darkness and into a new life of significance and purpose. They were wandering around without spiritual direction or focus, so based upon His priorities and goals, before doing anything else, Jesus taught them.
In the text we see a stark contrast between two men—one was courageous and the other a coward. One stood up for what was right, but the other capitulated to his guilt and fear of public opinion and did something terribly wrong. One thing we know for sure is that it takes courage to be Christian in a world that increasingly embraces all manner of evil. It is a world wrestling with its guilt by blaming others and pointing fingers rather than looking in the mirror and accepting personal responsibility for the choices they’ve made or the consequences of those choices.
In the text, we read that the Twelve men Jesus recruited back in chapter 3 verse 14, He empowered to go out into towns and villages as His ambassadors. An ambassador has conferred authority and power from the person he or she represents. Jesus called the Twelve, He trained them, taught them, and then He sent them out with the spiritual authority and power to do what they were asked to do.
Mark recorded that Jesus “could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them” (v. 5). Why so few? It is probably because only a few were willing to come to Jesus. The people could not set aside what they thought they knew about Jesus to believe that He could actually minister to them.
In short, when Jesus told Jairus “Do not fear; only believe,” Jesus was saying a mouthful: Don’t despair, only believe. Don’t give up, only believe. Don’t quit, don’t stop, don’t worry, don’t throw in the towel … ONLY BELIEVE because Jesus is on the way with authority over death, hell, and the grave! Only believe, because all things are possible in the name of Jesus!
Sometimes it can feel like life is squeezing the joy and hope out of us. As we age and our bodies remind us of the effects of the Fall, as friends and family pass from this life, and as the years ahead of us are become much fewer than the behind us, it can be easy to lose hope. But the good news of Jesus Christ is that He has come to restore hope, bring healing, and restore dreams. If in this life only we have hope, we are of all men most miserable, but thanks be unto God that the suffering of this present life is not worth comparing with the glory that shall be revealed in us.
They had come through the storm in the night only to land in an area most devout Jews would have avoided if at all possible. But here they are, and what is the first thing that happens as they get out of the boat? A shrieking, streaking demon-possessed man comes running toward them from the hills where the dead were buried and a very large herd of swine was grazing.
It is evident from what follows that Jesus was physically exhausted. He was fully God, but He was in a fully human body that required nourishment and rest. It had been a long day of teaching, probably much of the time sitting or standing in the sun, and it was evening now. If Jesus returned to the shore, the people would have been all up on Him, pressing in insisting on healing and deliverance from demons. So, Jesus wisely said, “Let’s take a little boat ride to the other side.”