Believing Is Seeing

Read: Mark 5:21-23, 35-43

Taking her by the hand he said to her, “Talitha cumi,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” (v. 41)

We sometimes believe we must have some extraordinary “amount” of faith for God to work in our lives. The Gospels are clear: it’s not the amount but the object of our faith that matters.

Today’s reading demonstrates this truth, in the contrast between Jairus and the mourners gathered at his house. Jairus chose the right object—Jesus—and he humbled himself to do it. Jairus had an important position as a leader of the synagogue, but he recognized that Jesus had power. Though Jairus trusted Jesus, the mourners in his house did not. When Jesus arrived at Jairus’s house, he sent the mourners out. Their disbelief didn’t negate Jesus’s power, but they couldn’t participate in his work—they could only see that the child was dead. Jairus saw, if still imperfectly, a living hope. And so Jairus witnessed Jesus say, “Talitha cumi.”

Jesus doesn’t measure our faith, but he forms faith in us as we participate in his work. First by believing and then seeing, becoming witnesses of and participants in Jesus’s power. He extends his power to meet the need of a child, and give strength to the faith of her father, because he’s forming us to be a people who have the faith to see and participate in God’s great work.

As you pray, affirm your belief in God, again or for the first time. Share your needs, and ask God to show you how he wants you to participate in his work.

About the Author

Fred Van Dyke is a conservation biologist dedicated to the care for God’s creation. In this role Fred has served government agencies, private consulting firms, and academic institutions doing research, management, and teaching in conservation science. He is also the author of two books on faith and environmental stewardship.

This entry is part 9 of 16 in the series The Miracles of Jesus