Be Not Afraid

Mark 5:34‑36  •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 7
"And He said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague. While He yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead; why troublest thou the Master any further? As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe." Mark 5:34-3634And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague. 35While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further? 36As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe. (Mark 5:34‑36).
It is at once interesting and instructive to mark that, at the very moment in which the Lord was dismissing the poor woman with words of peace and consolation, a messenger arrived from the ruler's house, saying, "Thy daughter is dead; why troublest thou the Master any further?" This was in reality a fiery dart from the wicked one to shake the ruler's confidence. He had come to Jesus in the confidence of His ability and readiness to heal the sick, but could he trust Him to raise the dead? Could his faith carry him into the dreary domain of death and there enable him to gaze upon the Son of God acting in His glorious capacity as the quickener of the dead?
We are not told what passed through the ruler's mind at the moment in which the depressing tidings of death fell upon his ear; but we can easily imagine a dark cloud passing over his spirit. But, ah! the tender, loving heart of Jesus was thinking of the poor, tried, and tempted one. His eye was upon him. He caught the earliest symptom of the gathering cloud: "As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe." The Lord took no notice of the messenger. He thought only of the effect of the message upon the ruler's heart; and in His infinite grace He immediately covered him with the shield of faith. "Be not afraid, only believe." Precious words! Words which can carry the soul through every difficulty and every danger—words for a sickbed or a chamber of death—words for all circumstances, all places, and all conditions—words of comfort and consolation for the poor, sinking, fainting, tottering heart. "Be not afraid, only believe."
Dear Christian reader, are you assaulted by dark thoughts of unbelief? Have you arrived at a point in your earthly path at which you see graver difficulties before you than you ever anticipated? Do you feel the dark waters of sorrow, trial, and temptation deepening around you, and the heavy clouds of unbelief and despondency gathering more thickly above you? Then, remember, the loving heart of Jesus is occupied about you. His eye is resting solicitously upon you. He knows what you are feeling. He sees every fiery dart that the tempter is leveling at you; and He says to you, as He said to the ruler, "Be not afraid, only believe"—"Hold the beginning of" your "confidence steadfast unto the end" (Heb. 3:1414For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; (Hebrews 3:14))—"Cast not away therefore your confidence, which bath great recompense of reward" (Heb. 10:3535Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. (Hebrews 10:35))—"Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked" (Eph. 6:1616Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. (Ephesians 6:16)). What we want is confidence in God, come what may. Simple faith can lift the head above the deepest waters, and pierce through the thickest gloom that ever enwrapped the soul. "Be not afraid, only believe." May these words fall with power on every doubting, trembling heart!
The closing lines of our chapter display to us the moral glories of Christ as the quickener of the dead. Death, disease, and Satan all flee before the majesty of His presence. We can track His marvelous path from scene to scene of this sin-stricken world; and, in every act, in every word, in every look, we see divine perfection. "He hath done all things well" must ever be the adoring language of our hearts. Nothing is beyond His power. Nothing escapes His tender care. "Talitha cumi" is the display of His majesty; Give her to eat, exhibits His tender, thoughtful care. The former bows the soul in worship; the latter melts the heart in grateful love.