“Be not afraid, only believe.” Mark 5:36
In this, the fifth chapter of the book of Mark, and in the corresponding gospels, it is written of the woman who had a blood issue of twelve years and the young girl who was all of twelve years old. Between these two miracles Jesus said these words of encouragement, “Be not afraid, only believe.” It was as if He was telling us that He had this under control, and if we would but have the faith that the woman who touched his garments had, we would be healed and resurrected as the young girl was, for in God, all things are possible, and in fact, are of equal simplicity to Him.
So, first we are introduced to a woman who had been sick with some sort of blood disease which had taken everything from her. She had spent her entire life worth trying to find a cure for her ailment, only to be left penniless and still suffering. She saw Jesus and, being out of options, surrendered to the leading in her heart to go to Him. She knew that she knew that she knew that if she could only touch Him, even just His garments, she would be healed. It is this faith, combined with her total surrender in confession to Jesus as to what she had done that set her free. Touching Him healed her blood disease, but the Truth of that miracle brought her into the right perspective of her position versus the Lord’s position, and she feared Him, or at least she feared what might happen to her if she did not answer His inquiry as to who had touched Him. So, she came in confession and, on her face before Him, told Him all that she had done in truth. Jesus then said that her faith had made her whole, and to go in peace and be whole from her plague. Then He says (as the messenger to the girl’s father finishes his announcement of her death), “Be not afraid, only believe.”
Jesus had just told the woman that it was her faith that healed her, and knowing she feared Him, He ensured that she knew that because she had faith in Him, there was truly nothing to fear. All she had to do was believe, and to continue to believe. He said this at the critical juncture so that not only she heard, but so did the little girl’s father. And then, Jesus went to do the impossible in raising the little girl from death. He came into her, simply held her hand, and then spoke no more than this, saying, “Talitha cumi.” This translates in English to, “Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.” There was no chant to be said, no dancing around, no ritual of any kind performed. He just took her hand and spoke, just like He did when He created the earth, the stars, the sun and the moon, water, air, and life all around. He simply spoke and she was alive. The little girl was made alive again after death had come for her, all by God’s decree.
Now, there is good reason that these two events are connected. Twelve years is our clue that something is happening which we need to see. First, the woman needed her blood cleansed. Blood is where the life is. If blood is drained from any creature, great or small, life is drained with it. One cannot have life without it. This woman was plagued in her life giving blood which needed to be cleansed; else, her life would be nothing but continual suffering and eventual death. When Jesus healed her, it was representative of how we come to the Lord. We are at our wits end, our last effort, and we know there is something missing in our lives, for we are merely suffering through it, not living at all. God draws at us and draws at us until we see that Jesus is there for us, if we would but come to Him. When we finally surrender, and confess our position as sinners, and acknowledge that He is God, we are healed of all Sin, forgiven and cleansed of it. We are washed by the Blood of the Lamb, given new life through His Blood; but, there is more. Just as the woman had suffered twelve years, the girl had lived twelve years before she died. It was the same twelve years, brothers and sisters. It was two different people, yes, but it was the same frame of time. And thus, they are two parts of the same type of transformation, each showing us, in part, what Jesus does for us. So, where the woman’s healing gives us one part of what Jesus does, the little girl’s revival from death gives us the rest of it.
The little girl’s death shows us two things. The first is that our old lives are dead and buried when we come to Jesus. The Apostle Paul would refer to our old lives as the “old man” and refer to him as being crucified with Jesus on the Cross. Second, whenever we actually do die, it will be but a transition. Death has no power over us because death has no power over Jesus. Just as we were crucified with Him and in Him, so, too, will we be resurrected with Him and in Him. We will shed this mortal coil and be given an eternal body in which our soul and spirit will remain alive forever with God. This new life we are given will last forever!
So, these two events shows us what Jesus does for each and every one of us. We are cleansed, washed by the Blood, and we are given eternal life as a reward which we did not deserve, but in faith, in believing, we are given none-the-less. So, my brethren, be not afraid, for God is with us, and God is for us. He has already done all that can be done. We need only rest in it, and believe it.
“Be not afraid, only believe.”