BREAKING THE FAST
THE GREAT FAITH OF jairus
Matthew 9:27–31; Mark 5:21–43; John 11:17–21, 38–44
And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered about him, and he was beside the sea. Then came one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name, and seeing him, he fell at his feet and implored him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well and live.” Mark 5:21–23
A large crowd had gathered around Jesus expecting a miracle. They had come from miles around, bringing their sick with them. They were all watching, waiting, and hoping. But through the middle of the crowd came a man who could not wait. His daughter was dying, and he was determined to have Jesus heal her.
“She will be healed,” he said. Jairus was certain. He placed his entire confidence in what God had said.
Jesus began to follow Jairus when they were met by men with news from home: “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” Ignoring the bad report, Jesus said to Jairus, “Do not fear, only believe.” Jairus did what Jesus said, and before the day was over he was eating a meal with his healthy daughter.
John Paton (1824–1907) spent forty-five years as a missionary to the New Hebrides in the South Pacific. While translating the New Testament into the native language, he struggled to find a word he could use for faith. The natives were cannibals with no concept of grace. But then one day a native ran up the stairs into Paton’s house, rushed into his study, and flung himself on a chair. He said to the missionary, “It is good to rest my whole weight in this chair.” Paton had found the word he would use for faith. Paton finished his translation, and later testified that the entire island had been won to Christ.
Great faith is placing your entire confidence in what God has said.
Our actions reveal what we believe. Describe a recent situation where your actions revealed your faith in God. Why did you respond properly to that situation? Describe another recent situation where your actions revealed your lack of faith in God. Why did you respond improperly to that situation? What did you learn from both situations that will help you the next time you face similar circumstances?
How would you rate your ability to wait on the fulfillment of God’s promises? Do you tend to be more patient or impatient? Why? What can you do to increase your patience?
Confession of Faith
Adapted from Proverbs 3:5–8, 4:20–22; Psalms 103:2–4, 107:20;
I give attention to his words; I incline my ear to his sayings. I do not let them depart from my sight; I keep them in the midst of my heart. For they are life to those who find them and health to my whole body.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of his benefits; who pardons all my iniquities, who heals all my diseases, and who redeems my life from the pit. He sent his word and healed me.
I trust in the Lord with all my heart, and I do not lean on my own understanding. In all my ways I acknowledge him, and he will make my paths straight. I am not wise in my own eyes; I fear the Lord and turn away from evil. It will be healing to my body and health to my bones.
Surely my griefs he himself bore, and my sorrows he carried. He was pierced through for my transgressions, he was crushed for my iniquities; the chastening for my well-being fell upon him, and by his scourging I am healed.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
“Many grand deeds have also been born of faith, for faith works wonders. Faith in its natural form is an all-prevailing force.”
—Charles Spurgeon, English Baptist Preacher