Mark 5:35-43: Banish unbelief.

35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. ‘Your daughter is dead,’ they said. ‘Why bother the teacher anymore?’ 36 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’ 37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, ‘Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.’ 40 But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha koum!’ (which means ‘Little girl, I say to you, get up!’). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.”NIV UK

We should take all possible steps to free ourselves from the straightjacket of unbelief. Here are at least two things to do with it:

1. Ignore unbelieving statements (35). Many of them will rise up within. Give them the cold shoulder. Don’t give them the time of day. Refuse to have your actions determined by them. Discern them, and then dismiss them. Discernment will be needed because factual statements may nevertheless be unbelieving statements. It was true what they said (35). The girl was dead. However, they saw what was true in black and white; Jesus saw it in technicolor (39). He saw the full colour of truth, and it was brighter, deeper and more beautiful than it appeared in monochrome. It was much more nuanced.

2. Put unbelief out of the room (40): The people ‘’laughed’’ at the greater truth Jesus saw and taught (40), and Jesus then excluded from the room all the unbelieving, mocking cynics. Unbelief was removed, and the miracle took place. Evict unbelief in Jesus’ Name. Don’t allow any squatting cynicism to remain in your heart. Choose to be a believing believer.

It’s interesting that the actual Aramaic words spoken by Jesus are recorded here: ‘’Talitha Koum!’’ (41). Not only is it an eye-witness touch, yet again (and remember it is thought that Peter is the eye-witness behind Mark’s account); but the miracle must have made such a deep impression on those few still in the room. The words rang in their heads long afterwards. Apparently, it has in it the idea of ‘Little girl, it’s time to get up.’ After all, she was only sleeping (39)!

PRAYER: Lord, the world on the outside is full of unbelief. But I also have to confess that great geysers of unbelieving messages regularly gurgle up inside me too. Please help me to ignore and banish them, in Jesus’ Name.