Mk. 5:36 NIV
For many people faith means working through all the articles in the creed, saying that you believe them, and then being ready to argue for every last bit of traditional Christian doctrine. But then many people say they understand Jesus, think he was a wonderful teacher, but they’re not prepared to go any further. They think some of the miracles “may be true” whilst others are concoctions or exaggerations.
Just what was Jesus asking the ruler of the synagogue to do when he told him to believe? Already the man was skating on thin ice by asking Jesus to heal his daughter, given that Jesus was persona non grata in the synagogues. So he had some notion that Jesus was someone special who had the power to heal sick people. He was not asking him to accept that he was this, that or the other. He was asking him to expect that he, Jesus, was about to act and that he was going to do something concrete that would change the whole situation. True faith is self-risking trust in Jesus himself. It means believing that he is something more than a common wonder-worker. It is looking for God in his own sovereign rule and action. Faith is trusting that God will work his deeds of mercy, miraculous or not, when and how he chooses to. Faith means responding to Jesus in such a way that you are ready to obey him in whatever demand he makes. It means responding, “Yes, Father, yes, and always yes”.
How deep is your faith? How sternly has it ever been tested? How far would you go in obeying the command of God – if “push were ever to come to shove”?
Lord, make me willing to go the whole hog in obeying you.