We have seen from Mark chapter 1 and following that the fame of Jesus continued to grow everywhere He went. The people sought Jesus for what they could get from Him, and at the same time there was clearly a spirit among the people of doubt and rejection. At the start of chapter 5 Jesus rescued a man sorely tormented by a legion of demons, and yet the people of that region begged Him to leave their country. Following that incident a synagogue leader sought out Jesus because his daughter was near death (Mark 5:23). He came to Him even though leaders throughout Israel rejected Jesus, and constantly questioned His authority. He was willing to cross the line, so to speak, that was set by the leaders in order to save his daughter’s life.
On the way there was a woman who suffered from bleeding for 12 years (5:24), she said to herself, “If I can just touch his robes, I’ll be made well.” Jesus became concerned that power had gone out from Him without a personal encounter with the person, and when she became aware of His concern she came to Him with fear and trembling. Even though she was fearful and could have run away, instead she fell down before Him. In Jesus’ words Her faith made her well. Furthermore, He went on to tell her, “Daughter,” (that is, daughter of Abraham according to God’s promise and not just physical descent) (Romans 9:8), He then continued, “your faith has made you well, go in peace and be free from your affliction” . She had already been made well by touching His robe, but then Jesus pronounced a complete and ongoing deliverance from her malady. In Jesus’ words Her faith made her well. But then she was given complete freedom from her affliction when Jesus acknowledged her humble state as she submitted to Him and fell down at His feet. Something that many others were clearly not willing to do.
Just as faith made her well physically, even so it previously made her whole spiritually. The New Testament explains that salvation is dependent upon an act of faith (Romans 10:9, 1o; Mark 5:34). The faith is not what saves, Christ saves, faith is the means that God uses to activate what Christ has already accomplished.
The healing of the woman, and her encounter with Christ was heard by the Synagogue official. Just then people from the leader’s house appeared and told him, “Your daughter is dead,” and they also added, “Why bother the teacher anymore,” which implied that Jesus was bothered and in a situation where he could be of no good. Once again He was rejected by the people. However, in stark contrast to their unbelief Jesus said to the official, “Don’t be afraid. Only believe” (5:36). Jesus not only cared about the man and his daughter but He also had the power to do something about it.
When they arrived at the home Jesus questioned their weeping and said the little girl was only sleeping (5:39). They laughed at Him. There is no wonder why Jesus told them she was sleeping; He tested their faith. The big question we need to constantly ask ourselves is this; what am I doing with the words of Jesus, and am I laughing at Him, or taking Him dead serio0us? There was no promise too big on the Father’s part that Jesus did not fulfill. Is there a cost to great for us to follow Jesus ? If He is the Lord of Glory, ruler of the universe, creator of all things, Master of my destiny, King of my soul, should I not believe in Him? Who laughs at an absolute monarch? To laugh at Jesus is to reveal our unbelief. And many in Israel did not believe in Jesus to the saving of their soul.
Chapter 5 concludes with Jesus raising the little girl from the dead (5:42), and the descriptive statement by Mark concerning those witnesses present, “At this they were utterly astounded.” Their astonishment is understandable because it is not every day we see someone raised from the dead, but it indicates their unbelief that Jesus was God and Lord. We are not told about the leader’s faith, just that his daughter was raised from the dead—no small miracle. The closing words of the chapter is Jesus’ admonition to them to tell no one. In chapter 1 He instructed a leper to tell no one, who then went out and told everyone he could. We do not know if they obeyed Jesus or not, we do not know if they believed in Jesus or not. It was a great miracle, but then there were many great miracles and still most people did not believe in Jesus. Many people after believing in Jesus for a miracle left Him when He called for full commitment (John 6:66).
Where do we stand today? Are we living in unbelief and doubt concerning Jesus words, commands, admonitions, counsel, promises, and exhortations. Do we live by every word that proceeds from His mouth, or do we reject Him through unbelief?