Is your faith moving beyond borders?
In our last post, we discussed how Jesus was approached by a man named Jairus and he wanted Jesus to come lay His hands on his daughter to heal her. She was at the point of death, so Jairus elicited the help of Jesus. Jesus left at once to heal her; however, He was delayed in the process by a desperate faith-filled woman. While many people were pressing in on Jesus there was no indication that they were being significantly changed. This woman’s faith, however, led her to believe: “If I just touch His garments, I will get well” (Mark 5:28). Perhaps she had heard about the people being healed and pressing against Jesus on other occasions (see Mark 3:10). Maybe she believed the prophecy that says, “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will arise with healing in its wings” (Mal. 4:2). The Hebrew word for wings (kanaph) means the corner of a garment or the border of a cloth. Another version of this same story states that she touched the “fringe of His cloak” (Luke 8:44). It doesn’t matter what prompted her, the point is that she possessed no limits to her faith. It was a divine interruption demonstrating to Jairus that we should never stop believing.
As Jesus commended this woman for her faith, some people approached Jairus with dreaded news. Jesus overheard and responded to Jairus: “Do not be afraid any longer, only believe” (Mark 5:36). In other words, Jesus was exhorting him to not revere, to be in awe of, or to run away (the meaning of being afraid) because of the news that was just delivered to him. Jesus challenged him to keep on believing no matter what the circumstances were. To Jesus, raising the dead is no more difficult than healing a sick body. It’s only more difficult in our minds. If our faith is not borderless, we only believe for things that seem possible or reasonable. The people who reported to Jairus didn’t want to involve Jesus anymore because Jairus’ daughter had died. In their minds Jesus was only needed when sickness was the issue, but not death. Their faith had limits.
I’m challenged by the fact that Jesus only allowed Peter, James, and John to accompany Him to Jairus’ house. Perhaps the other disciples possessed limited faith. I wonder if I would have been invited to accompany Jesus had I been there. Wouldn’t it be sobering if Jesus requested that we not go with Him because our limited faith would become a hindrance? When Jesus reached the house the Bible says, “He saw a commotion” (Mark 5:38). The word commotion (thorubos) means noisy confusion, an uproar, and agitation due to troubled minds. A common practice in this culture was to hire mourners, but the commotion was aroused because of faithlessness. Note what Jesus said, “Why make a commotion and weep” (Mark 5:39)? In other words, what happened to your faith? Believers and churches who lack faith will always be thrown into agitation and confusion during a crisis.
Jesus continued, “The child has not died, but is asleep” (Mark 5:39). Think about that statement for a moment. Paul wrote, “But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed, therefore I spoke,’ we also believe, therefore we also speak” (2 Cor. 4:13). Paul was quoting the Psalmist who possessed faith in the midst of great challenges. Faith is the capacity to see beyond the immediate to the ultimate, to see beyond the natural into the supernatural; therefore, we don’t react to what is, but we declare what will be. If we speak from a posture of faith we are speaking from the realm we’re focused on—the spiritual realm, and that realm is filled with unlimited blessings (see Eph. 1:3). Jesus looked beyond the natural circumstances, that Jairus’ daughter was dead, and He saw this girl through the perspective of faith. He saw a resurrection; He didn’t see death. He believed, therefore He spoke. When the faithless crowd heard His statement, they began to laugh and deride Him. Don’t be surprised when those around you criticize and scoff your unlimited faith. If you’re surrounded by people who are consumed by this world’s cares, problems, and realities, they will laugh at your faith-filled declarations.
Having put them out of the house, Jesus took the child by the hand and said, “Get up” (Mark 5:41). She immediately got up and walked around, and those who witnessed that miracle were “completely astounded” (Mark 5:42). Some scholars define “completely astounded” as standing outside of your mind or going beyond the imagination. That definition sounds like borderless faith, doesn’t it? A renewed mind, one that thinks beyond the possible toward the impossible, is one that is set “on things above, not on things that are on earth” (Col. 3:2). We have a God that goes beyond what we ask or imagine (see Eph. 3:20).
What would your life look like if you possessed borderless faith? My challenge to you, to me, is to keep on believing no matter what the circumstances are. And if and when we walk through adversity, let’s look beyond what is and see what will be; let’s learn to see from a heavenly perspective. I want to please my Father with that kind of faith (see Heb. 11:6). Will you ask for a renewed mind? Will you ask that Jesus increases your faith beyond all borders?
Jesus, take our minds beyond the immediate into the ultimate. Increase our faith beyond all borders so that we’ll always believe, regardless of the circumstances. Enable us to believe even when we’re being laughed at. We choose to set our minds on things above, amen.