“But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, FEAR NOT: believe only, and she shall be made whole.” ~ Luke 8:50
FEAR NOT: You Shall Be Made Whole
Jesus said the words in our text to Jairus, after they had learned his daughter had died before Jesus could get to Jairus’ home. Jairus had come to Jesus pleading for Him to heal his critically ill daughter, and Jesus had consented. But while on the way, Jesus was delayed (perhaps for a few minutes?) while healing a desperately ill woman (Luke 8:40-54).
Scripture does not tell us whether this delay was the reason Jesus got to Jairus’ home “too late”. However, what is clear is that Jesus intended to heal her: He was on the way. Indeed, this is perhaps the key to understanding the message of this verse.
What happens when we cry out to Jesus for help, but before any discernable answer to our prayers things get tragically worse?
Jairus had already believed in Jesus; that is why he had asked Him to come. Jairus already had faith that Jesus could heal… The question was, whether Jairus had faith that Jesus could do more.
Many of us have faith that God can work in our lives up to a point. And, we even exercise that faith. But, what happens when things fall apart? What happens when things get worse than we ever expected? Do we, will we, have faith in God then?
To illustrate the point, consider the story of Jim Elliot the famous missionary. In 1956, Jim and his fellow missionaries were in Ecuador to bring the Gospel to the Waodani/Auca native peoples. Every sign suggested they were making progress in their effort to reach out to them. Then, on the day they were to meet with the tribe, the Aucas attacked them, killing all five missionary men in the group.
PAUSE: Jim Elliot and the other missionaries had believed God had lead them to take the Gospel to the Waodani/Aucas; everything seemed to have been ‘falling into place’. Jesus was on His way.
Then calamity struck.
Had Jesus misled them? How could Jesus be glorified by their deaths? How could any good come out of this terrible tragedy??
Jim’s wife, Elisabeth and other female members of the remaining missionary team (wives and sisters of the slain men). Decided to continue the mission to the Aucas: Yes, despite the tragedy, despite their grief, they continued. Indeed, within a year they were living with the Auca tribe, deep in the jungles of Ecuador.
And they succeeded: They brought the Gospel to the Aucas and the Auca tribes accepted the gospel and were converted… even those who had participated in the murder of Jim and his friends.
They might not have understood His way, but Jesus had not misled them. Unexpectedly, Jesus used the death of Jim Elliot and his friends, to get to the Aucas. Jesus was glorified, and great good did come out of the tragedy: the Waodani/Aucas believed.
Moreover, many people across the world heard of the great missionary work in the face of tragedy and countless Believers were inspired and challenged to grow in their own faith and to participate in missionary work.
This is the context in which Jesus’ words were spoken… Jairus had believed Jesus could make his daughter well… but, the worst had happened, she had died… Could Jairus continue having faith in Jesus?
Eventually, the story ends with Jairus’ daughter being brought back to life. But the challenge for us remains the same: when we take that ‘leap of faith’ and then somehow find ourselves sinking, can we still trust in Jesus?
“FEAR NOT” Jesus says, “believe only”, and whatever trial is facing us, even when it seems everything has been shattered to pieces, it “shall be made whole.”
FEAR NOT, friends, keep believing, keep trusting, keep holding on, Jesus will see us through, even when the darkness gets darker and the bleak grows bleaker: FEAR NOT, everything “shall be made whole”; FEAR NOT, you “shall be made whole.”
This post is a part of a series on several of the “FEAR NOT” sayings in the Bible.