Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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"Do not fear, only believe."

Mark 5:21-43

Fear and suffering have ways of recalibrating even our most heartfelt convictions.

Consider Jairus, one of the prominent leaders of the synagogue. Managing Jesus was becoming difficult for the local synagogue leadership because Jesus played loose with many of the Jewish traditions. He didn’t keep the Sabbath in the customary ways. He associated with people of questionable and even objectionable character. To make matters worse, the people in the crowds didn’t seem to care anymore than Jesus did about these finer points of the law and traditions. “The Jesus problem” was becoming more and more worrisome to Jairus and associates. And yet, when Jairus’ daughter got sick and her body was cooling to the temperature of death, suddenly none of this mattered to him. Who Jesus ate with, how his disciples washed their hands, and what Jesus did on the Sabbath became strangely irrelevant to Jairus. The fact was Jairus was terrified. His daughter was dying, and Jairus recalibrated his thoughts about Jesus. He was willing to try anything.

My daughter is dying. Come lay your hands on her.

As they rushed to Jairus’ house, there was this nameless woman who had suffered for twelve years from a condition that put her on the wrong side of religious order and public health. She had tried everything to control her chronic bleeding, but nothing helped. The side-effects of some of the treatments were even worse than the condition itself, but she endured them because more than anything in the world, she wanted to be well. In the meantime, she carefully observed all the rules of sanitation to protect others from being contaminated by contact with her. The first and most basic rule? Avoid crowds at all costs. But Jesus offered hope. She was afraid to touch him, but twelve long years of suffering made her recalibrate. With something between faith and superstition, she reached out.

If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.

The word “recalibrate” has become familiar, in part, because of GPS systems that track our locations and give us directions to desired destinations. When we venture off course, the GPS “recalibrates” to put us back on track. Wise living involves many course recalibrations.

Jameis Winston was recently the first overall pick in the National Football League (NFL) College Draft. Just a few days earlier, Winston had been in the office of Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the NFL. He saw a Super Bowl trophy on Goodell’s desk, walked over to it, and said, “I want to get one of these.” Roger Goodell pointed across the room at the Walter Peyton Humanitarian Award and said, “I’d prefer if you got one of those.” It was an invitation to recalibrate his life’s course.

The opposite of faith is not doubt but fear. Every encounter with Jesus involves a recalibration that replaces a fear with faith. And each of these recalibrations brings us closer to the destination of a life that really is life.


When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered round him; and he was by the lake. Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, "My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live." So he went with him.

And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for she said, "If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well." Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, "Who touched my clothes?" And his disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, 'Who touched me?'" He looked all round to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease."

While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?" But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, "Do not fear, only believe." He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. When he had entered, he said to them, "Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, "Talitha cum," which means, "Little girl, get up!" And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

Mark 5:21-43

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: Can you describe a place in your life where it seems like Jesus is trying to adjust your trajectory? What makes this change difficult? If you make the change, what do you fear the results will be? What do you hope the results might be?

PRAYER: Gracious Lord, by following you I have discovered how often my heart is small and my mind is warped. Following you means constant recalibration. Lead me in the way that is everlasting, and fill me with the life that is abundant. Amen.