100. Unbelief (1)

Short Meditations in Mark’s Gospel: 100. Unbelief (1)

Mk 5:37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James.

Faith is catching – and so is unbelief!  Those with open hearts hear the word of truth being spoken in faith and it stirs faith within them and it rises up and action follows.  On the other hand there are those whose hearts are more disposed towards unbelief and they only need to see some bad circumstances for their spirit to be deflated and they come to a halt. There are people around us who are people of faith and there are people around us who are not! If we are a leader in God’s Church, then we do well to learn these things and learn to discern who is who.

You said faith – or its absence – is a cause for God to move – or be hindered. Do you remember, of Jesus home town it was written, And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith” (Mt 13:58) Mark recorded the same thing: “He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their lack of faith.” (Mk 6:5,6) Lack of faith, or unbelief, was a clear hindrance to Jesus’ working.

Now Jesus has just been confronted with a statement of belief from the world – the little girl is dead; it’s a waste of time you coming. These servants are locked into the outward appearances and Jesus doesn’t want people of unbelief around him when he has come to heal. So he stops the crowd then and there. The crowd will have heard what these bringers of bad news have said. The crowd will come and go with their beliefs; most of them are not Jesus’ followers, just those who are there to see what will happen, and so they are prone to unbelief. Jesus doesn’t want them around cluttering up his mind and his spirit with their unbelief, so he stops them.

Apart from Jairus (presumably) Jesus only allows the inner circle of the disciples to come with him. It’s interesting to note that he doesn’t even take the whole twelve, but only those closest to him. Even within the band there are varying levels of faith and Jesus only wants those who are closest to him to come along. Maybe it is because it is from them that leaders of the church are going to come and so it will be good for them to learn something here. Peter was to remember this years later when he was confronted with he dead body of Dorcas and we read, “All the widows stood around him, crying and …Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. “ (Acts 9:39,40). He had learned it – get rid of unbelievers in such a situation.

 

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