Courage for life Blog

Faith in Action: 3 Lessons from Mark 5

February 21, 2024

Have you ever been watching a movie or reading a book and wanted to skip to who the main character is and what the point of the storyline is? Sometimes reading the Bible can be that way. Still, when you are reading the four gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, in the New Testament, there is no doubt Jesus is the main character, and the purpose of His encounters with people is to reveal Himself as God.

In Mark 5, Jesus heals demon possession and chronic illnesses and even overcomes death. However, these three personal encounters with Jesus don’t mean Jesus will always heal individuals from these earthly circumstances; rather, these encounters show that the person’s awareness of and belief in Jesus can result in help and healing.

The question for you is, will your faith in Jesus motivate you to seek Him for help and healing with your earthly needs? Your faith in Jesus is shown when you seek Jesus for help, so put your faith in action and seek Jesus for help with all your earthly needs, including healing.

Sometimes, viewing or listening to the Bible helps us understand it. Courage For Life offers dramatized videos of the four gospels using the Courage For Life audio Bible. Below is the video for Mark 5 so you can watch Jesus’ encounters for context to the rest of this blog.

Jesus commands an impure spirit to leave a man, permitting it to go instead into a herd of pigs, who then drown themselves. The local townspeople ask Jesus to leave, and He sends the freed man home (reference Mark 5:1-5; also, in Luke 8:26-39). A religious leader asks Jesus to come and heal his sick daughter. Along the way, a woman is healed when she touches Jesus. When Jesus reaches the girl, she has already died, and He raises her from the dead (reference Mark 5:21-43; also, in Matthew 9:18-26 and Luke 8:40-56).

Trying to study all 43 verses of Mark 5 may be difficult in one listen or one read in the Bible, but each encounter with Jesus, whether the demon-possessed man, chronically ill woman, or dead young girl, is about faith in action to seek help and healing from Jesus.

In Mark 5, Jesus addresses three life circumstances that still exist in the world today.

First, Satan is real.

Satan’s demons entered a man. Satan is a thief whose ultimate purpose is to destroy (reference John 10:10; Revelation 9:11). As the reader, you don’t know why this man is demon-possessed, but he has lost everything as a result. He is living among the tombs, screaming, cutting himself, and frightening others. Jesus heals the man and demonstrates He is more powerful than the demons possessing him.

Just because the demons knew who Jesus was (Jesus is God) does not mean they have faith in Jesus (see James 2:19). Jesus restores the man and tells him to remain in his town and share what Jesus did for him. This man becomes a living testimony in his community to Jesus’ power and authority over Satan and his demons.

Second, there are diseases in the world.

An unnamed woman suffered from a chronic illness for 12 years. She used all her resources to seek relief from her illness. She had faith to bring her needs to Jesus. She had faith to touch the hem of Jesus’ robe and was healed. She tries to slip away unseen, but Jesus knows her and displays her faith publicly. Jesus commends her for her faith in action to seek Him for her healing.

What makes her faith in action more remarkable is according to the Old Testament, she would have been considered “ceremonially unclean” and unable to be in crowds or public places or even go to worship in the synagogue (reference Leviticus 15:19 and verses that follow). Jesus not only heals her but wants to look her in the face and speak tenderly to her because He knows her name, her illness, what it has done to her, and her current life circumstances.

Jesus calls her “daughter” and sent her on her way with a prayer of peace (see Mark 5:34). Jesus telling her “to be whole” meant so much more than just receiving healing from her twelve years of chronic illness. Jesus healed her spiritually as well. Her faith motivated her action to seek Jesus for physical healing and spiritual wholeness.

A third reality of this world is death.

The young daughter of a prominent synagogue officer died at age 12, but Jesus resurrected her from death. Jairus, the father of the young girl who died, is most likely wealthy and respected in the community, with resources to help his daughter. Yet, Jairus shows his faith in seeking Jesus to heal his daughter.

The religious leaders in the synagogue opposed Jesus. Yet, Jairus is one of these religious leaders, risking his status and relationships to humble himself and seek Jesus for help. Jesus commends Jairus for his faith. Jairus is present when Jesus commends the chronically ill woman for her faith. Then, Jairus’ friends arrive to tell him his daughter is dead. Jesus responds to Jairus and tells him to “keep believing in Jesus.”

Jairus had faith to ask Jesus for help, and now Jesus tells Jairus to continue to believe that Jesus can help, even with death. Jairus has a choice to believe Jesus now that he knows his daughter is dead. Jairus could have been angry at the chronically ill woman for delaying Jesus from getting to his daughter in time. When Jairus and Jesus arrive, the daughter has been declared dead, signified by the mourners present at the home. Jesus allows Jairus and his wife to experience the miracle of resurrecting their daughter to life. Jesus commends them for their faith in Him.

The entire focus of Mark 5 is Jesus. Jesus is the main character. Jesus is God being present in the world among the people He created. Jesus demonstrates His power and authority over three life circumstances that still exist today – satanic activity/demon possession, chronic illness/diseases, and death.

Your faith in Jesus is shown when you seek Jesus for help and healing from your earthly circumstances. What is holding you back from putting your faith in action and seeking Jesus for help? Jesus is God and has the power and authority to overcome any life circumstance you are facing, no matter how difficult. Put your faith in action–seek help and healing from Jesus.

Maybe an action you need to take today is to ask for prayer. We believe in the power of prayer and want to support you in your time of need. We’re here for you if you’re facing a challenging situation or need someone to pray with you. If you need prayer, click here to fill out our prayer form to submit your prayer request.

We know that prayer can make a difference, and we believe that God hears our prayers and is faithful to answer them. If you’re struggling with a difficult situation, we encourage you to reach out and let us pray for you. You don’t have to go through anything alone – we’re here to support you through prayer.

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