Because He said so

When you were a kid and your mother told you to do something you didn’t really want to do and you argued about it, what was her response? I bet it was something like, “Because I said so.” If Momma said to do something, there was no arguing allowed. You weren’t allowed to question motives or reasons why. She said so.

So why do we question Jesus? Should his word not be enough for us?

For some, seeing is believing. But that’s not what faith is about.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

How can we trust what Jesus says is true? How do we know his words will come to pass? Because he is the Word.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:1 (NIV)

We can take Jesus at his word because God sent him as His Word and He promised that His Word would accomplish the purpose for which it was sent (Isaiah 55:11).

We can take our example from the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus spoke to her. He performed no miracle. But the truth of his words drew her to him.

And because of his words many more became believers.

John 4:41 (NIV)

The royal official, too, took Jesus at his word. He believed that his son would be well if Jesus would only say the words.

Jesus replied, “You may go. Your son will live.” The man took Jesus at his word and departed.

John 4:50 (NIV)

Words have become so cheap that we have devalued that which the Son of God spoke. We struggle to believe that what he said is really true. Yet, because God said so should be all the proof we need to believe. Even more than the Samaritan woman and the royal official, we have a long record of the lengths God will go to just to keep His Word. We can see, yet many still do not believe. What more should it take for people to see the truth of God’s Word? His Word should be enough simply because He said so.

Read: 2 Kings 6-8, John 4:31-54

Just…

Read: Numbers 11-13, Mark 5:21-43

Just is a big word. I just need more time. It was just a little. If I could just… A lot of weight can rest on those four letters. Other words associated with it include: nearly, almost, merely, barely, or close. It gives a feeling of reaching. A last effort before giving in to failure.

The latter portion of Mark 5 talks about two people who just.

…because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”

Mark 5:28 (NIV)

These words were spoken by a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years. She’d spent all of her money on doctors and, instead of getting better, only got worse. Her last ditch effort was to just touch Jesus’ clothing.

Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

Mark 5:36 (NIV)

Just believe? The man’s daughter had been declared dead. What was he supposed to believe? He’d come to Jesus for healing, but to bring his little girl back to life? Already, going to see Jesus would have been his last ditch effort. As a ruler in the synagogue, he would have been a learned man, well-acquainted with the law. He would have known process over promise. Yet here was Jesus very matter-of-factly telling him to just believe.

I think that we too often wait too long to get Jesus’ attention. We believe that we must have all of his attention to get our miracle. Our just is desperate, like the woman. We’re straining and reaching, hoping to get just enough to get by. We have nothing more but that last push. It works, but it doesn’t have to be like that.

But, we have Jesus’ full attention, like the synagogue ruler. Jairus had more of Jesus’ attention than anyone else. It was to his home that Jesus was going to. The just he needed, according to Jesus, was simple. A meh, don’t worry about it, I got this.

You get to pick what you just want to do. Do you just want to reach out and brush the hem, fighting your own battle, pushing against the crowd, crawling toward Jesus? Or to you just want to believe, walking beside Jesus, trusting everything is alright no matter what the facts say?

The good news is, that no matter where you find yourself, both ways work. If you can do nothing more than just touch, that’s okay. Or if you’re in a place where you can just believe, that’s okay, too.

12 Years

12 years, if you’re 12, is just a short while. Life is just beginning. You’re just starting to experience real life. But 12 years, if you’re sick, can be an eternity. Every day stretches on and on without relief and, though you’re alive, you never really live at all.

In Mark 5 beginning in verse 21, we are first made aware of a little girl. She’s 12. She’s dying. Before she’s ever had a chance to really live, she’s on death’s door. Her father, Jairus, is convinced that Jesus can solve this problem.

While Jesus and his followers are on their way to see to the little girl, we meet another girl. A woman. She’s been sick for 12 years. Since the time the little girl’s life began, this woman’s has been miserable. She’s suffered at the hands of doctors to no avail. While the little girl’s life was beginning, the woman’s life was literally draining out of her.

But, like Jairus, this woman knew that Jesus was the answer. If only she could get close enough to touch him, her days of suffering would be over.

I believe that, in the moment the woman touched the hem of Jesus’ garment, the little girl died. One life was restored while the other was destroyed.

When Jesus felt the healing power leave him, he didn’t have to stop. The woman already knew that she’d been healed. I like to think that this was Jesus showing off a little. He made a point, while being crushed by a crowd, to single out the one person who’d touched him with enough faith to draw the power from him.

Side note: When you approach Jesus, do you just bump up against him like the rest of the crowd or do you go after him, like the woman, intent on pursuing him until you get what you need?

The woman presented herself to Jesus and he announces to the crowd—remember, she already knew she was healed—that this woman’s faith has made her well. Jesus made sure that everyone had stopped and was listening. They all heard his announcement that the woman’s faith had made her well.

When Jesus got to the house, he booted out everyone who had no faith. This left himself, the girl’s parents, and three disciples—considering this man went around healing people all the time, the faith of the crowd was weak.

At Jesus’ word, what had died the moment the woman with the issue of blood was healed, was revived. The little girl got up and walked around.

We would understand the gravity of what Jesus accomplished if we didn’t know how long the woman suffered from her illness or how old the little girl was at the time of her first death. So why is 12 so important?

Jesus’ first recorded words were taken when he was 12 years old. There were 12 tribes in Israel, 12 disciples chosen by Jesus. The number is referred to 187 times in the Bible. So what does it mean?

12 is considered a perfect number symbolising God’s authority. It’s a picture of completeness or perfection as well as the authority given to man by God.

Jesus showed the fullness of his authority by healing a woman who’d been living with illness for 12 years and by raising to life a girl who died after only 12 years. He proved to be the God of the living as well as the God of the dead. It was a display of perfect, complete authority. The same authority he gave to us.

Daily Bible reading: Numbers 11-13, Mark 5:21-43

Hear for you

When you sit in church and listen to the pastor speak, whose words are you hearing? Do you hear the voice of the pastor and his opinion or do you hear the voice of the Lord?

If you’re keeping up with your daily Bible reading, yesterday you would have read about the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus called her out about her sinful behaviour without ever having met or spoken to her before. The woman, amazed at what Jesus had told her, went back into town and told everyone she knew what Jesus had said to her.

In today’s reading, the woman gets another mention.

Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this in indeed the Saviour of the world.”

John 4:39-42 (ESV)

A few believed because of what the woman said. Even more believed because of what Jesus said.

Many churches these days are filling up fast. Many preach the Word of God, but sadly, many do not. There are pulpits filled with fancy words coming from eloquent preachers, but the words belong to man, not God. Man’s words may make believers, but God’s words make disciples.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)

In order for people to hear God’s word, we have to speak God’s word. Put your own voice aside and speak the words that have the power to change lives.

Daily Bible reading: 2 Kings 6-8; John 4:31-54