But Jesus overheard their report and said to the synagogue leader, “Don’t be afraid; just keep trusting.” — Mark 5:36
If you read Mark 5:21-43, you get a clear picture of both Jesus’ compassion as well as faith. The synagogue leader had come to Jesus asking him to heal his daughter. However, word came that the girl had died. That’s when he told the grieving father not to be afraid but to trust him.
What’s important to remember is that, when the girl was brought back to life, it wasn’t Jesus who did it. It was God who did it, because Jesus asked. So, when Jesus told the grieving dad to trust him, he said it because he himself was trusting his Father.
When my son was seven, I joined him in one of his Tiger Cub Scouts meeting. The leader asked the boys the question, “Who is happy and smiling all the time?” My little boy shot up his hand. “Daddy! My daddy is happy and smiling all the time!” And he looks at me, and smiles the biggest smile you’ve ever seen.
I was surprised, frankly. Being a pastor at the time, I’d sometimes come home from work stressed and tired. I wasn’t exactly happy or smiling all the time.
Yet, my little boy didn’t focus on those times. He was incapable of that. He remembered only the happy, smiling daddy. He didn’t see the “dead” part of me—only the alive part.
How could Jesus make the outrageous claim that the little girl was only asleep, not dead? Because he never gave up seeing his Father as only a child can see a father. He always believed that his Father was loving, just, dependable, playful, forgiving, and powerful. Nothing was impossible for his Daddy. This is why he could say to that grieving father, “Don’t be afraid. Just keep trusting.”
Maybe Jesus’ words to that parent sum up his teaching: Focus more on trusting and less on fearing, and we may be surprised by the miracles that we can see.