About four years ago I was at a conference in London and I heard a speaker say something that resonated so deeply with me.
The voice that you listen to will become the voice that you speak with.
I think that’s so true…but I think it goes even further. I also believe:
The voices that you listen to most will create the future that you live in most.
So, what voices are you listening to? Who are you giving access to your heart and your mind and your life? And the major question I want to ask us today is this one:
Who are you taking your faith cues from?
The presence or absence of our current faith in Jesus has so much to do with who we’re taking our cues from. Today I want to help us cultivate more faith in Jesus. And here’s why:
There are some things in your future that Jesus is only going to do if you believe Him for them.
When the author of Hebrews talks about the Israelites Moses was supposed to lead out of Egypt and into the Promised Land – we read these crucial words:
Hebrews 3:19 So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief.
And their unbelief was present because they were taking their faith cues from the wrong people. Today we’re going to look at a powerful moment in the life of Jesus. We’ll see perhaps the greatest miracle we’ve come across so far in the Gospel of Mark. It’s actually a foreshadowing of the greatest miracle in history.
Mark 5:21-24 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him.
At this moment, there’s a woman who comes up to Jesus out of desperation to be healed. Minnie Lee is going to be teaching us about that moment next week.
Mark 5:35-43 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?” Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him.
After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.
For some of us today, we need that initial faith. It’s time to start with a basic trust in Jesus. And for others of us, we need to know the answer to this question:
How do we keep our faith in Jesus?
When the circumstances get worse, not better.
When we’re running out of time with no help in sight.
When we lack something we’re pretty sure we have to have to keep living.
Jairus has this initial faith in Jesus. And he’s desperate for Jesus to heal his daughter and keep her alive.
And I love the initial response from Jesus – “So Jesus went with him.” Jesus responded to this man’s faith. But then Jesus seems to get sidetracked by this other woman who approaches him. As you’ll hear next week, this is a woman who has had an issue of bleeding for twelve years. Do you remember how old Jairus’s daughter is? That right’s; she’s twelve.
While Jesus is still speaking, a group of people show up from Jairus’s home and tell him that his daughter is dead. And they say to him, “Why bother the teacher anymore?” As in, “It’s too late.”
Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” The word that gets translated “overhearing” can also be translated “ignoring”. I love both of these meanings. Jesus overheard what these voices were saying. But he was saying to Jairus – Don’t listen to those voices. Instead, don’t be afraid; just believe.
Jairus had to decide who he was going to take his faith cues from. I want to show you three kinds of voices who wanted to influence his faith.
Voices of the Religious Leaders: We are told that Jairus is a synagogue leader. So many religious leaders opposed Jesus. After all, this is why Jesus ends up being crucified. For Jairus, a respected leader of the synagogue, to come to Jesus publicly wasn’t easy to do because this would be frowned upon by the other religious leaders. Maybe you remember from John 3 that we’re told Nicodemus, a Pharisee, came to see Jesus at night. But Jairus not only comes to see Jesus; he falls at his feet and pleads earnestly with Jesus. Jairus had to make a decision whether his faith would be influenced by those who opposed Jesus or by Jesus himself.
Voices of the People: Those who brought Jairus the news of his daughter’s death asked him, “Why bother the teacher anymore?” Should he take his faith cues from them or from Jesus Himself?
Jesus and Jairus arrive back at the home and there’s an incredible commotion going on. People are crying and wailing loudly. I love the question Jesus asks, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” BUT they LAUGHED at him. This is the laugh of unbelief. It reminds me of Abraham’s wife, Sarah, who laughed in disbelief when she heard she was going to have a son.
Who was Jairus going to listen to? There were so many voices speaking into his situation. He heard all of them, but he had to decide which one he was going to receive and live in.
When Jesus says to Jairus, “Just believe,” here’s what that phrase actually means: “Go on believing.” Meaning that faith is to be this continued action. Jesus is saying to Jairus, “Have a steady, ongoing faith…not one that rises and falls with your circumstances.”
We must consistently place ourselves in environments of great faith. This is what we want to continue creating here at Epic. Notice verse 37 and verse 40. Jesus only let Jairus, his wife, Peter, James, and John go with him to the girl. Why?
As we’ll see throughout the life of Jesus, he responds to our faith – whether it is present or absent. I think he wanted to create an environment of faith. And he wasn’t going to show this miracle to those who refused to believe Him.
Which voices are influencing your current level of faith in Jesus?
Your future literally depends on how you answer this question.
Your family is trying to influence your faith.
Your friends are trying to affect your belief in God.
Your coworkers have opinions about what you should do.
The media is doing everything it can to convinced you there is no God and whatever happens in your life – it’s solely up to you.
The people you follow on social media are wanting to speak into who or what you trust the most.
And when you speak to others, are you leading them towards greater faith in Jesus or away from Jesus in unbelief?
Sarah laughed when she heard God say she would have a son a year later. But there are two kinds of laughter. The first is the laugh of unbelief. But let me show you the second or what you might call, “The Last Laugh”. This is when her son, Isaac, is born.
Genesis 21:6-7 Sarah said, “God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.” And she added, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.”
Who would have said? God did. But she took her cues from somewhere else. Will we trust Jesus?
This moment with a 12 year old girl was a foreshadowing of the event that is most central to our Christian faith or belief. Jesus is on the cross and He is being beaten, spit upon, and mocked. It’s the laugh of unbelief. But Jesus gets the last laugh. He did what He said He was going to do, proving to me and to you that we can trust Him…even when everyone else says we shouldn’t. Even when things go from bad to worse…He’s telling us to keep on believing Him.
With the Spirit’s help, let’s create an environment of faith in Jesus. Let’s take our cues from Him. Let’s believe Jesus for each other. Do not give up.
Open front for time of prayer with leaders/borrowing faith moments.