There’s something to be said for panic. It gets things done! I sometimes think about my cry of “who’s coming over” whenever we were told to clean the house, as, to my mind, there was no reason to clean the house unless we were having company. This same cry is echoed by my kids, sometimes. Urgency does that, doesn’t it? Nowadays, though, they scramble to clean their messes and do their jobs or they lose privileges. I don’t like that panic is such a motivational tool, caused by fear of losing something valuable, but, nevertheless, it is effective. Panic is how many in power seek to control people, isn’t it? Worry, fear, and anxiety make us scramble, make us work harder, make us give up freedoms for a little more security. And yet, when I see Jesus, He was never motivated by urgency, never panicked into making a decision, and never rushed by the pleas of people who thought their needs were dire.
Consider the story of Jairus the Synagogue leader, whose only daughter was sick, and on the verge of death. During that scenario, Jesus stopped to speak to a woman who had been healed by touching his robe. The little girl died, the despair of the mourners said “don’t trouble the teacher” but Jesus said “don’t be afraid, just believe.” (Mark 5:21-43). Loved ones, Jesus said this to his followers, and those seeking his help many times. He spoke words of comfort to quell the despair of Mary and Martha at their brother’s tomb. He said it to His disciples in a raging storm, and to his doubters over and again “Believe.” Belief, not merely acknowledgement, but faith in action, is powerful. Fear, doubt, worry and panic are the antithesis of the belief Jesus called us to. The world wields these as weapons against unprepared minds, but the believer will know that, no matter what happens, Christ is immovable, sitting on the throne, and, as He was on the earth, He is not panicking, reacting our of fear or worry, but ruling and reigning with power, handling the issues that arise. Even should the worst happen, Christ is king. Do not doubt. Do not worry. Just believe.
When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to them.”
The Faith of a Centurion
When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.
Jesus Heals Many
And when Jesus entered Peter’s house, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever. He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and began to serve him. That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.”
The Cost of Following Jesus
Now when Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”
Jesus Calms a Storm
And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”
Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”