Some women – one of whom had experienced a significant deliverance from demonic forces – were risking money on Jesus – supporting Him and His preaching and proclamation out of their own pockets. In an era when women were generally ignored and usually overlooked, these women took the risk of financially supporting Jesus.
In several parables Jesus challenged His listeners to trust that the Kingdom of God was wt work – even when physical evidence might suggest otherwise. Jesus challenged the traditional understanding of ‘family’ and redefined His family as all who risked trusting in Him.
The disciples travelling with Jesus were overcome with their fear of the world in which they lived. When Jesus demonstrated a supernatural power over His creation their fear of Him grew. Immediately after this event Jesus and His followers were confronted by a feared man – demon possessed and uncontrollable. After confronting the demons the community which had banished this man to the wilderness was so afraid of Jesus they asked Him to leave.
Jairus and an unnamed woman both demonstrated a faith in Jesus that may have shamed His disciples. Jairus sought Jesus power for his ailing daughter. The unnamed woman sought relief from an ailment that had cost her more than we can imagine.Both demonstrated faith – even when fear threatened to overwhelm them (see vs. 45-48; 49-52).
Jesus instructed His disciples to go into the villages taking nothing but the authority and message He had given them.
Herod, who had killed John the Baptist because of his preaching, is fearful of the news of this Jesus. Herod thought he had killed the message by killing the messenger.
When the crowd following Jesus needed provision Jesus asked His disciples to provide. their lack of faith is evident when contrasted with the willingness of one to provide meager resources and Jesus’ confidence in God’s power to multiply those resource.
Jesus’ instruction regarding the cost of faith, and His Transfiguration remind us that even those closest to Jesus struggled with understanding all that it means to follow Him.
In these sections we see Jesus confront fear and call for faith as people try to understand who He is and what His purpose is.
Far too often I allow my fear – my insecurity, my anxiety, my need for the approval and affirmation of others – to dictate how I feel and the choices I make. Genuine faith requires that I, like the unnamed woman, trust that in Christ alone is all I need. But that sounds ‘fake.’ What does that mean? As I read these chapters I was reminded that genuine faith means being afraid but persevering through my fear. Following Jesus is more than giving verbal assent to a specific set of statements or affirmations. It requires a commitment that is costly, continuous, and even courageous. Will I allow God’s presence, God’s Word, and God’s people to be the furnace wyhich produces that kind of commitment?