The pages of the gospels are filled with examples of Jesus’ kindness. The pages of our newspapers betray that, as a people, we are not very kind at all.
In Mark chapter five, when Jesus raised Jairus’ daughter, he said something very kind to him. He said, “Do not be afraid any longer” (Mark 5:36 NASB). Those words echo across the centuries to us, bringing Jesus’ kindness to us still. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. Oh, that we would replace the fear in our hearts with his words!
Jesus told the twelve in Mark 6:7-8 to go and preach that men should repent. He told them to take only a staff. They wouldn’t need food or money. They obeyed him and taught people and helped them. Oh, that we would hear his voice as he must have said, “Don’t worry about the journey. Just go, teach and love others.” This old world could use that advice, couldn’t it?
Jesus appeared to the twelve walking on the water in Mark 6:45-52. The picture Mark paints in words is frightening. The twelve were straining at the oars because the wind was against them. These fishermen had heard what happened to sailors out on the Sea of Galilee during sudden storms. When they saw Jesus, they were terrified! Very calmly he says, “Take courage. It is I, do not be afraid” (Mark 6:50).
Many of us face storms of sickness and pain in our lives and we are worried about what could happen to us. Cancer, heart and other diseases can maim our bodies and scar our minds before they kill. We are straining against the winds of worry in a very small boat, believing there is no hope. Jesus comes to us and says, “Take courage. It is I, do not be afraid.”
Don’t be afraid, beloved. Jesus is there.