“Do not fear, only believe,” says Jesus to the crowd of wailers and mourners after the death of a 12 year-old girl.
In this modern age, belief and unbelief are intellectual things. “I believe in the existence of God” or “I don’t believe in God” are claims of the atheist and non-atheist (non-atheist doesn’t necessarily mean believer…IMO). Yet Jesus isn’t really talking about what our minds can conceptualize.
What’s the connection between fear and belief?
Both, it seems, stem from the Unknown. Facing the unknown is standing at the foot of a fork in a road, and there are two responses: fear and faith. Faith is marked by the peace that comes in releasing control in comforting trust. But mostly my response is fear. Fear of what might happen or not happen. Fear of things going all wrong; or the harm of myself or those I love.
In the midst of fear, we often think the solution is knowing…or enlightenment…or clarity…or revelation. In truth, though, since faith also stems from the Unknown, knowing removes space for faith as well.
Not sure what’s going to happen? “Do not fear, only believe.”