“He went in and said to them, ‘Why are you making a commotion and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.’ They started laughing at Him, but He put them all outside. He took the child’s father, mother and those who were with Him, and entered the place where the child was. Then He took the child by the hand and said to her, ‘Talitha koum!’ (which is translated, ‘Little girl, I say to you, get up!’). Immediately, the girl got up and began to walk.” | Mark 5:39-42
If Jesus wasn’t Jesus, I would have thought it a bit rude to kick all those people out of a home that wasn’t His! Despite my initial response to this particular action, I acknowledge that Jesus was always intentional with what He said and what He did. It wasn’t as if He had been invited over for a meal and decided to remove those in the room He wasn’t too fond of (although, as an introvert I can imagine the satisfaction that would bring!). Jesus had been brought to this home for a purpose, to restore a child’s life. Now if it were me, I would want as many people in the room as a possible to witness a miracle, a demonstration of God’s infinite power.
So what was Jesus’ intention behind sending many of the witnesses outside to perform the miracle?
When Jesus declared that the child was “not dead but asleep”, He was speaking faith into the atmosphere. He was speaking truth over fact. Sometimes, to receive our miracle requires a declaration of faith, speaking as though our miracle has already come. God is willing and waiting to act in response to our faith.
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” | Hebrews 11:1
“And without faith it is impossible to please God…” | Hebrews 11:6
The reason for Jesus’ declaration of faith may have been two-fold in this situation:
To create – to build up the level of faith in order to bring about the miracle
To protect – a test to see how those in the room with the child would respond
Let’s focus on the second reason of protection. The fact that people began to laugh at Jesus in response to His declaration, indicates the lack of faith in the atmosphere. That lack of faith more than likely stood in the way of the miracle. Remember, God responds to our faith. So, Jesus did what He had to do and kicked the mockers out, removing unbelief from the atmosphere to instead establish an atmosphere of faith to make way for a miracle. He was protecting the atmosphere surrounding the child and family in need of their miracle.
The same principle applies when we’re believing for our own miracle – healing, breakthrough, financial provision, restoration, the list could go on. You name it and if it requires God to do what only He can do, He requires our faith (to believe it before we see it).
Consider an incubator, used to help grow cell cultures or microbiological cultures. Incubators are sealed units set at an optimal temperature, humidity and other conditions, to create the right atmosphere to facilitate growth. If the conditions are incorrect or a contaminant enters the atmosphere, this can result in stunted growth or even kill the microorganisms. In the same way, our faith for God to do the miraculous in our lives is influenced by the atmosphere that surrounds us. Surround yourself with doubtful people and watch your faith diminish. Surround yourself with faith-filled people and see your faith grow.
Think of the 5 people closest to you, the people with whom you spend most of your time. These are the people who contribute to the atmosphere around you. Do they speak life into your hopes and dreams? Are their words encouraging? Do they declare God’s promises over you?