John explained the purpose of this writing at the end of it. He said these things were written (ταῦτα δὲ γέγραπται), so that many people could come to believe (ἵνα πιστεύητε) that Jesus (ὅτι Ἰησοῦς) was and is (ἐστιν) the Christ (ὁ Χριστὸς), the Messiah, the Son of God (ὁ Υἱὸς τοῦ Θεοῦ). Once you believed (καὶ ἵνα πιστεύοντες), then you would have life (ζωὴν ἔχητε) in the name of Jesus (ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι αὐτοῦ). This clearly was a faith document, not a factual explanation about Jesus. Jesus was and is the Messiah, the anointed one, the Christ, the Son of God. The only purpose for this writing was that all might believe that Jesus was the Christ Messiah. Thus, knowing this, you could enjoy eternal life with Jesus. Do you enjoy life in the name of Jesus?
Luke uniquely indicated that the apostles asked the Lord (Καὶ εἶπαν οἱ ἀπόστολοι τῷ Κυρίῳ) to add or increase their faith (Πρόσθες ἡμῖν πίστιν). Notice that Jesus was called the Lord (Κυρίῳ) here. Although there are other instances of people having a lack of faith or a strong faith, quite often they were around being healed by Jesus. This saying was the only instance of the apostles, not merely the disciples, or other followers of Jesus, where they specifically wished to increase or add to their belief. Do you want to increase your faith?
Luke indicated that another person said (Εἶπεν δὲ καὶ ἕτερος) that he would follow Jesus (Ἀκολουθήσω σοι), the Lord (Κύριε), but he first wanted to say farewell (πρῶτον δὲ ἐπίτρεψόν μοι ἀποτάξασθαι) to those at his home (εἰς τὸν οἶκόν μου). This was another unique saying of Luke that was not found in Matthew. Being a disciple of Jesus was not going to be easy. This disciple just wanted to say goodbye to his family. Is your belief in Jesus stronger than your family ties?
Luke said that Jairus had an only daughter (ὅτι θυγάτηρ μονογενὴς ἦν αὐτῷ), about 12 years old (ὡς ἐτῶν δώδεκα). She was dying (καὶ αὐτὴ ἀπέθνῃσκεν). As Jesus went (Ἐν δὲ τῷ ὑπάγειν αὐτὸν), the crowds pressed in on him (οἱ ὄχλοι συνέπνιγον αὐτόν). This episode about the request from the synagogue leader about his daughter can be found in Matthew, chapter 9:18-19, but there this leader said that his daughter had just died. Luke mentioned that Jairus’ daughter was 12 years old, but dying. Mark, chapter 5:23-24, said that she was very sick, not dead. Mark said that Jairus, the synagogue leader, begged Jesus, saying that his little daughter was near the end of her life. He wanted Jesus to come and lay his hands on her, so that she would be cured and live. This synagogue leader had a great belief in Jesus. Jesus responded immediately, without saying anything. Jesus simply got up and went with Jairus. However, a large crowd also followed them, so that this crowd pressed against him. Matthew said that Jairus spoke to Jesus telling him that his daughter had just died. There was no mention of this in other two synoptic gospels. In Mark, she was very sick, not dead. However, his belief in the power of Jesus was clear. He said that if Jesus came, he could lay his hand on her. Then she would live. This leader had a great belief in Jesus to raise the dead. Jesus then responded immediately, without saying anything. He simply got up with his disciples. They followed this leader. Do you believe in the power of Jesus?
Luke said that when Jesus heard all this (ἀκούσας δὲ ταῦτα ὁ Ἰησοῦς), he was amazed or marveled at him (ἐθαύμασεν αὐτόν). He turned to the crowd that followed him (καὶ στραφεὶς τῷ ἀκολουθοῦντι αὐτῷ ὄχλῳ). He said (εἶπεν) with a solemn pronouncement (Λέγω ὑμῖν) that he had not found any such great faith in Israel (οὐδὲ ἐν τῷ Ἰσραὴλ τοσαύτην πίστιν εὗρον). This response of Jesus to the centurion was exactly the same as in Matthew, chapter 8:10, perhaps indicating a Q source. Matthew said that when Jesus heard the response of this centurion, he marveled, wondered, admired, or was amazed. He then turned to speak to his followers with a solemn pronouncement. He had not found anyone in Israel with so great of faith like this Roman, non-Jewish, centurion. His great belief, faith, and trust in the power of Jesus would be demanded of all the Jesus followers. Do you have faith like this Roman centurion?
This longer addition of Mark, is like the addition in Matthew, chapter 28:19-20. Once again, there was an emphasis on baptism that was not mentioned prior to the death and resurrection of Jesus. This Mark addition said that the one who believed (ὁ πιστεύσας) and was baptized (καὶ βαπτισθεὶς) would be saved (σωθήσεται). However, anyone who did not believe (ὁ δὲ ἀπιστήσας) would be condemned (κατακριθήσεται). Thus, this recommendation also brought a condemnation. Belief and baptism were important.
This is unique to Mark. Immediately (εὐθὺς), the father of the child cried out (κράξας ὁ πατὴρ τοῦ παιδίου ἔλεγεν) that he believed (Πιστεύω), in the first person singular. However, he wanted help with his unbelief (βοήθει μου τῇ ἀπιστίᾳ). This was a strong statement of belief that also recognized unbelief at the same time.
The preaching of Jesus was like that of John the Baptist. Matthew said that Jesus was proclaiming the same message as John the Baptist. It almost seemed like Jesus had become a disciple of John. The preaching messages of John the Baptist and Jesus were very simple and exactly the same. They both said that people should repent (μετανοεῖτε). People should turn their lives around, with a profound metanoia, a change of their spirit. Matthew, chapter 4:17, was very close to Mark here, except that Matthew always used the term “kingdom of heaven (ἡ βασιλεία τῶν οὐρανῶν)”, not “the kingdom of God (ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ),” as Mark does here. Matthew used this apocalyptic phrase, “kingdom of heaven” over 30 times, but he was the only one of the canonical gospel writers to use this term. Luke and John did not mention the content of Jesus’ initial preaching. Mark recounted that Jesus said (καὶ λέγων) that the time was completed or fulfilled (ὅτι Πεπλήρωται ὁ καιρὸς). The kingdom of God was at hand or coming near (καὶ ἤγγικεν ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ Θεοῦ). They had to repent or change their ways in a metanoia (μετανοεῖτε). They had to believe in the gospel or good news (καὶ πιστεύετε ἐν τῷ εὐαγγελίῳ). Belief or faith could be a noun, something believed or a verb, acting in a certain belief style.
This episode about the healing of the ruler’s daughter can be found in Mark, chapter 5:21 and Luke, chapter 8:40, except that there this leader had a name, Jairus, the leader of the synagogue. Here, he is only called a generic leader or ruler (ἄρχων). Apparently, this took place while Jesus was speaking to the people about his sayings (Ταῦτα αὐτοῦ λαλοῦντος αὐτοῖς). This unnamed leader or Jarius came and knelt before Jesus (ἰδοὺ ἄρχων εἷς προσελθὼν προσεκύνει αὐτῷ). He then spoke to Jesus telling him that his daughter had just died (λέγων ὅτι Ἡ θυγάτηρ μου ἄρτι ἐτελεύτησεν). There is no mention of her age here as in Luke, where she was 12 years old. In Mark, she was very sick, not dead. However, his belief in the power of Jesus was clear. He said that if Jesus came (ἀλλὰ ἐλθὼν), he could lay his hand on her (τὴν χεῖρά σου ἐπ’ αὐτήν). Then she would live (καὶ ζήσεται). This leader had a great belief in Jesus to raise the dead. Jesus then responded immediately, without saying anything. He simply got up (καὶ ἐγερθεὶς) with his disciples (καὶ οἱ μαθηταὶ αὐτοῦ). They followed this leader (ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἠκολούθει αὐτῷ).
A believing community has a creed, a code, and a ceremony that they share. Roman Catholics respect their teachers, who are presumed to be telling the truth, so that there is docility to Church teaching, admitting the ability to be taught. There are central beliefs which all Catholics must give the fullest level of assent, the defined dogma, such as the Trinity, One God with three persons, and belief in Jesus Christ, two natures both divine and human. Jesus was a real person who died and rose from the dead. The magisterium comes in the form of papal documents and ecumenical worldwide councils.