Mark 10:49, “Take heart, rise, He is calling you.”
A quick study shows that the Greek words translated “take heart,” appear in the NT only in relation to Jesus, specifically in instances where Jesus enters in to and meets someone in the midst of their darkness, fear, or suffering (Matt.9:2,22; 14:27, Mk.10:49, Acts 23:11).
In every instance the call to take heart arises from the presence of Christ within an experience of sickness, brokenness, fear, or need. We might say that “take heart” is an Immanuel word, a command uniquely enabled by the incarnation…indeed, uniquely enabled by Christ’s descent in and as our flesh to the depths of our suffering on Calvary and by His resurrection from those depths (also in and as our flesh) through the resurrection.
It is a word spoken into the depths by one who is in the depths with us, and yet, simultaneously, it is a word spoken from the heights of life and joy and hope. Only one who dwells in the high and holy place and also with him who is of a lowly and crushed spirit—only one whose high and exalted throne of heavenly glory is established on the high and exalted cross of earthly suffering, and so who gathers earthly suffer up into His own sovereign rule of love—only such a one as this can speak the authoritative “Take Heart” into the depths of human agony.
This word is possible only because our God—in Christ—has chosen to be with us…with us in our sin and paralysis, with us in our chronic impurity, with us in our storm-tossed boat, with us in our desperation and blindness, with us in our prison…..and with us in all of these not merely as one who suffers them with us, but as one who overcomes them in His own embrace of them, and so is able to speak life and hope and light into them with absolute authority.
Take heart….take courage….be of good cheer….This is the word God speaks into the broken world for those who have an ear to hear, and He speaks this word chiefly in the incarnate Word…our Lord, Jesus Christ….May we hear and obey.