Saturday, January 03, 2009

Have Faith

As I reread through the gospels... it continues to amaze me how much weight Jesus puts in individual's faith through his day to day actions. In nearly (if not all) every miracle, the individual's faith is the hinge upon whether Jesus performs the miracle or not. Whether they be Jew or gentile, their faith was paramount to the outcome. Take this as an example:

The Faith of a Syrophoenician Woman
24Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. 25In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit came and fell at his feet. 26The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter.

27"First let the children eat all they want," he told her, "for it is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to their dogs."

28"Yes, Lord," she replied, "but even the dogs under the table eat the children's crumbs."

29Then he told her, "For such a reply, you may go; the demon has left your daughter."

30She went home and found her child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.

Even though in many ways it appears that Jesus is putting her away, she has heard of this Jewish Rabbi who could heal the lame, blind, diseased and possessed. It is entirely likely that this was her last hope, having tried everything else, and that faith, knowing of the relationship between Jews and their neighbours that causes Jesus to heal her daughter.

The implications are staggering, when put in context. Numerous times Jesus turns people away because the measure of their faith comes up short. Other times he challenges them, only for their faith to stand. In one case, the man asking even begs Jesus to provide him with the faith to believe.

I often wonder if I have that desperation in my life. Do I really need it? Is it really my air? My water? Or am I coming back out of habit? It's a danger I have to be aware of constantly, and one that reminds me of what a great God I serve! I merely need to have faith.

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