Two main themes strike me as I read this chapter and after I wrote them out decided to break this into two separate posts. The first is the importance of Faith in God’s ability and willingness to transform our circumstances in order for Him to do that work in our lives. Since we covered that yesterday, I will only make a couple quick observations at the bottom. Feel free to make more that I have missed. Tomorrow, we’ll show that Jesus is not looking for the “religious types who seem to live their perfect “holy” life, but instead wants those who are hungry for more of Him.
Jesus heals one paralytic, a group of blind men, a woman who had bled for 12 years, and raises one girl from the dead in this chapter. In each case, the faith of those he ministered to seems to be crucial to His healing them. He specifically said this (v.2 & v.22), He asked to verify their faith before healing the blind men (v.28), and in the one case where the girl was dead and it was impossible to determine if she had faith in Him, He cleared the room of all the people who sneered at Him (thus demonstrating their lack of faith, even though her father had had the faith in Jesus to ask Him to raise her)(v.25). We spoke yesterday of the importance of you exercising faith in your day to day life, but this last point shows us that we should be careful about who we allow around us when we are at the work that God calls us to. When God calls you to something great, it will almost always be something that many of those around you think is impossible and a waste of time.
When Jesus encountered this situation in the room with the dead girl, He cleared them out so that the room was only filled with those who believed in God for this miracle before He asked God to raise her from the dead. This is similar to when He said that He could not perform miracles in His hometown because there were so many there who did not believe in Him. This is an amazing thing. Jesus, the living embodiment of God on earth, was constrained by a lack of faith in those He wanted to bless! Read the rest of this entry »