…. they were unschooled, ordinary men …. they had been with Jesus …. the crippled man healed standing with them – Acts 4:13,14
What kind of faith does the Lord require of us for Him to answer our requests or heal us?
Sometimes sincere believers with challenges are told by others
that ‘their faith is not enough for God to answer‘
…. if so, then … how much is faith is really ‘enough‘ ?
Where is the tipping point or passing mark?
Sometimes, we wished we have the great faith of others …
wishing somehow an instant faith infusion happens.
Does God only answer great faith?
A while back, was reading Matthew 8 & 9 … found some insights in His word which made things clearer, demystifying faith and healing.
This helped me to trust Him,
pray for the sick and see God restore bodies,
… and for some, through experiencing healing, they received Jesus.
Let’s keep our eyes on Him, … be patient,
… strengthened by His Word,
don’t get too hung up about prayer/faith techniques, or faith size(?),
simply … rest in Him,
as the Lord, Himself brings His healing,
…. brings His intervention,
in His time.
Sometimes, instantly, immediate
… sometimes, gradual,
other times, God has another plan.
trust Him, … keep our eyes on Him,
rest in Him.
While faith is about receiving from the Lord exactly what we hope for,
perservering in prayer while waiting for Him to intervene, … this too is faith.
Let’s examine the healings of 3 people – the Centurion’s servant, the ruler of synagogue, Jairus’ daughter, woman with a flow of blood.
(These 3 healings are also recorded in Luke 7 & 8)
Some background first,
In Matthew 8,
Matthew shares the promise of divine healing is one of the fulfillment of Jesus as the Messiah, … as prophsised by the in Isaiah 53.
Matthew 8:16,17 (NIV)
16 When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
“He took up our infirmities
and bore our diseases.”
Isaiah 53:4,5 (NIV)
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
After Jesus resurrection and ascension, Peter also quoted this promise in his epistle,
1 Peter 2:24 (NIV)
“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”
Based on Jesus finished work on the cross, we have been healed and saved.
The healing of the Centurion’s servant in Matthew 8,
Matthew 8:5-13 (NIV)
5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”
7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”
8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him,“Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.
The healing of a synagogue leader’s daughter, and a woman with a flow of blood in Matthew 9,
Matthew 9:18-26 (NIV)
18 While he was saying this, a synagogue leader came and knelt before him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.” 19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.
20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”
22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment.
23 When Jesus entered the synagogue leader’s house and saw the noisy crowd and people playing pipes, 24 he said, “Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.” But they laughed at him. 25 After the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took the girl by the hand, and she got up. 26 News of this spread through all that region.
In Matthew 8 & 9,
The Centurion said,
“But just say the word, and my servant will be healed“
The synagogue leader said,
“come and put your hand on her, and she will live.”
The woman with the flow of blood said to herself,
“If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”
What do you see?
All 3 expressions of faith were different,
but the same kind of faith
… a ‘will be healed’ faith.
A conviction, .. an assurance, a confidence in the Lord, God
to intervene, to heal.
Hebrews 11:1 (NASB, NKJV)
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Faith is fanned by hope.
“Hope means believing in spite of the evidence,
then watching the evidence change.”
– Jim Wallis
“Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance.
It is laying hold of His willingness.”
― Martin Luther
Though the expressions of faith were different in the 3 situations,
the outcome was the same … healing.
Hence, there is no fixed formula or prayer/fasting technique,
only faith in Jesus
(i.e. … not faith in our faith … or our faith works)
For the Centurion, he said, “I do not deserve to have you come under my roof.”
Hence, the Centurion did not ask Jesus to walk all the way to his home, … rather he had faith that when Jesus said the word, … his servant would be healed …
(no physical touch required, just speak the word).
Even though, Jesus did offer to go to his home — “Shall I come and heal him”
For the synagogue leader, he had faith too … he had faith that when Jesus followed him and walked all the way to his home, …& lay his hands on her, … his daughter would be healed.
And Jesus obliged accordingly :-).
Jesus is willing to take the time … to walk with him the extra miles …
Jesus is willing to do that for folks like us who do not have a Centurion’s faith, Praise God!
And for the woman with the issue of blood …
she had faith that when she touched Jesus’ cloak, she would be healed,
i.e. just a desperate touch.
no words spoken.
And Jesus faithfully responded to her faith as well,
He heard the desperate silent cry of of her heart,
and healed her.
As the outcome was the same, i.e. healing,
the synagogue leader did not have any less faith than the Centurion,
Some of us are like the synagogue leader,
while others are like the Centurion,
while others are like the woman.
Hence, faith in God to intervene or heal
… is not dependent on the size of our faith .
.. or saying/praying the right words or rituals/formulas
… on who He really is, the Lord God Almighty.
In fact, Jesus said that a mustard-seed sized faith is sufficient,
faith as small as a mustard seed,
is mountain moving faith.
Matthew 17:20 (NIV)
… Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Mustard seed sized faith is enough.
Hence, this faith is within the reach of anyone, anywhere,
… not just only ‘great’ or well-known men/women of God,
or people with a gift of faith … or elders/leaders,
or people well versed with the Bible … or intercessors.
The synagogue leader was a Jewish religious leader, devout, certified, qualified, well-respected and well-versed with the scripture, … a man of prayer,
a servant of God.
The Centurion was a Gentile, a lay person … a man of war, … a honored member of the conquering force, the Romans, on the Jewish nation/land, an enemy of the the Jews. He did not grow up knowing the scriptures, and as a Gentile, … not a partaker of God’s promise with the Jews.
Thank God, his ancestry or the nature of his job did not matter.
Jesus responded to His faith, compassion and love for his sick servant.
In fact Jesus commended him,
Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.
The woman is unknown, and unclean (due to her blood condition),
… forgotten, ignored by others,
yet, she’s precious, esteemed in Jesus’ eyes,
a child of God;
her status in society, her uncleaness did not matter to Jesus.
Her uncleaness prevented her from entering the temple with everyone else,
…. but not from Jesus.
Jesus came to where she lived.
Her simple touch … touched Jesus heart …
the woman was healed at that moment
Truly … God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34 KJV)
No one is un-deserving or un-clean
from our Lord’s faithful, loving, healing touch,
A simple faith that’s within the reach of anyone.
humble servants of the Lord,
… with mustard-seed faith
in the extraordinary living Lord.
All of them received,
by God’s amazing grace and mercy.
James 5:16-18 (NASB)
16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
17 Elijah was a human being, even as we are. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years.18 Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.
Elijah was a human being, just like us.
Righteous by God’s grace.
This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
Romans 3:22 (NIV)
God uses ordinary, humble people with mustard seed faith in Him.
In Acts, at the first healing miracle of the lame man, Peter addressed the crowd who had gathered because of the miracle:
Acts 3:12,16 (NIV)
12 Peter said to them: “Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk? …
… 16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see.
Not by our own power or godliness,
only by faith in the name of Jesus
… by His grace and mercy,
not our human effort.
Faith in the great Lord, who loves us and gave Himself up for us.
This is real love—not that we loved God,
but that he loved us
and sent his Son
as a sacrifice
to take away our sins. (1 John 4:10 NLT)
Jesus said to the woman, “your faith has healed you.”
In the urgency to reach the synagogue’s home,
although, Jesus was interrupted by the woman’s faith,
… Jesus healed her 🙂
He’s never too busy to respond to anyone’s silent heart cry.
Irrespective of a faith like the Centurion who does not need Jesus to be physically present … or a faith like the synagogue leader who needs Jesus to be physically present to heal.
Jesus is willing to take the time & effort to walk with us together to our home
… to meet us at our level of faith … no matter how small … even to the size of a mustard seed.
Thank God, … Jesus is more than willing to meet me at my level of faith,
(… honestly, in most situations, my faith is tiny.)
In our weakness, we find strength in His infinite power, grace, love, and faithful Word.
Jesus, the Lord of the whole universe
came down to earth
to meet us at our level,
to show us who He is.
19 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
And He saved them out of their distresses.
20 He sent His word and healed them,
And delivered them from their destructions.
21 Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
22 Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving,
And declare His works with rejoicing.
(Psalm 107:19-22 NKJV)
In Matthew 8 & 9, there is also another healing described in detail,
Matthew 9:27-29 (NIV)
27 When Jesus departed from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out and saying, “Son of David, have mercy on us!”
28 And when He had come into the house, the blind men came to Him.
And Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.”
29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith let it be to you.”
30 And their eyes were opened.
Jesus said, ““Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
The blind men said, “Yes, Lord.”
Jesus said, “According to your faith let it be to you.”
According to whose faith?
Our faith … great … or tiny as a mustard seed,
its by His grace and mercy.
From the blind men’s reply,
faith begins with believing Jesus is able, and has the power to meet our needs.
A faith in who Jesus is.
…. a faith that’s within the reach of anyone.
As Jesus said to the Centurion, “Let it be done just as you believed it would”
His daughter was dying … there was an urgency to bring Jesus to his home asap … every moment counts ….
In the account of the healing of the synagogue leader’s daughter,
there is an extra detail in Mark & Luke gospels,
Luke 8:49,50 (NIV)
49 While He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, “Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.”
50 But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.”
Jesus said, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”
Mark description: As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” (Mark 8:50 NKJV)
Notice, … on hearing the unexpected news …
as soon as Jesus heard,
without missing a beat,
Jesus immediately encouraged him, reassured him,
keeping his hope alive.
So then faith comes by hearing,
and hearing by the word of God.
(Romans 10:17 NKJV)
He cares. Trust Him.
He truly wants us to have the answer, … as much as we want as well.
Prayer is not about trying to overcome His reluctance to answer.
God does not answer immediately … or delay …
or healing is not instant,
unexpectedly our situation changes drastically.
In the midst of such storms …
Jesus encourages us, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”
His word gives us courage to stand, … encourages us.
In such moments, His grace carries us through.
He knows we are weak … in the midst of our storm,
and in need of His grace & strength,
He says. “I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will be with you”
10 Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
13 For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand,
Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’
Isaiah 41:10, 13 (NKJV)
But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
3 For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior; …
(Isaiah 43:1-3 NKJV)
Sometimes God delivers us from the storm,
sometimes He takes us through the storm.
no matter what happens,
I am with you;
I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
Faith is also trusting Him,
in spite of the situation we are facing,
… trusting Him,
… keeping our eyes on Him.
Micah 7:7 (NASB)
But as for me, I will watch expectantly for the Lord;
I will wait for the God of my salvation.
My God will hear me.
God is almighty and sovereign,
He is not a ‘genie in a bottle’.
He is God and we are not.
Faith is not just about receiving answers to prayer,
Perservering on with the Lord, is also faith.
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that
they should always pray and not give up.
Luke 18:1 (NIV)
Back to the story,
in spite of receiving the news about the girl’s condition from the messenger,
… Jesus still continued his journey on to the synagogue leader’s home.
I wonder, what was on the synagogue leader’s mind
as he approached his home …
What would he find?
What would Jesus do?
Didn’t Jesus say, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”
What does Jesus mean?
… waiting … trusting … holding on to Jesus & His Word …
as they briskly walked to the home …
Earlier, Jesus had already agreed or promised to go to the home to heal his daughter.
Hence, independent of his daughter’s critical condition … Jesus was on their case,
He said, “…she will be made well.”
When Jesus reached the home,
Jesus did not pray for healing …
but something more awesome,
God is faithful, …
He loves us.
… in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28 NIV)
“Do not be afraid; only believe.”
“According to your faith let it be to you.”
“Let it be done just as you believed it would”
God honors simple faith (click here) – woman with flow of blood
by 林弟兄, bro Lim
June 30, 2015
Copyright © 林弟兄 bro Lim, Laymanointing, 2014-2016 – All Rights Reserved
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