Saturday, July 9, 2011

Do You Believe?

Matthew 9:27-31 "As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him calling out, 'Have mercy on us, Son of David!' When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, 'Do you believe that I can do this?' ' Yes, Lord,' they replied. Then he touched their eyes and said, 'According to your faith will it be done to you'; and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, 'See that no one knows about this.' But they went out and spread the news about him all over that region."

What desperate need do you have in your life right now that you are bringing to the Lord for healing? Maybe it is a broken marriage, or a sick or rebellious child. Maybe you have a job situation that you just can't handle anymore. Maybe you have an illness that is affecting you personally.

In the ninth chapter of Matthew, two blind men began to approach Jesus. In this day and time, blindness was a double curse. Aside from the fact that they would have been unable to work to sustain themselves, thus reducing them to beggar status, blindness was considered to be a punishment for sin. These men would have been some of the lowest in the culture. In spite of their status, there are some things we can learn from the faith of these men:
  • They pursued Jesus. They didn't sit around and wait for Jesus to come to them or even for a friend to take them to a healing service. They got up on their own and followed him.
  • They acknowledged who Jesus was. By calling him the Son of David, they were saying that they believed him to be the Messiah. They were making him Lord and putting their hope in him.
  • They were humble. They didn't run after Jesus demanding that he heal them from their blindness. They simply started by asking for mercy. As beggars, what they were most used to asking for was money from every person who walked past them. They did not ask for support or make any financial demands on Jesus other than asking for him to have mercy on them.
  • They were persistant. It appears that Jesus didn't respond to them immediately. They followed him for a distance and then the scripture says he went indoors. They followed him home. They weren't taking no for an answer.
  • They had faith. When Jesus finally spoke to them, he asked them a question: Do you believe I can do this? There does not appear to be any hesitation in their response. Immediately they said, "Yes Lord". Jesus acknowledged their faith and told them that was what had gained their healing.
  • They became evangelists. Once Jesus healed them, even though he told them not to, they went everywhere telling what he had done for them. They scripture says they told the entire region.
Sometimes it seems we want to come to church, sing a song, listen to the sermon, say a quick prayer and expect God to come to our rescue. Are you pursuing Jesus in your life? Are you passionate about him? Do you come to him and passionately present your needs to him? I don't believe those blind men knocked on the door and stood their calmly and quietly while they politely asked his mercy. I think they ran. I think they pounded on the door. I think they shouted to get his attention. Repeatedly. They persisted. They had faith.

And then - when we have prayed over a situation and Jesus has answered our prayer, how do we respond? Do we sit back with a smile on our face and thanksgiving in our heart? Maybe. But then what do we do with it? Say a prayer of thanksgiving to God and never tell another soul? People can argue theology and doctrine with us all day long, but noone can ever argue with your testimony of a personal experience that you have had with Jesus Christ. We need to preach the gospel and we need to tell others of the message in scripture, but they will be won more quickly by our personal testimony than any other message we can give them. These men went to everyone they could find and told them what Jesus had done for them. A powerful message.

Are we pursuing him passionately and persistently? Are we humbly asking for mercy? Are we acknowledging who he is or just treating him like a vending machine where we can stick in a prayer and pull out what we want? Do we still have faith when the answers aren't immediate? Are we sharing his work in our lives with others? I believe Jesus is just as willing to show mercy and respond to our requests as he was to the blind men. We just have to get up and go after him.

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