Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Matthew 7-10


Faith is the over-riding theme of these chapters and the theme of this blog. The whole gospel message is revolves around this one mysterious thing.

In Matthew 7, Jesus says:

7 "Ask, and God will give to you. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will open for you. 8 Yes, everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. And everyone who knocks will have the door opened.

We need only the faith to seek God in order to find Him.

In Matthew 8, the sick are healed when they believe that Jesus has the power to set them free of their infirmities. Some are healed by their own faith, and others are healed through the faith of someone who loves them. Jesus calls his followers to leave the lives they know and follow Him by faith. Then He chastens them for their fears and lack of faith when the storms come to the lake they are crossing.

In Matthew 9 – more healings, more callings by faith. Jesus makes a significant comment that His followers do not need to fast while He is with them.

Matthew 10 – Jesus calls His followers to put the faith He has been demanding of them into practice.

'8 Heal the sick, raise the dead to life again, heal those who have skin diseases, and force demons out of people. I give you these powers freely, so help other people freely.9 Don't carry any money with you—gold or silver or copper. 10 Don't carry a bag or extra clothes or sandals or a walking stick. Workers should be given what they need.

I can imagine standing before Jesus and getting these marching orders. I remember Sunday afternoons in college, hanging out with my friends in the band’s marching field practicing flag football plays. It was fun and relaxed, and we messed up a lot but it didn’t really matter. Then one Tuesday night we found ourselves under the field lights with uniforms and referees, and another team staring us down over the football. Suddenly it was like- OK, you’ve been shown what to do, you’ve practiced, and now it’s time to put it out there and see if you’re for real. I’m sure the apostles felt like I did that night. Unprepared. Unsure. Except losing at flag football is nothing like going out with no food or clothes to work miracles by faith in a man you’ve known for a few weeks.

How did they do it? They had known their God much longer than a few weeks and they somehow knew that Jesus was a part of that same God. They couldn’t have understood it, but they must have known in their hearts. I think the faith we are called to have in God through the power of the Holy Spirit is not really all that different from the faith we can read about here.