Faith on Display

Today’s Reading: Matthew 7:13-29, 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-17, 7:36-50

Out of faith came healing…

When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.”

Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”

But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!…”

Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.” And the young servant was healed that same hour. – Matthew 8:5-10, 13

No one would have expected a Roman officer to have faith in Jesus, yet his faith was strong enough to believe that Jesus could simply speak the healing into being. And that is what Jesus did.

HE TOOK THE FAITH OF A POWERFUL MAN AND DISPLAYED THE POWER OF AN OMNIPOTENT GOD.

Out of compassion came healing and then perhaps faith…

Soon afterward Jesus went with his disciples to the village of Nain, and a large crowd followed him. A funeral procession was coming out as he approached the village gate. The young man who had died was a widow’s son, and a large crowd from the village was with her. When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. “Don’t cry!” he said. Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. “Young man,” he said, “I tell you, get up.” Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk! And Jesus gave him back to his mother. – Luke 7:11-15

There is no mention of the widow’s faith here; no mention of anyone requesting that Jesus bring this young man back from the dead. Yet Jesus, out of compassion, did something wonderful for this woman and her son, as well as for everyone else who was watching. Jesus gave this mother back her son. If there was no faith before, there certainly was now.

HE TOOK THE SORROW OF A GRIEVING MOTHER AND DISPLAYED THE COMPASSION OF A LOVING GOD.

There are times when God does something wonderful for us because we ask and times when God does something wonderful for us in spite of the fact that we do not ask. As a result of our faith God moves and in order to grow our faith God moves.

Out of faith comes forgiveness, which brings healing…

One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat. When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.

When the Pharisees who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”

Then Jesus answered his thoughts. “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have something to say to you.”

“Go ahead, Teacher,” Simon replied.

Then Jesus told him this story: “A man loaned money to two people – 500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces of silver to the other. But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?”

Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.”

“That’s right,” Jesus said. Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.

“I tell you, her sins – and they are many – have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”

The men at the table said among themselves, “Who is this man that he goes around forgiving sins?”

And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” – Luke 7:36-50

This woman had faith in Jesus and her sins were forgiven. But beyond forgiveness, this woman needed healing from her past. Therefore, Jesus also gave her peace.

JESUS TOOK THE REGRET OF A SINFUL WOMAN AND DISPLAYED THE FORGIVENESS OF A SAVING GOD.

What do you need from Jesus today? Do you need healing? Do you need to recognize what God is doing in your life and allow it to grow your faith? Do you need forgiveness or the healing God gives after forgiveness in order to speak peace where condemnation continues to be your enemy? I pray God gives you both what you need and what you ask for today. I also pray that you display your faith by asking God for what you desire today. Remember, He is OMNIPOTENT. Remember, He is a LOVING God. Remember, He is a SAVING God.

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