there is something highly profound about the word faith. Every so often I’ll be hanging out with people that don’t share my religious beliefs and the word “faith” will come into conversation. Faith is usually described as this intangible, unexplainable hope in the unseen that is strong, resilient, and brilliant.
“I have faith that grandma will be healed”
“Oh, she has such faith through her situation with cancer”
Then there is the Christian vernacular that includes this word “faith”. In the Judeo-Christian vernacular, faith infers some kind of hope in God or unspeakable perseverance in Jesus’ name. It’s funny, the word is used less in the context my non-Christian friends use it and more in the fashion of a classic “buzz” word that could mean a number of things. Could it be that non-Christians somehow understand the word “faith” more than the rest of the contemporary, American church?
I was reading Matthew 9 where Jesus is confronted by a paralyzed man and his friends who desired healing for their friend. The Scripture tells us that “Jesus saw their faith [and] he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”
Jesus saw their faith.
What is their faith exactly?
In my limited and arrogant millenial perspective (for I am no Bible scholar) this faith the paralyzed man’s friends had was the persevering and almost-blind belief in a carpenter claiming to be the son of God to heal their friend of paralysis. These friends were so desperate for restoration for their friend that they risked public humiliation and expended time and energy simply to get in front of a man who could or could not have been the Son of God.
These same friends approached Jesus with boldness, child-likeness, and a spirit of persevering simply so that their friend might be healed.
Friends, this is the type of faith that I want to have. I want to be filled with desperation that I might know the Son of God and do what he says. This is the kind of faith that brings tears to my eyes because, on one hand, I know that believing in a God I cannot see nor touch is a truly foolish thing. I have no other option because, in my eyes, I’ve tried other supposedly viable lifestyles that have brought me nowhere, but more pain and self-harm. I have no other option, but Jesus; he, in a sense, is my last resort. However, on the other hand, I fully believe in the lavish and beautiful promises Christ has made to me, to us, as his children, and his ability to fulfill those promises of a new Earth, full restoration, and heaven coming down to Earth.
As we press through each day, we can be reminded that we come to Christ as broken, desolate creatures dressed in rags and loin cloth. We were the dirty, lepers that had no hope in our own redemption. But Christ calls us to himself and gives us the gift of faith that we might know him and move from sinners locked in bondage to children of the living God. Thank you Lord for faith…maranatha come Lord Jesus.