The other day I was enjoying a read through Matthew 8 and 9.
I began to notice a pattern.
Jesus certainly took initiative to help people. He went from town to town, healing the sick, casting out demons, feeding thousands.
All of that he did without being asked to do it. He did it just out of compassion for them.
But then you see another layer. Jesus responded to people, as the person took the lead. The person set the rules.
Matt 8:2,3 – a man with leprosy came and knelt before Jesus, because he believed that Jesus could heal him. And Jesus responded to his faith and healed him.
Matt 8:28,29 – two blind men believed that Jesus could make them see. They followed Jesus right into the house where Jesus was staying. Jesus responded to their faith and healed them.
Matt 9:19-22 – a woman with constant bleeding decided that if she just touched the hem of Jesus’ robe, she would be healed. The crowd was pressing on Jesus’ robe, but Jesus responded to her faith, and her way of being healed.
Matt 9:18,19 – “My daughter has just died,” he said, “but you can bring her back to life again if you just come and lay your hand on her.” So Jesus and his disciples got up and went with him.
You see Jesus graciously letting people set the agenda. Determining how they wanted Jesus to act. If they had faith, that was sufficient for Jesus, and he didn’t mind their method.
If they needed Jesus to do something or go somewhere, Jesus seemed willing to oblige.
Then we read Matt 8:6-8 – a man was telling Jesus that his servant was paralyzed and in terrible pain. And Jesus agreed to go with him to heal him. But the person stopped Jesus. Here it is:
“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.”
Jesus said he had not found such faith in all of Israel! And he instantly healed him.
But what was Jesus’ response to the Pharisees?
Matt 12:38,39 – One day some teachers of religious law and Pharisees came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, we want you to show us a miraculous sign to prove your authority.” But Jesus replied, “Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign; but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah…”
Jesus responds to our faith.
I’m not saying that Jesus is forced to do something simply because we believe. It might not be his will. He might have greater plans that we could not possibly understand.
Yet, Jesus does respond to our faith. I think of Jesus’ statement in John 16:24 –
“Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
In case you are forgetting to ask, forgetting to believe, remember to put your faith in Jesus who is capable, rather than putting your faith in yourself or others.
“…power belongs to God, and that to you O Lord belongs steadfast love.” Psalms 62:12