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Pointers along the way #28

Demystifying faith
- Jacob Ninan

Some people make faith look so mysterious, difficult, lofty and rare that ordinary folks like us think we will never be able to have it. Yet it was ordinary people who had faith in the days of Jesus, while the scholars and VIPs rejected Him. So true faith must be something within the reach of all of us. Let us look at a few instances of true faith.

Once when Jesus was inside a crowded house, some people opened up the roof to lower a paralysed man inside (Mk.2:1-5). It says Jesus saw their faith. What did He see? Just that they believed He could heal, and expected Him to. A Roman centurion's faith was seen in that he believed Jesus could heal his servant with just a word (Mt.8:8). A Canaanite woman was admired for her faith because she asked Jesus persistently for deliverance for her demon possessed daughter (Mt.15:22-28). A woman got healed for believing that a touch of Jesus's garment was enough to heal her (Mt.9:21).

What was their faith? Just that they believed in Jesus' supernatural ability to heal and deliver. They knew who He was and what He could do for them. Once He asked two blind men whether they believed that He was able to give them their sight (Mt.9:28). That was the crucial issue.

In one place Jesus was not able to do many miracles because of their unbelief (Mk.6:5). Their unbelief was that they did not expect anything great from Jesus because they thought of Him as an ordinary Man whom they knew very well! (v.3).

So in simple terms, faith is to expect great things from Jesus. When we go to Jesus with everything that bothers us, that is an expression of our faith. Unbelief is to think that Jesus is not able or willing to do anything for us.

It is not that He will always do what we want, because we do not always know what is good for us. But when we have faith, we open the way for Jesus to come in and take action. If we are unbelieving, we shut the door ourselves.