Thee Examples of Faith

September 25, 2008 at 8:26 am | Posted in Devotional thoughts, Grace and Faith | Leave a comment

Mark 7-10.  In my message last Sunday, I made reference to the centurion whose trusted servant was sick.  His recognition of Jesus’ incredible authority serves as a prime example of faith. (His story is found in Matthew 8)  In these chapters of Mark, we see three more great examples of faith.

The first example is the Syrophoenician woman who came to Jesus on behalf of her daughter (7:24-30).  Jesus made, what seems to us in our culture, a rude comment about not giving children’s bread to the dogs.  (It appears as though he called her a dog, but he was only saying that he came to the Jews first.  He knew what her response would be – that it would serve as an example to us.)  My paraphrase of her response is, “I know I’m nothing, but you are so great even the smallest amount of your power and authority will make a difference.”  Apparently she knew who Jesus was and that only a word from him, even spoken from a distance, could cast the demon out of her daughter.  True faith is understanding that Jesus is everything and we are nothing, that even the crumbs of his life are enough for us.

The second example is the father of a son who is also demon possessed (8:14-27).  His exchange with Jesus goes like this, “‘If you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.’  ‘“If you can”?’ said Jesus.  ‘Everything is possible for him who believes.’”  That is followed by a response I love and have often quoted to God in my own weak faith, “I do believe; help my unbelief!”  True faith recognizes that there might be doubts in the mind, but cries out to Jesus anyway.  Too often, we are afraid to admit doubt, as though it would show our faith weaker.  Instead, thoughts of doubt should force us to depend on God more.  This father demonstrates that kind of faith.

The final example is blind Bartimaeus (10:46-52).  He cries out to Jesus as helpless, even when all around him tried to discourage it.  Peer pressure and protocol could not dissuade his appeal.

That’s great faith.  It recognizes that Jesus is our all-in-all and that we are nothing in comparison; it recognizes that doubts may arise in our minds and doesn’t deny them; it calls out to Jesus regardless of doubts, peer pressure and protocol.  May that be our kind of faith!  Jesus we do believe; help our unbelief!

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