Jesus healed people, this we know. He healed them because of their faith be it little or great. Two instances in the New Testament stand out where He healed someone and commented that they had great faith. Only two out of all the healings that took place. Most of the time, Jesus was describing people’s faith as little faith.
When I look at these reports, what stands out to me is that the little faith was usually spoken of in regards to Jewish people, whereas the great faith was spoken about Gentiles. By the time of Jesus’ life, the Pharisees had increased God’s Ten Commandments to over 600 rules people had to follow to be righteous and to have the blessings of God on their life. The Jews would be terribly conscious of their failure to perform all those rules, I would think. Who could keep over 600 rules and have time to live life? It’s no wonder they had little faith to believe they could receive a miracle, they were too aware of their inability to keep enough rules to deserve a miracle. The Gentiles, however, didn’t live under such a burden. They wouldn’t see a massive pile of failures between themselves and Jesus as the Jews would have. They could come without the guilt and condemnation that failure flavors our lives with and present themselves just as they are – someone in need, someone who heard Jesus had answers, someone who saw Jesus’s love and grace and mercy as greater than the sum total of their failures. They focused on Jesus while the Jews focused on their ability to deserve healing based on their ability to keep the law. As Dr. Phil would say, “how’s that Law working for you now?”
The truth is the Law didn’t work for them. Jesus didn’t come to abolish the Law, however, He came to fulfill it’s demands on our lives so that we could live under the grace and freedom of not having to be under the Law. Trying to keep laws and rules about our relationship with Jesus only keeps us from Him; trusting in His grace and mercy draws us to Him. The Gentiles had the advantage there; the Jews just didn’t get it. Great faith vs little faith. The question becomes am I healed because I adhere to rules and laws or am I healed because I know Jesus took care of all of that on my behalf because He knew I couldn’t do it? Do I earn the blessings of God in my life or do I simply accept them by faith?
How I want it to be said of me that I have great faith. All to often, though, I am too aware of my failures to feel deserving of Your blessings. Help me to trust more in the forgiveness You offer and the grace You provide that frees me from the burden of performance. I come to You now believing for my healing and I thank You for it now. In Your name, I pray, Amen.
picture credit: westmainbaptist.com
- Crumbs from the Table (ericrballard.com)
- Crazy Faith (mikeforchrist.com)
- Jesus and the Syrophoenician (james1948.wordpress.com)
- Day 284: Matthew 15-17; Contrast of Faiths (orcministries.wordpress.com)
- The Cart Before the Horse (devomom.wordpress.com)