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Matthew 20

October 5, 2009 Leave a comment

choke holdMatthew 20

Have you ever been in need? Have you ever required mercy? Maybe you’ve wrestled with your dad or a sibling, and they put you in a hold you couldn’t get out of. They wouldn’t let you out till you cried “uncle” or “mercy.”

That’s not what I’m talking about, however. As Americans, most of us don’t really know what it is to be in need. Even if our families struggle financially, most of us are still wealthy when compared to the rest of the world. Chances are you didn’t worry whether you would eat today. You have probably never feared being thrown in prison and tortured. Most of us have never come within inches of death.

We don’t understand mercy.

Yet all of us are in need of it. All of us have sinned (Romans 3.23), and therefore, we all deserve eternal death (Romans 6.23). We are all in need of Jesus’ mercy to save us.

The two blind men knew what it was to be in need. Since they couldn’t see, they couldn’t work. Since they couldn’t work, they couldn’t make money to buy food, clothes, shelter, etc. Anyone could easily take advantage of them. They were vulnerable. They lived in fear.

They cried out to Jesus for mercy. Jesus had compassion on them and gave them their sight.

Perhaps, we are the ones who are actually blind. We don’t see that we are in need of mercy. We don’t see that we are lost without Jesus. Until we do, can we really experience Christ’s mercy?

Realize that you are in need. You will experience eternal death without Jesus. But he died so you could live. If you cry out to him and are united with him (Romans 6.3-7), he will rescue you.

 

Prayer for Today

Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me. Amen.

 

“Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my cry for mercy.” Psalm 86.6

Matthew 9

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

Matthew 9

Again we have more of Jesus’ healings in Matthew 9. First he heals the paralytic and forgives his sins (and gets into a spiritual throwdown with the Pharisees). Then the woman with internal bleeding is healed just by touching his clothes. After this, Jesus raises a little girl back to life. Next he heals two blind men, and wraps things up by healing the demon-possessed man who couldn’t speak.

But tucked away in all these healings is one sentence spoken by Jesus which you may have missed. Honestly, I’ve read it countless times without really catching it. But this time it finally jumped out at me and smacked me across the face. (Figuratively speaking, that is. Though, it is cool to imagine scriptures actually jumping off the page and slapping someone. Try it sometime.)

The two blind men ask Jesus to heal them. He asks them if they believe that he can heal them. They say that they do. Then, Jesus says something crazy: “According to your faith will it be done to you,” (verse 29). In other words, the level of their faith in Jesus’ ability to heal them will determine how well they are healed.

Both of them must have had great faith, because verse 30 says their sight was restored. I wonder though, what would have happened if their faith hadn’t been that strong. Like, let’s say that on a faith scale of 1-10, their faith had been a 5. Would one eye have been able to see, but the other one still be blind? Or maybe both eyes could see, but they’d be really near-sighted, or maybe color blind.

It’s kind of scary when you think about it. Does God do this with us? Does he help us based on how much faith we have? If I ask God to remove my cancer (hypothetical), but I believe there is a 30% chance he can’t or won’t, will God only remove 70% of my cancer? I don’t know, but it is definitely something to think about.

These two men had great faith, and Jesus opened their eyes because of it. I really think there is something to learn here. The more faith we have in Jesus, the more he will open our eyes. The more we will be able to see him. The more we will be able to make sense of the world and our own lives. The more we will see his incredible love and his plans for us.

You can’t put your faith in someone you don’t know. That’s why it is so important to spend time with God by reading his word and praying to him. The more time you spend with him, the more your faith will be able to increase, and the more God will be able to do in your life.

 

Prayer for Today

Father, open my eyes. I believe you have the power to work miracles in my life. I want to know you more. Help me to trust you more. Amen.

 

“O LORD Almighty, blessed is the man who trusts in you.” Psalm 84.12