When we finally say, “Yes, I believe you can save me” to Jesus we take our first baby step of faith. We step away from world thinking and behavior that teaches us to do life completely on our own to make one step closer to Kingdom living. Kingdom living is not without pain and suffering, however. Kingdom of God living is risky, wonderful, scary, abundant with eternal life, tedious, and full of the glory of God. Kingdom faith living is rewarding even with the battle scars of consistently keeping evil at bay by the power of Jesus the Victor!
Risky faith is stepping from our comfort of knowing to a life of expectant, ongoing adventure of not knowing what will happen next but knowing the One we follow does know. Sometimes I call it obsessive, determined obedience. “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey” we sing, but do we really live it?
Do we really believe what we say we believe about God, Jesus, His Son and the Holy Spirit (Three-in-One) really real? Do live like we say we believe? What does living faithfully look like?
Desperation, mixed with risky faith, led two people who believed in Jesus enough to seek His touch of glorious healing. A twelve-year-old girl is dying in the arms of her father, Jairus, one of the religious leaders of a synagogue. At this point in Jesus’ ministry, most of the religious leaders have gathered in unity to hate Jesus because He speaks with wisdom and authority, not in their traditionally ways of using religion to wield power over people. Jesus comes and teaches what life is like living as a believing child in the Kingdom of a loving God. Jairus has heard and believes enough to know that Jesus can raise the dead so he comes and kneels at his feet. This act of worship and faith brings Jesus to his feet because real faith no matter how small or large moves the heart of God!
I am reminded of what Matthew records later about faith, “He (Jesus) replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)
On the way, a woman who has suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding, making her unclean to the community according to Jewish laws, risks her life to make her way through the crowd. She falls to her knees as Jesus passes by and reaches out to touch the hem of His robe. This risky act of faith moved the heart of God! Jesus felt the power of God transfer to this woman providing complete healing!
Risky faith moves the heart of God while removing our mountain of doubt as we make that first determined step toward the One and Only who is Life. Pray expectantly. Live with expectant faith, a faith that knows God hears and responds with His best for us!
“Daughter, your faith has made you well…” Can you hear Jesus saying this to us when we act in faith, not thinking about what the world thinks?
Before Jesus arrives, He hears the wailing of the mourners. The first act of Jesus is to tell them to “get out”. Then the mourning turns to mocking. There is no faith exhibited among the crowd. Can you hear the mumbling? “She’s dead and we’re doing what we are supposed to do.” “Who does he think he is?” “Dead is dead.” I am reminded of the crowd at Jerusalem who praised Jesus as he entered on a donkey’s colt with palm branches and singing, “Hosanna to the King!” A few days later, their praise words turned to “Crucify Him”. Sigh.
Back to the story…Jesus takes the little girl’s hand and brings her back to life. Luke’s gospel tells us that he told this father of risky faith, “give her something to eat”, to further prove the power God has over life and death.
Amazing acts of faith are followed by amazing grace and love from our Savior and Lord! Yes, faith moves the heart of God in ways our hearts and minds cannot fully grasp but is worth every minute in pursuing!
Matthew—The Law Fulfilled
Matthew 9:18-26, NLT
Jesus Heals in Response to Faith
18 As Jesus was saying this, the leader of a synagogue came and knelt before him. “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.”
19 So Jesus and his disciples got up and went with him. 20 Just then a woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding came up behind him. She touched the fringe of his robe, 21 for she thought, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.”
22 Jesus turned around, and when he saw her he said, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well.” And the woman was healed at that moment.
23 When Jesus arrived at the official’s home, he saw the noisy crowd and heard the funeral music. 24 “Get out!” he told them. “The girl isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.” But the crowd laughed at him. 25 After the crowd was put outside, however, Jesus went in and took the girl by the hand, and she stood up! 26 The report of this miracle swept through the entire countryside.
Abba, Father in Heaven,
Just reading your story of those who believe with expectant faith encourages me this morning. Thank you for saving our souls. Thank you for providing what we need before we know we need it. Thank you for growing your character traits in us. Thank you for your patience as our faith grows into full bloom. Thank you for always being with us. Thank you for loving us the way you do. Help us to love like you love us—without conditions. Thank you for daily miracles of life.
In Jesus Name, Amen