Summary: What is it that ensures faith, that takes a person from knowledge to a substantial faith, that mustard seed that allows God to work through them?
Does anybody know who this man is? If you do keep it to yourself!
Well some of you probably have supported this man’s descendants and shareholders a good part of your lives, you might even take pride in driving a car that he gave his name to or have had one at some stage. Your average petrol head will tell you that they are the only real completion to Holden. That’s right FORD, Henry Ford. No it doesn’t stand for Fix Or Repair Daily, the cars were named after this man.
The thing I like about Henry Ford apart from his indirect involvement in my first car, a red 1967 Anglia 105e with 997cc of extreme power; is that he came up with a few sayings that are worth remembering one of them being, “Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.”
The reason that I’ve picked on Henry Ford’s saying is that I was thinking about something that the disciples of Jesus got stuck on and this something was a matter of faith, and they didn’t have the faith to achieve something. This was tied up with their understanding of who Jesus was and how they were to allow the power of God to work in their lives. This is about one of my favorite faith topics which is spiritual healing.
The story starts as three of the disciples Peter, James and John along with Jesus had been up on a mountain and had an amazing experience where Jesus face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light and if that wasn’t enough, wait there’s more! Moses and Elijah had appeared and talked with Jesus and a cloud had enveloped them all, they had heard the voice of God saying “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
This is what happened next! Read Matthew 17: 14-21.
There is a distinct difference between this account of the disciple’s lack of faith and another account of their active ministry in the book of Acts which gives us an understanding of what happened in the early church, let’s have a look at this record of what happened, Acts 5:12-16.
So what was it that happened between Jesus coming down from the mountain and giving his crew of disciples a blast about their lack of faith, and this time of miraculous signs and wonders?
As we look into Jesus words from the passage in Matthew, that first reading we see a couple of things:
1)The disciples at that time lacked faith, so what is faith? Well the definition I found in “EASTONS Bible dictionary” was pretty long winded, so I cut it down to this ‘that as we understand God’s word, we can come into a relationship with God because Jesus made this possible, we repent of our sins and we understand and experience the person of God’s Holy Spirit (his power) at work in our lives, we experience freedom from sin and we live lives that are in God’s will.’
So the disciples missed the point and they had Jesus with them, what was the problem, why so little faith? I think the answer comes in verses 22 and 23, let’s look at those verses; “When they came together in Galilee, he said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised to life.” Now there’s cause for celebration Jesus tells the disciples ‘they’re going to kill me but hey hang loose, get ready guys here’s an ending to top all endings, I’m one up on them! I’m going to be raised from the dead!’
On hearing that you’d think it was time to let loose and rejoice, even party and “the disciples were filled with grief.”
What they had was a totally human response, because they lacked faith it would be like me saying “I’m going to get my old ford Anglia up to the ton, for the younger ones here that’s 100 miles an hour, crash it into a brick wall, but don’t worry I’ll walk away uninjured.” Impossible and not just because my old car could not do the ton, the laws of nature and physics tell us I’d be injured if not killed. The disciples bless them had seen Jesus miracles but had never seen anyone killed and live again, while they had seen Jesus raise people from the dead, walk on water, heal…but they still lacked faith.
So it was over to Jesus and he did what he said he would do, the demon cast out, the boy was healed. Still at this stage even after this most recent of miracles, the disciples were filled with grief due to their lack of faith.