“Have mercy on us!”
Jesus ignored them, but they stayed on his heels, trailing him to his pad.
He knew what these blind guys wanted—they wanted their eyes fixed.
And he knew what he wanted—he wanted them to answer a question …
“Do you believe I am able to do this?”
“According to your faith will it be done to you” (Matt. 9:29).
According to your faith … Do you get the impression that a cure was conditional? That a weighing of faith was in play here? That he was saying he would heal them, but only to the level of their trust? That they would see only as much as their faith permitted them to see?
If that’s an accurate reading, do you think they walked away with different degrees of sight—one with 20/20, the other seeing blurred shapes but unable to make out defining features?
Ask us if we believe the promises of God and we’ll say of course we do. But Jesus’ tête-à-tête with this blind duo leaves us questioning how much we would have been able to see if we had been one of those fellows—and wondering if the same limits apply to our faith today.
Real faith is not a breezy belief that God exists and the Bible is true. It’s a question of how deeply we believe. How much we’re willing to let our weight down on his promises. How far we’ll go before we begin to question.
When God told Abraham to leave his home and his people and begin the hike to a mystery destination, his faith won the day—he “obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going” (Heb. 11:8).
But when God told him he would have many descendants and be the father of many nations, his faith was diluted by doubt—he was an old man and had no children for heaven’s sake.
Eleven years after God made that promise, Sarah hatched a plan to fast-track its fulfillment—told Abraham to sleep with her maid-servant and get this show on the road. And Abraham bought into the shabby scheme.
But God said huh uh! Said the promised son would be the offspring of Abraham and Sarah, not Abraham and a backup.
Then God went silent and sat on his hands for another thirteen years before he got around to repeating the promise. By this time Abraham was ninety-nine and Sarah was pushing ninety. The geriatric couple giggled—God had to be joshing them.
But when baby Isaac came howling into the world Abraham’s faith took a giant leap. When God told him to sacrifice that son he didn’t balk. Now his faith had muscle—he believed that “if Isaac died God would bring him back to life again” (Heb. 11:19 TLB).
In the New Testament Jesus commended only two people for their faith—both Gentiles by the way.
One was a Roman centurion who brushed off Jesus’ offer to go heal his servant, saying he wasn’t worthy to have Jesus set foot in his house. “Just say the word, and my servant will be healed.”
“I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith,” Jesus said
The other was a Greek mom who kept pestering Jesus to heal her daughter. He tried to send her packing, but she would have none of it.
“Woman, you have great faith,” he said.
He is able to do astounding things—“much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine” (Eph. 3:20 NCV).
The searching question is, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
“According to your faith will it be done to you.”