Matt. 8:10, 15:28
Sometimes I forget that spiritually we all mature at various levels much as we do in the natural. But I also wonder if those who are twenty plus years saved/in the faith yet speak and act as though they are newborns in faith, is it do to the company that is kept? Meaning, because iron sharpens iron, birds of a feather flock together, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck and like begets like. Well, most likely if you are speaking and acting like a baby or child in CHRIST JESUS it may be because you are not spending quality time with HIM but with those that you look and sound more like. Ever noticed that you can be in the company of others, yet, not notice who they really are?
Take a look at the Centurion Soldier who never kept company with JESUS, yet, had more faith in HIM than those who lived, ate, traveled, and witnessed all the miracles and received first hand HIS teachings. This guy was facing a crisis, his servant (maybe his slave, or another soldier who was lower in rank than he, I do not know) was severely ill and the illness caused him a great torment. The guy was paralyzed and in major pain. Now for this Centurion to come looking for JESUS he had to be aware of all that JESUS had done. And in his heart, because he loved his servant he began building up his faith that JESUS will come and heal his servant and all will be made well. After finally finding JESUS he shared with JESUS all that was going on. Now, either in his travel to JESUS or once he came into the presence of JESUS the Centurion realized that though he had the authority to command and maybe he thought of himself to be far more in character and integrity than he actually was. The Centurion realized and humbled himself before CHRIST JESUS with this simple phrase “I am not worthy”. I know that the Holy Spirit revealed to him that JESUS did not have to make the long journey back to where he had come from to heal his servant. All JESUS needed to do was just speak the Word and his servant would be made well and whole. This is what caused JESUS to say what HE said to those who kept constant company with HIM, “I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel” JESUS was not only speaking of the country HE was speaking of the Jewish nation, the people. So, when the Centurion was told to return, he did not question JESUS about when to expect to see his servant healed, nor did he request what to look for as a sign that his servant is healed. No, the Centurion simply believed what JESUS said to him “Go, as you have believed let it be done for you”. We have a faith/believing problem we need to see before believing when faith is all about not seeing. I know that for many of us our faith has been warped from childhood when we were told that we were either going somewhere great or getting something fabulous only to be disappointed and given excuses as to why we did not go and did not receive. But JESUS is not like we mortal humans are, HIS promises are kept, whatever HE says to us is worth more than we can imagine in gems and currency. HE will never lie because it is impossible for HIM to do so.
This next example of great faith is regarding a mother whose daughter was demon-possessed. When you are desperate you will say what is required to say in the hope of getting what you need from someone. This dear woman was not Jewish and JESUS mission was to come among HIS people the Jews to reveal to them the Living GOD in the flesh and to teach them a better way of living. Notice the first thing that she did, she asked for (1) mercy. The next thing that she did was to say that HE is (2) LORD son of David. Did she truly believe this, did she actually know this or was she just trying to get something from HIM? Desperate parents do and say desperate things for their kids. But here is what really should grab our attention, JESUS ignored her and then called her a dog. If you have ever watched any religious movies and seen dogs in them, they are not as we keep them today as members of the family, as loving pets, willing to spend as much on them as we do humans if not more. No, dogs looked like and probably were like hyenas, mangy, scavengers, and wild. But as HE sits there ignoring her HIS posse tells a great joke “send her away she is crying after us”. Ever notice that when you are the center of attention, your companions think that they too are being noticed right along with you when in truth, they are not noticed at all. But then JESUS tells her in HIS way that HE has nothing for her, that what HE has is only for Israel/the Jews. You can’t help but have pity and love for this dear mother because she “worshipped” HIM. When was the last time you worshipped JESUS instead of ignoring HIM, begging/pleading to receive from HIM, or only thanking HIM when all is going well in your life but never think to thank HIM for all things? No, do not thank HIM for your being ill, broke, homeless, jobless, or anything negative but see where and how HE is operating in your life as the both of you go through the storms of your life. For me in most cases of my life the greatest and most tremendous thing to say is “thank YOU, JESUS, FATHER show me YOUR Glory, thank YOU for YOUR grace and mercy which is new this morning, and help me”. But even when she begged and worshipped HIM, HE called her a dog again saying that it is not good to feed to the dogs what belongs to the Jews. To me, that is a stomach punch but again, my girl is not relentless she must be something that I am not and that’s a great cook (I’m good but not great and no one has ever said what I prepared was nasty) or she must be someone who is greatly skilled in the kitchen when it comes to baked goods. (I am not a great baker either because I do not know how to bake from scratch). The reason why I know these things is that when a meal or baked goods are prepared, did you know that all of the ingredients that were in the slices of cake and pie are found within the crumbs as well? This is why we sometimes will even eat the crumbs because all those ingredients that made the baked cake and pie taste so delicious are also in the crumbs. That’s why, [though I suggest that you do not do this] when meals are prepared and you allow your pet into the kitchen with you as you prepare a meal, that pet will eat whatever falls onto the floor and that pet will be looking for more because it tastes good. This is why JESUS delivered, healed, and made this woman’s daughter whole because she had a desperate, deliberate, unwavering, great faith that HE helped her.
Well, I spent a little more time on this series than I anticipated. I hope that you will join me for Faith -Series III: Faith is seen.