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Finding Compassion in Matthew

Chapter 9 - According to your faith...

Matthew 9 – Observations

In this chapter we read the story of the paralytic whose friends had faith enough to believe he could be healed. Maybe the sick man thought he was beyond healing. Or maybe he believed the lie that his sickness was a result of some specific sin that he or a family member had done.

Whatever the case Jesus felt it necessary to tell him to cheer up. Sometimes we may be going through something that causes us to believe the enemy's lies that we are not good enough or that we deserve what's happening to us.

But maybe, just maybe we need to call out to Jesus and say, "Come lay hands on me." If that doesn’t work, let's try to grab hold to the edge of his garment because there's power in anything that is connected to God.

According to your faith so let it be… a paralytic is healed with a word, a woman is healed by touching the hem of his garment, a young girl and two blind men are healed by Jesus’ touch… what do all these accounts have in common? I’ll give you a hint: F A I T H.

Did you say faith? You’re absolutely right! The common factor is faith. But I’ll have you notice something – in the account of the two blind men Jesus asked the question, “Do you believe that I can heal you?” and then based on their response he said, “According to your faith so let it be.”

Now if you read that passage in isolation you would say that if the sick person did not have faith then they could not be healed. But that’s not quite true. Let’s look at those stories again:

In the story of the paralytic there is no mention of his faith. The passage tells us that when Jesus saw the faith of his friends, he told the paralyzed man to “be of good cheer.” For some reason this man’s friends had more hope and optimism than he did.

On to the second story: the ruler of the synagogue comes to Jesus and asked him to raise his daughter from the dead. Up to this point there are no accounts in Matthew that Jesus had raised anyone from the dead. Jesus spoke to the girl and she got up.

Let me ask you a question, can a dead person have faith?

No. Of course not. We are told in Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 that the dead know nothing and everything they know dies with them. But her father – he had enough faith that even though it had not previously been done that Jesus had the power to heal his daughter even from death.

Compassion-is-healing

The woman with the issue of the blood and the two blind men were healed on the merit of their own faith. Where am I going with this? An individual does not have to have faith for Jesus to heal them; sometimes he heals in spite of a lack of faith because he wants to show himself mighty on our behalf. But, and it’s a big one. But there needs to be faith. Somebody has to have faith enough.

I don’t know what you’re going through right now but I feel pressed to tell you to hold on, your faith will pay off. Maybe you’re praying for healing for yourself or for a friend or for a family member… maybe you’re feeling a little bit disheartened because the breakthrough that you’re hoping for seems long in coming… don’t lose hope.

Jesus has compassion on us and he will reward your faith if you hold on and don’t give up.

Prayer:

Jehovah-Rapha we come to you now asking for healing. We know that you have power over all sicknesses, diseases and even the grave. We ask you to move through our communities, move through our homes, move through our lives and touch us with your healing hand. Thank you for hearing and for answering.  In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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