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Audacious Faith
July 28, 2017
Relevance: Chapter 7, Restored by Grace


Audacious Faith


Superstition chooses to believe something, without insisting on verification or rational support. Faith approaches a world bigger than its own, with humility and a heart for truth. It goes through rigorous rational thinking and careful verification till it sees its limits. Then it takes a bold step to carry its certitude forward––based on what it knows and has experienced regarding an outside will, external power, or a perceived trend––to conclude that something is true or about to happen. "Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see" (Hebrews 11:1).

An event that happened two thousand years ago illustrates this well (See Mark 5:21-43).

The picture shows the ruins of ancient Capernaum. Located along the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, the Capernaum of Jesus's day was a small but prosperous fishing village. It was very near to the Great Trunk Road, which was the international artery of trade and transportation.

Close to the lake is the Octagon church on top of what's believed to be the house of the Apostle Peter, as verified by the archaeological excavations. In the center of the picture is the white building of a Late Roman synagogue. Under it are the remains of the early synagogue from the times of Jesus, which was built with the local black basalt rock. This earlier synagogue was the center of activities of Jesus. In fact, Capernaum was the home base of Jesus's ministry. "Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum" (Matthew 4:13), "and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach" (Mark 1:21).

Jesus performed the most miracles in Capernaum. So he had good reasons to speak against the relative unbelief of the people there (See Matthew 11:23). One day, when he returned from Gerasenes across the lake after healing a demon-possessed man, a crowd was waiting for him. Jairus, one of the synagogue rulers, came and fell at Jesus's feet. He pleaded earnestly with him, "My little daughter is dying," he said. "Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live."

Jairus had seen Jesus heal sick people. He did not think that Jesus was so incredibly lucky that somehow people got well just at the time he laid hands on them. He had not seen him raise dead people, but he saw his creative healing of a paralytic (See Mark 2:1-12). His faith attributed such healings to the power Jesus possessed. He came to the end of his rope regarding his daughter's grave illness, and he begged Jesus to repeat what he saw him do several times before. He had confidence in what he hoped for.

Jesus went with him, and all the people followed, crowding around him. A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. Over the years, she spent all she had, but her suffering only got worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, "If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed." Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition. Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my robe?" Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over."

While he was still speaking to her, messengers arrived from the home of Jairus. They told him, “Your daughter is dead. There’s no use troubling the Teacher now.” But Jesus overheard them and said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid. Just have faith.” Then Jesus stopped the crowd and came to the home of Jairus, with only three of his disciples. Accompanied by the girl's parents, they went into the room where the girl was lying. Holding her hand, Jesus said to her, "Little girl, get up!" And the girl immediately stood up and walked around! They were overwhelmed and amazed.

Jairus surely had faith, but he saw a power in Jesus that didn't go beyond what his eyes had witnessed. The woman, on the other hand, had heard enough about Jesus to build a faith that saw no limit to what he could do. Her faith gave her the assurance about what she had not seen or heard before, that she would be healed even just by touching his robe.

We've also heard and seen enough. So pray audaciously. If we claim God's promises or ask something in his will, we should boldly pray for the impossible. We will then see the power of God.


Notes:


From Darkness to Light
170504, Ch.1, What is Heaven?
170512, Ch.5, Good and Evil
170519, Ch.5, Image of God
170526, Ch.6, All Have Sinned
170602, Ch.6, Isaiah Prophecies
170609, Ch.6, Lamb of God
170616, Ch.6, Decision Prayer

New Life in Christ
170623, Ch.7, Fruit of the Spirit
170630, Ch.7, Time with God
170707, Ch.7, Life Together
170714, Ch.7, Messiah's Return
170728, Ch.7, Audacious Faith
171006, Ch.7, Mark of the Christian
171027, Ch.7, Christian Identities

Growing in Christ
171110, Know the Bible
171210, Christ is Central
180302, Satan Exposed

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