We are reading the Bible through together this year, using the Discipleship Journal Reading Plan published by the Navigators. You can download it free of charge from: https://www.navigators.org/resource/bible-reading-plans/
Today’s 4 readings are: Matthew 9:27-38; Acts 14; Psalm 22:12-31, Genesis 49.
The healing of the 2 blind men in Matt. 9 provides crucial insight into how faith operates.
Note first something in the blind men’s approach to Jesus. Faith is not a sense of confidence – at least not in oneself in any way. They cried for mercy. A cry for mercy is a cry that denotes no sense of deserving or right. They did not say to themselves “I’m believing for healing!” Their faith wasn’t a worked up sort of thing, it was exercised in helplessness, not confidence. It looks to the benefactor to act only according to the benefactor’s own largess. And it is this recognition for mercy which is so essential to our right understanding of saving faith. Jesus owes us nothing. We deserve only wrath. But recognizing He has both the power and the prerogative to show mercy, we appeal to Him only on that basis. And He is ever faithful to respond in kind. What a great Savior He is!
Secondly, we see that some believed because they saw Jesus’ works. These, as blind, could only hear of His works. And yet, for them, that was enough. They believed having only heard. And so according to even that faith, a very slight, but still relying faith – they were healed. Note that v. 27 says they were following Him. They could only hear, and yet they followed. Oh that just hearing would always be enough for me. John 20:29
3rd, notice that it is not great faith that is needed. It is faith in a great Christ that is needed.
And lastly, note here how it is faith works. Jesus says “according to your faith be it done to you.” Now if they already had faith (the way we tend to think of it) then why weren’t they healed before Jesus touched them? It is because faith is not a power we can wield. What faith does is bring us to Christ – to trust Him. It doesn’t operate on its own as some sort of cosmic force we can use at will. Their faith brought them to seek out Christ to meet their need. This is what faith always does – it insists on finding Christ. And in finding Him, we will find the fullness of what we need.
Faith, as faith, didn’t heal them. Jesus did. Faith, as faith, won’t save us. Jesus must. Faith leads us to put our trust in Him. Faith believes Him – who and what He is and what He can do. And He responds.