“Do you believe that I am able to do this?”  Matthew 9:28

“They said to him, ‘Yes, Lord'”.  Matthew 9:28

“Then He touched their eyes, saying ‘ According to your faith, let it be done to you'”.  Matthew 9:29

We are doing some things which, on the face of it, seem pretty miraculous.  We are transplanting organs from one person to another.  We’ve started to attempt to transplant things like limbs and faces.  We’re building bionic replacements for appendages and sending nano, cellular sized robots into bodies to attack tumors.  However, from a financial standpoint these are extremely expensive procedures that few could afford on their own.

Now before I go any further, some might be thinking:  “Oh Oh, here’s another one of those you don’t need medicine, don’t go to doctors because all you need is faith and if something is not cured it was a faith problem”, kind of posts.  No it is not and if you were hoping that it is then I apologize.  While, of course, God is free to work on His own with no outside utilization, I believe that the bible shows us that God often will use human persons in carrying out His will; including doctors.  After all, did not Jesus come to earth to be human to carry out His Fathers plan?

So what is this about?  First, the world tends to look at things from an exchange of fair value, aspect.  The fact that often times, the medical prowess and skills take such a long time and at great expense to acquire; that their utilization should come with significant compensation.  Also, it’s not just medicine that this applies to; in general the sayings go:  “You can’t get nothing for nothing” or “You get what you paid for”.  So imagine that you are blind.  In the passage in Matthew referred to above, we don’t know if they were born that way or became that way due to injury or disease; but it doesn’t matter.  They can’t see.  What would you give or what would you expect to pay to receive your eyesight back?  There are several new treatments in trials involving the use of stem cells and implanting of electrodes to bring back the sense of sight.  Yet currently these trials are very expensive.

Nothing in the biblical account gives us an impression that these two men were men of means or wealth.  Hardly, had they been they would have sent for Jesus to come to them instead of following Him and calling out to Him for help.  Still Jesus comes to them and means to heal them; but first, He asks them a question.  In today’s world some of the first things that happen in the medical process is to check the type of insurance you have or to inquire into your ability to pay.  Jesus does not ask them about their financial standing.  He does not ask them what they do for a living, is their family name a name of wealth or how much money do they have saved.  Jesus cares for none of that.  Jesus simply asks do they believe that He can cure them.  Jesus wants to know if they actually believe that He is capable of returning their sight.  That is the only payment Jesus wants; the only price He demands; simply to believe that Jesus can accomplish it.  When they respond that they do believe that He can do it; Jesus uses their form of payment, their faith as payment in replying:….according to your faith, let it be done to you.  That payment must have been sufficient, for both men’s sight was restored.

So let’s look to today.  I would first note the duality of the “coming to” in this passage.  We hear preached and it is true that Jesus Christ will come to us just as we are.  Jesus traveled to where these two men were.  Yet Jesus did not force Himself upon them.  Jesus did not walk up to these men and declare in a loud voice: “Today I will heal you!”  No, Jesus came to where they were but they also had to come to Jesus.  They had to speak out and make their supplication known.  In that way, we must do the same thing.  We must make our supplications to Jesus Christ.  What payment is Jesus Christ going to exact from us?  The same, in that He is wanting to know the same thing from us.  Do we believe that Jesus Christ is capable of; has the power to:  heal our sicknesses, vanquish our demons, forgive our sins?  And His answer is likely to be similar to the one he gave to those two men:  Let it be done to you according to your faith.

Finally, there are a couple of other brief thoughts.  First, but what if I have some smidgen of doubt some fleeting, momentary waiver of faith; am I doomed?  There’s another time, right after His transfiguration when Jesus asks that same question to man who wanted healing for his son.  The man’s response, in my mind is the most classic response in the entire bible:  I believe, Lord help my unbelief.  The Lord did heal the man’s child.  You see Jesus Christ knows we’re human.  He knows that we have problems with perfect faith.  That is one of the reasons that the Holy Spirit is sent to us to help us strengthen our faith against the onslaught of this world.  Second, one might think:  Wow this is cheap!  All I have to do is say, I believe and poof, my miracle happens.  Not so fast, grasshopper.  Remember Jesus Christ says; let it be done to you according to your faith.  So it’s not what comes out of your mouth but what is in your heart that matters.  Plus if you believe in your heart that He can do this because He is Lord, as those men proclaimed, then you are also going to have to believe in loving your neighbors and even your enemies, turning from lust, anger, pride and desire for earthly wealth and power.  Cheap? I wonder.  But all in all, well worth it.

Our Most Gracious Heavenly Father, we thank You that You sent Your Son to live among us, to teach us, to heal us. We thank You that Jesus Christ is willing to meet us where we are.  We thank you that He will listen to our supplications and will heal us in mind, body and spirit.  Forgive us when we bring our desires forward without the belief in the Power of Christ to accomplish what we ask.  Also forgive us when our belief is so limited that we want the healing without paying the price of true belief.  Help us Dear Father to come You, through Christ humbly in ourselves but confident in You that the world might see our faith fulfilled in You and give Glory and Praise to Your Most Holy Name.  In the Name of Jesus Christ we pray.  Amen

 

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