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DAY 2 – JESUS ON MOUNTAIN-MOVING FAITH AND PRAYER
TUESDAY JUNE 7: MATTHEW 9:18-22, 27-30 – DESPERATION HELPS
MATT 9:20-22, 27-30
20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” 22 Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed at that moment… 27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” 28 When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. 29 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.”
The woman who touched the edge of Jesus’ cloak was desperate. She probably had prolonged menstrual bleeding which would have left her both anaemic and ritually unclean (and therefore excluded from normal social and religious interactions). Mark also tells us (5:26) that she had tried many doctors and had spent all her money as her condition grew worse. She was physically ill, socially isolated, spiritually rejected, and financially destitute. She faced a very bleak future.Then along came Jesus and a new possibility emerged. She had a disease that prevented social contact, but she figured if she could just sneak through the bustling crowd without being noticed and brush against Jesus, she would be healed. And she was. She knew it immediately. So did Jesus. After taking such precautions to avoid detection, suddenly this woman found herself the centre of attention, even halting the urgent mission that Jesus was on. Jesus stopped to assure her, “Your faith has healed you.” Now of course Jesus was not saying that the woman’s faith alone was what had healed her. It’s clear from the story that Jesus healed her. But her desperate faith in Jesus and his power had propelled her to seek healing from Jesus when others would not take the risk.
The second story about the blind men clarifies the place of faith. Like the woman, these guys were desperate. Blindness is a huge challenge in any context, but in Jesus’ day it was debilitating. The blind were dependent on others for everything. So the blind men (with their helpers) pursued Jesus crying out for mercy. Jesus’ question to them was, “Do you believe I am able to do this?” This is the big faith question for the desperate: “Do you believe Jesus is able to do this?” I could be splitting hairs, but Jesus’ faith question was not, “Do you believe I will do this?” That’s a question for Jesus to answer. But do we believe that Jesus is able, that’s the question we must answer. And desperation helps. I suspect that there are a lot of things that God is wanting to do, but we’re just not
desperate enough to believe when we ask. Maybe we think there are other options. Maybe it’s just not a big issue for us. Maybe we can live okay with the status quo. Maybe it takes too much effort to really believe every time we pray. Jesus said to the blind men, “According to your faith let it be done to you” (9:29). It’s the same for us. Faith has a big part to play in answered prayer.
FAITH-FILLED PRAYER FOR REVIVAL
Personal Revival: That God will convict me of my sin and release a new desire to be clean and right with him.
Church Revival: That we will enjoy a strong unity together that only the Spirit can bring.
National Revival: That those who are poor or disadvantaged in our community might know God’s deep love
and compassion and be cared for and supported well.