Wednesday, March 1, 2000

Faith: What Is It?


Then Jesus went from that place and withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman of that district came and called out, “Have pity on me, Lord, Son of David! My daughter is tormented by a demon.” But he did not say a word in answer to her. His disciples came and asked him, “Send her away, for she keeps calling out after us.” He said in reply, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But the woman came and did him homage, saying, “Lord, help me.” He said in reply, “It is not right to take the food of the children and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Please, Lord, for even the dogs eat the scraps that fall from the table of their masters.” Then Jesus said to her in reply, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed from that hour.Matthew 15:21-28
What is faith as shown in this episode?
Look at how the woman approached Jesus. She approached her and asked Jesus to heal her daughter. When Jesus rejected her, she acted in a way that showed that she believed that only Jesus can help her. By approaching Jesus, the woman took a risk. Since Jews of that time looked down on non-Jews, the woman took a risk of being rejected. She knew she would be rejected. Yet she went on and approached Jesus for help. When she was rejected, she did not appeal to anything but to the mercy of God. The attitude of the woman shows a deep conviction that Jesus has the power to help her and at the same time a total surrender to whatever will happen to her.
Faith then is not believing that God will do something but that God can do something for us and if it pleases him, he will do it. It is throwing our person to the mercy of the Lord and letting him do with us as he pleases.

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