Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What Kind of Faith do you Have?

Each day I will be posting from the daily Bible Reading plan we will be doing at West Side. On weekdays we will be going through the New Testament. On the weekends we will read passages from the Old Testament books of Psalms and Proverbs. We invite you to join along.

When I was in Bible College I took a class called Hermeneutics. Hermeneutics is the art of studying the scriptures. We learned to dissect the scriptures in our English language to find the best possible understanding. Another thing we learned is that sometimes stories are in chronological order and other times they are grouped by theme. While today’s reading (Matthew 8) suggest that it is probably in chronological order, it is very evident that it is organized around the theme … faith.

Each individual story of the passage deals with faith. Whether it is the man with leprosy, the centurion, demon possessed crowds, or even the disciples in the boat, Jesus responds to different levels of faith. We see some humbly approach Jesus with great faith, while others approach him with a more shallow faith. Even his own disciples approach him with a weak faith when they ask “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”

However, there is one group that approaches him with outstanding faith. Their faith in Jesus does not waiver; they know exactly who he is, they know why he has come. This group was the demons possessing the people in the area of the Gadarenes. They know their fait, but yet the reject Jesus all the same.

So where is your faith? Is it like the man who came to Jesus, but wanted to follow him after he buried his dead? You want to follow Jesus on your own terms at your own time. Or is your faith one that resembles the demons? You know who Jesus is, you know your punishment, but you reject him as lord of your life. Or does your faith resemble that of the centurion? Humbly bowing at his prescience allowing him to do the work only he can do.
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