According to Your Faith: Matthew 9:27-31

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Continuing forward in the miracles of the gospels, we come to a short event and miracle where it appears as though Jesus ignored those asking Jesus for help for a period of time prior to actually healing them. Not only this, but Jesus heals them with a somewhat strange statement. This statement is worth us paying attention to because it gives us a clue into the importance of faith in our own lives.

As we read this event, let’s focus on what this event teaches us about Jesus, about God, and about the faith we are called to have. Our passage is found in Matthew’s gospel, chapter 9, and we will be reading from the New American Standard Bible translation. Starting in verse 27, Matthew tells us that:

27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed Him, crying out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” 28 When He entered the house, the blind men came up to Him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to Him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, “It shall be done to you according to your faith.” 30 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them: “See that no one knows about this!” 31 But they went out and spread the news about Him throughout all that land.

In these five short verses, we see a number of things that are worth paying attention to. In the opening two verses, we get the impression that Jesus was traveling between two places, and these two blind men were following behind Jesus crying out for help. If we didn’t know God’s love before this point, we might be tempted to think that Jesus, and by representation, that God too, is unloving. Why else would Jesus seem to ignore two people obviously crying out for Him to help them?

I believe the answer to this challenge is found in Jesus’ question and response to them. Verse 28 contains Jesus’ question and the blind men’s response: “Jesus said to them, ‘Do you believe that I am able to do this?’ They said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord.’

While I don’t know why it wasn’t already evident through their seeking Jesus out and following Him asking for help, Jesus asks these two men plainly if they believe that He is able to do this. In their response, which is just two words long, we see an amazing display of faith. It is easy to discount the response they give, which is simply, “Yes, Lord,” as something that is said with humility and respect to someone with authority. However, by using the word “Lord,” I see in this response that these men believe Jesus to be from God, and that the healing they desperately want to have will be from God as well.

To wrap up this healing, Matthew describes in verse 29 that Jesus then “touched their eyes, saying, ‘It shall be done to you according to your faith.’

Interestingly enough, these blind men had clearly demonstrated their faith. They persisted when it appeared as though Jesus was ignoring them, and they acknowledged their faith in Jesus and God when asked. It almost seems redundant for Jesus, who would know they had plenty of faith, to tell them they would be healed “according to [their] faith”. It should not surprise anyone reading this event to learn that these men were healed.

In this event, we see an amazing truth that the level of faith we have in God will directly determine how clearly we see God working in our lives – and it may even directly affect how God is able or not able to work in us and through us. The faith of these blind men is clearly visible both before they are healed, and it is confirmed after they have been healed. This makes Jesus’ message to them a principle and a promise we can live by: Our requests of God will be done to us according to our faith.

While we are encouraged to pray for other people, this principle focuses on our personally focused prayers. If we want healing, freedom, or a specific opportunity, we must be willing to display a visible faith before we can expect it to happen.

However, the last portion of our passage is interesting as well. After healing these men, Matthew tells us in verse 30 that “Jesus sternly warned them: ‘See that no one knows about this!” Since we are reading from the New American Standard Bible, there are two words in this command that are italicized. This means that they are not included in the original language, but have been added to smooth the reading. The literal response Jesus gives is simply, “See that no one knows”. While the context can imply that Jesus is telling these men to keep silent about this healing, it could also simply be Jesus telling these men to keep secret this extreme truth about faith.

Faith is powerful; more powerful than we realize. Faith can be placed in many things, and persistent faith is powerful enough to conquer virtually anything we face in this life. However, faith, when it is not placed in what God did for us through Jesus on the cross, is worthless in the context of eternity. These men experience healing because they had amazing, persistent faith and because they placed their faith in Jesus.

Matthew’s final statement in this event is that these men go and do the exact opposite of what it seems like Jesus asked them to do. Matthew tells us that these healed men “went out and spread the news about Him throughout all that land”. If Jesus wanted them to stay silent so He wouldn’t be flooded with people needing help, we can understand His reasoning. And we can contrast this with also realizing that the formerly blind men’s enthusiasm to share what Jesus had done for them was their way of saying thank you to Jesus and to God for healing them.

But it is also possible that these men shared what Jesus had done for them without sharing that Jesus attributed their healing to their level of faith in Him. In this regard, it can be said that these men obeyed Jesus, while also enthusiastically giving thanks to God for healing them.

The big thing for us to remember in this passage and this healing is that our faith is a powerful tool that we are called to place in Jesus. Faith in many other things can be productive in this life, but only when our faith is in Jesus will we discover a future, eternal life with God in heaven.

As we come to the end of another podcast episode, here are the challenges I will leave you with:

Always seek God first and place your faith in Him. Bring your questions, problems, challenges, and concerns to Him and trust, believe, and move forward knowing that God will take care of them. Have faith that God works with a bigger picture in mind than we can even begin to imagine, and that His goal is as many people to be saved with Him as possible.

Also, always pray and study the Bible for yourself to learn, grow, and mature towards God in your own life. While other people can give you ideas to think about, always filter what you learn, see, or discover through the pages of God’s Word to know whether it is something worthy of eternity. God’s goals is saving us for eternity, and the Bible teaches us everything we need to know to accept this gift He has offered us.

And as I end every set of challenges by saying in one way or another, never stop short of, chicken out of, or walk away from where God wants to lead you to in your life with Him!

Year of Miracles – Episode 22: When two blind men follow Jesus asking for His help, we discover an amazing truth about faith within this miraculous healing, and a truth we can apply in our own lives related to our faith in God.

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