And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us. And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.
And their eyes were opened … Matthew 9:27
As I read this passage this morning, my writer’s mind went fast-forward to a possible scenario:
“Wow! Joe, just look at that ship in the harbor. Ain’t she a beauty?”
Joe looks down into the harbor and sees the blob which his friend is pointing at. “Yea, nice.”
“Isn’t that Peter’s old captain? I wonder if that ship belongs to Peter?”
Joe squints. “I don’t see anyone.”
Mike looks at him questioningly. “Right there, in the bow of the ship.” He waves and the captain waves back. “See, he’s waving at us.”
Joe looks harder. “All I see is the ship,” he replies.
Mike looks at him and shakes his head. “Too bad.”
According to your faith be it unto you.
These are the words which Jesus spoke to the two blind men who followed Him, crying for healing. They both received sight, and I’m sure that “Joe” was just glad to be able to see anything, but I wonder if there was any difference in the quality of sight they received? And then, I wonder what quality of sight I would have received? How strong is my faith? How do we measure our faith?
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
Hebrews 11, the faith chapter, goes on to tell us of the mighty accomplishments of great-faith Bible heroes. I wonder if they knew they had great faith, or were they just living their lives like we are, under the watchful eye of our Lord, endeavoring to finish the day with a backwards glance over the events and a sigh of spiritual satisfaction?
Here’s a list of those mentions in Hebrews 11 and their faithful accomplishments. Are these accomplishment which we can attain?
- Elders –obtained a good report
- Abel – more excellent sacrifice/righteous witness
- Enoch – translated (raptured)
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (6)
- Noah – built an ark, saved his house/heir of righteousness
- Abraham – obeyed when called/went/lived in a foreign land/ looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
- Sarah – received strength to conceive
But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. (16) GOOD GOAL!
- Abraham – offered Isaac/received the promises
- Isaac – blessed his children
- Jacob – blessed Joseph’s sons/worshiped
- Joseph – remembered God’s promises, believed them so much that he commanded them to take his bones with them!
- Moses – rejected Egypt’s treasures and prominence, chose to suffer with his people esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt/endured/ kept the Passover/crossed the Red Sea
- Jericho fell/Rehab lived
- Bible heroes – subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched fire, escaped the sword, were made strong though weak, fought valiantly, women received their dead alive, were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection/mocked, scourged, imprisoned, stoned, sawn in two, tempted, slain, wandered, destitute, afflicted, tormented
And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise (39)
Once again, my dear friend Matthew Henry gives us great words of wisdom:
The world considers that the righteous are not worthy to live in the world, and God declares the world is not worthy of them. Though the righteous and the worldlings widely differ in their judgment, they agree in this, it is not fit that good men should have their rest in this world. Therefore God receives them out of it. The apostle tells the Hebrews, that God had provided some better things for them, therefore they might be sure that he expected as good things from them. As our advantages, with the better things God has provided for us, are so much beyond theirs, so should our
- obedience of faith,
- patience of hope, and
- labor of love,
So there you have it. They were just normal people like we are, and yet they had faith in their God and ours, to live with the glow of that faith shining their way. Can you “shine” for Jesus today, through sunshine or shadow, through drudgery or delight, sickness and sorrow or health and joy? Will you set 20/20 vision as your goal for this life?
Couch these thoughts in a quote from Corrie Ten Boom:
We don’t need a great faith, but faith in a great Savior!
Some people put their faith in a rock or the stars, but as born-again believers, we have the God of the Universe to focus our faith upon!
And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.