Sometimes we wait patiently on the Lord. And then, sometimes we are called to take bold action, to move forward in our faith, to have courageous confidence in Jesus’ desire to change our situation.
It is easy to fall into a pit of passivity, wallowing in the weakness or oppression in which we find ourselves. Matthew chapter nine shows us five instances where people actively bring their problems to Jesus in faith. And, importantly, Jesus was impressed by that faith and he acted in response to it. We can learn a lot from these five stories of help received:
- Sometimes we are the agents who bring others in need to Jesus (Matt. 9:1-8). A paralytic was brought to Jesus, helpless and lying on his bed. When Jesus saw the faith of those who brought him, he forgave his sins and healed him.
- Sometimes we come on behalf of our family (Matt. 9:21, 9:23-26). A ruler came to Jesus, his daughter having just died, asking Jesus to come and lay his hands on her and raise her to life again. Jesus rose and followed him and healed his daughter.
- Sometimes we come bringing our own pressing needs to Jesus (Matt. 9:20-22). A woman with a bleeding illness pressed through a crowd in order to touch Jesus’ garment, knowing that she would be healed if she could just touch him. And she was healed, instantly.
- Sometimes we need friends to walk with us in this journey toward healing (Matt. 9:27-31). Two blind men followed him around, crying out for Him to heal them. Seeing their faith, Jesus healed them immediately.
- Sometimes we are the hands and feet, as well as, the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves (Matt. 9:32-35). A demon-possessed who could not speak was brought to Jesus. He cast the demon out and the man was cured.
An important observation here is that Jesus fights religious leaders as forcefully as he fights demon spirits in this chapter. Sometimes the religious spirits in and around us will attempt to hinder us from pressing in to receive the healing of Jesus for ourselves and for others.
The key to all of this healing activity is found in vs. 36, “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
When the compassionate heart of Jesus meets the faith of those who bring their troubles to him, the power of God is unleashed and the Kingdom of God breaks into our situations. Let’s resolve to be more active in bringing our needs and the needs of those around us to Jesus. We may be surprised what He will do!