August 18, 2020 – Tuesday
Matthew 9:28 NIV
28 When He had gone indoors, the blind men came to Him, and He asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied
For context here are the surrounding verses
27 As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed Him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!”
28 When He had gone indoors, the blind men came to Him, and He asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied.
29 Then He touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.” 31 But they went out and spread the news about Him all over that region.
Where was Jesus coming from when the two blind men began to follow Him? He was coming from the home of a synagogue leader where He had raised the leader’s twelve-year-old daughter from the dead. The man had come to Him as He finished teaching in the synagogue. There, still in the synagogue, the man publicly knelt before Him and said, “My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live.”
Then on the way from the synagogue to the man’s home, a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years touched His cloak. She was thinking If I only touch His cloak, I will be healed. That was when Jesus stopped on the way to the house of the synagogue leader, turned and looked at the woman who had touched His cloak. Looking directly at her, He said, “Take heart, daughter, your faith has healed you”. And the woman was healed at that moment NIV. I like the ESV better, where He said “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well”. At once the woman was made well.
But I digress. The home Jesus had gone into, followed by the two blind men, is believed to be Peter’s home in Capernaum in Galilee the northern part of Israel near the Sea of Galilee. After all Peter used to be a fisherman before following Jesus.
It was there Jesus asked the two blind men an incredibly important question, Do you believe or more fully Do you believe I am able to do this? Why would He ask? He did not ask the synagogue leader if he believed. He did not ask the woman who touched His cloak if she believed. The synagogue leader demonstrated his belief and faith by kneeling before Him publicly and stating his belief in Jesus ability to heal. The woman who touched His cloak, He knew her thoughts, thus her faith. He even called her daughter as a great term of love and affection.
Were the two blind men responding to what they had perhaps heard of these two healings and hoping? Or did they really and truly believe? Recall from our discussion yesterday, believing – pisteuo – comes from faith – pistis. This is likely why He responded to the woman your faith has healed you. And after the two blind men has answered the question He asked of them Yes Lord, Jesus said “According to your faith let it be done to you”; and their sight was restored. The were not simply hoping based on what they had maybe heard, they believed because they had faith that Jesus was the Messiah and not some pretender. Out of their faith, they believed.
All too often I think our faith lags because we become people of habit and as a result our belief lags. Without faith we cannot be believers. There are people who attack our faith every single day for we believe in the miracles Jesus performed. We believe He died on the cross for our sins. We believe He rose from the grave on the third day. We have faith all of that is true. They call them stories and myths and think of us as just this side of crazy for our faith and belief.
However, the more time we spend in prayer and in His word the stronger our faith grows and the stronger our faith grows, the stronger our belief grows. We can see His miracles today in sunsets and sunrises, the smile of a baby, the color of fall leaves, the grass growing under our feet. His miracles are everywhere and the greater our faith the more He permits us to see and experience them.
NOTE: As an addendum to Monday’s Verse of the Day a reader wrote in with the following comment.
This reminds me of the great tightrope walker who asked the crowd “do you believe I could carry a person on my back across this wire, high above the street?” “YES!” they all cried. But when he asked for volunteers, no one stepped forward. They believed in his ability but were unwilling to trust themselves to do it.