In the last article, we discussed faith. Particularly we discussed what real, strong faith should look like in our lives. We used three Old Testament examples to show what weak, bold, and strong faiths look like. This time, we are going to look at what Jesus has to say about our faith and how it can help us grow our faith even more.
One of the most famous verses in which Jesus spoke about faith comes in Matthew. In Matthew 17 Jesus speaks about faith in reverence to size. Jesus tells his disciples, “if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you”.
A mustard seed is a small seed. A very small seed. Though tiny, it can grow 20 to 30 ft tall. It is a small seed that grows into a huge plant. Jesus wanted his followers to realize that only a small amount of faith can have a huge impact in our lives. It can even “move mountains” is the analogy Jesus uses. A task seemingly impossible by humans Jesus says, faith can do for us. Even if our faith is small, it can be better than having none at all.
In another instance, Jesus points out a man’s faith and wants everyone to know his example. In Matthew 8:10 it says, “When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith”. We should probably take a look at this man’s example of faith and see why Jesus pointed it out as being so great. First off, this man is a Roman officer, someone who is despised by the people his kingdom rules. They were often rude, inhospitable, and abusive towards Jewish people. Perhaps he was one of them or maybe he was a nicer officer. Even at that, here is someone who is not liked by the Jews coming to Jesus who is a Jew and asking him for something. How brave he must have been…or desparate. He comes to Jesus asking for healing. His servant is paralyzed and suffering. This isn’t his wife, or brother, or some close family member. This is his servant, someone beneath him but also someone he clearly cares about.
This man risks his social status and potential career and life by coming up to Jesus in this way. This right here shows how much faith this officer has in Jesus that he can provide this healing for his servant. But what happens next is even more amazing.
Matthew 8:7 says, “Jesus said, ‘I will come and heal him’”. Jesus accepts this man’s invitation for healing but the officer does something strange. Look at his response in the following verses.
“But the officer said, ‘Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my house. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed’”. What a response! This officer humbles himself and tells Jesus he’s not worthy to have the Savior come into his house. The officer has enough faith to know that Jesus can just say the words and his servant will be healed. He doesn’t even have to be there, just say the words and he will be healed.
The officer gives the example of authority. The authority he is under and the authority he has over others. They do exactly what he says by words. This officer knows that Jesus has authority. He can just say the words and it will be done. This officer has such great faith in Jesus that he knows He can do what he asks, and Jesus can just say the words and it will be done because He is authority.
Jesus had never seen faith like this even in Israel and Jesus uses this moment to tell everyone following him that Gentiles will be saved but many Jews will not. With great faith comes great responsibility. We have to come before Jesus, know that He can do anything, trust in His word, and let Him have authority over us. Our faith can do so much for us, when we trust that He is enough.