Saturday, October 17, 2015

"But Now I See"

Two events in Luke's account of Jesus' ministry illustrate the idea that our faith in Him grows as we are willing to see the object of our faith. Jesus invites us to come to Him, to learn of Him, and to walk with Him (see Matthew 11:28-30). That's how our faith in Him grows!

In Luke 18:35-43, we read of a blind man who sits begging at the side of the highway as Jesus and His disciples travel the road. This man — identified as Bartimaeus by Mark (see Mark 10:46) — asks about the noise of the crowd, and when he learns that it is Jesus of Nazareth, he begins pleading, "Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me." Bartimaeus had never seen Jesus. He had never followed Him. But somehow he had come to believe in the power of this miracle worker from Galilee. Somehow he had come to believe in the promise we find in Luke 11:9 — "Ask, and it shall be given you." Jesus responds, "Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee." "And immediately he received his sight, and followed [Jesus], glorifying God."

Mark recorded a brief exchange between Jesus and a father seeking a blessing for his son. "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth," Jesus says. And the father replies with tears, "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief." (See Mark 9:23-24.) Our belief, no matter how small or weak, enables us to see Jesus as He passes by. "Even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you" (Alma 32:27). One writer puts it this way: "The issue is not the quantity, or 'bigness,' of my faith so much as Who I've put my faith in."

In Luke 19:1-10, we read of an undersized tax collector named Zacchaeus in a tree. He couldn't see Jesus as He passed because of the crowd and because of his size. Determined to catch a glimpse, however, he runs ahead of the crowd and climbs a sycomore. Remarkably, Jesus stops under the tree and, looking up, issues an invitation: "Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house." Jesus knew him by name, and He wanted to spend time with him! Zacchaeus did hurry down "and received [Jesus] joyfully." Once Zacchaeus was able to see Jesus, Jesus was able to change him forever.

"All things are possible to him that believeth" (Mark 9:23)! I have to start living like what I believe is true! What is keeping me from seeing Jesus?

Stone, Diana. "Faithfulness." She Reads Truth, May 19, 2015.

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