MATTHEW 9:20-22: “Just then, a woman who had suffered from bleeding for twelve years approached from behind and touched the end of his robe, for she said to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I’ll be made well.” Jesus turned and saw her. “Have courage, daughter,” he said. “Your faith has saved you.” And the woman was made well from that moment.” CSB
OBSERVATION: What did Jesus mean when He said – “Your faith has saved you.”? Was it the woman’s effort to push through the crowd to touch the tassel on Jesus’ garment? Was it her confession when she said, “If I can just touch his robe, I’ll be made well.”? Or, was it her ability to believe?
We all struggle with faith. Why? It is because it is defined so differently by so many. There are those who define faith as a passive belief that does not require any action on our part. And then, there are those who define faith as our action that effects the desired result. Personally, I think that both of these approaches to faith are wrong. Both viewpoints will lead to disappointment and frustration. The first lacks any validation of one’s belief. The other puts all the validation on one’s efforts to prove one’s faith.
Faith is not a work or an action. Faith is a heart centered trust that brings us to the God who can change us, and propels us to action based on that trust. Faith begins at the point of absolute surrender. True faith is found in the heart of one who is bankrupt of all human effort and self sufficiency. True faith begins when the only one we have to turn to is God Almighty!
This is where the woman with the issue of blood found herself. She had spent her life’s savings on doctors and remedies, with no avail. She had witnessed the healing power of Jesus. She had no where else to go, no other resources to rely on, and no human hope left. When she realized that her only hope was Jesus, she placed her faith in His provision. This faith ignited her actions to press through and touch the hem of Jesus’ garment. It was not supernatural power in Jesus’ robe that healed this woman. It was her complete trust and surrender in Christ alone.
Consider the difference in her actions to the one who tries to manipulate the hand of God through their actions or positive confession. Or, consider the difference in the woman’s faith to the one who simply sits idly by and says – “Well, if it is God’s will.” The first is a pathway back to works righteousness. The second results in a faith that is devoid of action. When the writer of Hebrews says it is impossible to please God without faith, he tells us why.
- “Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Hebrews 11:6 CSB
Faith draws us to God. Note, the writer of Hebrews says – “…since that one that draws near to him must believe that he exists…”. The woman with the issue of blood drew near to Jesus. She believed that He was the Messiah. She placed her full trust and hope in Him. Then the writer of Hebrews says – “…and that he rewards those who seek him.”. The woman knew that only Jesus could heal her, save her, and deliver her. God alone is our source of salvation, healing, deliverance, and redemption. He will always meet us at the point of our faith when we come to Him in full surrender and dependence.
The question is not – “Do I have enough faith.” Rather, the question is – “Does my faith really see God for who He is?” Do I see Him as my Savior, Healer, Baptizer in the Holy Spirit, and Soon Coming King? Is He my all in all? Is He the first one I run to and the last one I thank? Is my life fully surrendered to His will? Have I laid all of my works at the foot of the Cross? Am I experiencing the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings? Am I standing in His righteousness alone?
- “Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 CSB
- “Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.” 1 Peter 1:21 CSB
Lord, this morning, help me not to put my faith in faith, or in the works of my hands. Help me to put my faith and hope in You alone. Help me to believe that You alone are my sufficiency, and that You will reward me as I draw near to You.
In Jesus Name?