There were two of them, blind beggars, following him. They weren’t discreet about it either. They were screaming at the top of their lungs, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” (Matt 9:27 NIV).
How embarrassing! Everyone was staring at him, wondering what kind of trouble he had created.
They had no sooner done so, then he went indoors. At least there wouldn’t be ruckus in the streets any longer! Good riddance!
That’s when Jesus turned towards his pursuers and boldly asked them: “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” (Matt 9:28 NIV)
Had I been them, I would have blanched. Do I, Rob Chaffart, really “believe” that He is “able” to do the impossible?
But the two beggars answered immediately, and their voices were laden with confidence: “Yes, Lord!” (Matt 9:28 NIV)
Their faith was astounding and Jesus answered them accordingly: “According to your faith will it be done to you” (Matt 9:29 NIV)
Before anyone could say anything, the inevitable happened: “Their sight was restored.” (Matt 9:30 NIV)
Can you imagine being blind for years and all of a sudden having your sight restored? What if the first thing you saw was Jesus’ compassion-filled face? It would change you forever!
It’s no wonder these two perceived Jesus’ warning to: “See that no one knows about this.” (Matt 9:30 NIV) as encouragement to do just the opposite! They couldn’t help but broadcast the love they had experienced! “They went out and spread the news about him all over that region.” (Matt 9:31 NIV)
The same thing was true with a 19 year old who faced death by burning. Joan of Arc had been falsely accused of heresy by her enemy, and on that fatal day, May 30, 1431, she was tied to the stake.
Although she experienced the horrors of being burned alive, she died with composure and bravery, as her eyes had been fixed on the cross she had asked two clergy men to hold up in the air.
She is remembered all over the world. Even as far from France as Quebec, Canada, there is a statue of her bravery erected in the middle of a park on the Plains of Abraham, where the French were defeated by the British.
To tell you the truth, we can do anything when we have our eyes fixed on Jesus, our Master and Saviour!
“Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God – he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! (Heb 12:2-3 Message)
The problem is that more often than not we get distracted with matters that don’t really matter, and we forget what Jesus really looks like!
(To access the entire “Rivers of Faith” devotional series, please click here.)