Faith and Followship
Faith and Followship
1. Faith – What would Jesus call faith?
Illustration: Television and movie actor Alan Alda wrote a book titled Never Have Your Dog Stuffed. In an interview, he explained the significance of the title:
· I was 8 years old. My father was trying to stop me from sobbing because we were burying the dog, so he said, “Maybe we should have him stuffed.”
· We kept it on the porch, and deliverymen were afraid to make deliveries.
There are a lot of ways we stuff the dog, trying to avoid change, hanging on to a moment that’s passed.
When we approach a familiar subject like what it means to ‘have faith’ it is easy to stuff the dog.
- We tend to chose a definition that suits us
- Even if we chose a definition that often leaves us feeling condemned or justified regardless of our actions
- At one time we made a choice and haven’t reviewed the subject much afterward
Faith is hard to understand when we use definition other than Jesus’:
Jesus’ “Faith” statements:
Matthew 8:5-10 (NIV)
When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.”
7 Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.”
8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
10 When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.
Matthew 9:20-22 (NIV); Luke 8:43-48 (NIV)
43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years,a but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”
46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”
47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
- Malachi 4:2 (NIV) But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.
Matthew 9:27-30 (NIV)
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 will it be done to you”; 30 and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.”
Matthew 15:22-28 (NIV)
22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon-possession.”
23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.”
24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.”
25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said.
26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to their dogs.”
27 “Yes, Lord,” she said, “but even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”
28 Then Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.
Faith: the Passionate Pursuit After what you believe in
“I have always thought that the actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts.”
- Philosopher John Locke (1632-1704)
a Many manuscripts years, and she had spent all she had on doctors