Faith is Not Stationary – It Must Walk a Tough Path
Introduction (Isa 35:4-6)
A. Salvation is most often compared to a blind person being given sight
B. The healing of the blind was one of the clues, or signs that God foretold would signal the arrival of the Messiah, and the Saviour, the Son of David
C. But that healing was not automatic – just as salvation is not automatic
D. Something is necessary on OUR part – it is called “faith” (Eph 2:8,9)
E. The faith that we have, is called to walk a path
F. That path is shown in just one day in the life of Jesus
Message – The Path Faith Treads (Matthew 9:26-31)
A. The Crowds - Faith Walks Alone, even in the Crowds (Mt 9:26)
1. There have been GREAT revivals of the past
2. Jesus had done marvellous miracles
3. He was very well known throughout the whole region – crowds gathered
a. To the point He had to speak from a ship in the Sea of Galilee
b. To the point that some 20,000 people would gather, and he would end up feeding them twice from a few loaves of bread and fish
4. But all the crowds mean nothing if individuals do not step out on their own by their own faith, and make a decision ON THEIR OWN to trust Christ – they must choose as individuals (not as part of the crowd)!
B. The Courage (Mt 9:27,28) – these men had some courage – more than most
1. Faith Must Have Courage (Mt 9:27) – is not for the faint-hearted
a. Courage to follow Someone you cannot see
b. Courage to stay at it even when you don’t feel a part of the crowd
1) They couldn’t keep up
2) They kept tripping and bumping over things along the way
2. Faith Must Have a Cry – must put words to the feeling of the heart (Mt 9:27)
a. These men are not “praying a silent prayer”
b. They are crying out in desperation (Jer 29:13)
c. They didn’t care if they were in public
d. They had a need, and they were determined to be heard
1) Many times we are too refined so that we can’t even pray aloud
2) Many times people are ashamed of being seen to be reading their Bibles for answers, or attending a Bible-believing church
e. Most of the world has suppressed the cry that is within them
f. But these men go directly to Christ – the promised Messiah
1) Have you ever noticed how powerless the apostles were?
2) Did you ever see Mary do any miracle in the NT?
3) Jesus invites any and all to come directly to HIM (Mt 11:28)
g. These men ask only for MERCY - This is the greatest request
1) MERCY is the sinner begging that he would NOT get what he deserves – they knew they deserved hell, but wanted heaven
a) It is only recently that people have been ignoring their own sinfulness
b) It is a shame that people can’t be honest with either themselves, nor with God!
2) These two knew the prophecies – and claimed them now!
3) Jesus talked an lot about the subject of Mercy. So many of the people who came face to face with Jesus said the wonderful words, "Have mercy on me!"
4) Mt 15:22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
5) Mt 17:15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatick, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water.
6) Mt 20:30 And, behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, thou Son of David.
7) The reason why so few people have any need for Jesus is because they don’t think they are that bad, and therefore need most of all His mercy!
3. Faith Must Navigate a difficult Course (Mt 9:28)
a. Jesus is the door - Getting to the door can be tough
b. Notice the following observations:
1) Jesus does not answer their first cry, nor their second
2) Jesus heads into Matthew’s home for the evening meal
3) These two men must navigate around all the people gathered around the door, and somehow get to Christ
4) There were no middle-men to talk to – it had to be Jesus!
4. Faith Expects Examination (Mt 9:28)
a. Now we see why Jesus did not answer their cry first off
b. He was testing the reality of their faith – don’t be upset at such
c. Wanted to know:
1) Are they serious? Or is this just a stab-in-the-dark?
2) Do they have faith, or are only just expecting healing
3) Most people only want a miracle in their lives so that they can go back to living it the way they always have
4) Any miracle that Christ gives is to enable you to be different
5. Faith Finds Its Confidence (Mt 9:28) in TWO things:
a. In Jesus
1) In His ability – not in my own strength, or even in my own faith
2) In His way of doing things – His methods, timing
a) Ps 81:13 Oh that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways!
b) Ps 95:10 Forty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said, It is a people that do err in their heart, and they have not known my ways:
b. In Submission – allowed Him to be LORD
1) Everybody I know wants Jesus to be Genie of their lives – always able to get them out of troubles, and fixes
2) Some want Jesus to be Saviour
3) The real question is, do you want Him to be LORD?
a) The BOSS, the GOD of your life
b) The One who determines your life, and direction
c) AND, the One who takes responsibility for you – under the shadow of His wings – protection!
c. These two men did not just SEEK Jesus, they surrendered to Him
d. They must have been very confident of Jesus!
C. The Completion – faith has some consequences (Mt 9:29-31) – great results
1. Jesus worked IN them as much as it worked ON them
a. Yes, Jesus gave them sight
b. But He gave them a whole new life
1) Would never go back to begging
2) Would live using the gift of sight now – not ignoring it
3) Jesus had taught them:
a) How to pray – stay at it
b) How to depend upon Christ – looking to no one else
c) How to wait
d) How to live – following Jesus wherever he leads
2. Worked THROUGH them as well
a. Whatever God does FOR you, it actually is also for someone else
b. These two men probably did more for getting the Gospel out than that whole crowd put together – strange isn’t it?
c. Their consuming desire had been – TO SEE
d. Once that need was met, their consuming desire was that everyone could come to Jesus and see as well
A. There are two kinds of blindness
1. Physical blindness
2. Spiritual blindness – blindness of the heart and soul (Jn 9:39-41)
B. The only healer of spiritual blindness is Jesus
1. Without it, a person is lost in their sins, and without hope
2. With it, is a change of life, and passions
C. For the most part, the crowds gather at churches, and in religious meetings, but it is still up to each individual to gather the courage enough to cry out to Jesus and ask to be changed – transformed from a begging blind man, to a Christian
D. Whatever course you trod, it is the course or path of faith.
E. But it won’t work unless your faith rests fully on Jesus, as your Lord
F. Somebody once asked a preacher, how do you know if a person has really gotten saved or is only putting on a show? The answer was, when you see them going out and getting someone else saved – when you see that their salvation was not only good enough for them, it is good enough for everybody!
A. Are YOU saved – born-again – forgiven?
B. How is your burden for the lost?
C. How is your relationship with Jesus lately? Is He your LORD, or just the One who saved you from hell a few years back? Pity!