As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, crying loudly, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When he entered the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you.” And their eyes were opened. Then Jesus sternly ordered them, “See that no one knows of this.” But they went away and spread the news about him throughout that district. (Matthew 9:27-31 NRSV)
Before Jesus restores the sight of the blind men, he asks them, “Do you believe I can do this?” And when the men say that they do, he touches their eyes and continues, “According to your faith let it be done to you.” Their vision returns. In reading this story, it would seem that their healing was dependent on having enough faith in Jesus.
How much does our healing depend on our faith? Do our prayers affect or move God? Do we receive the results we desire if we ask “according to our faith”? All these questions and more came to me when I had cancer…
I so appreciated the prayers said for me, as well as the prayers I asked for myself. I do believe these prayers bolstered my spirit and helped with my healing. But oh, how I struggled with the purpose of prayer! If my healing was dependent on my faith, would I be responsible for my death if I didn’t have enough? Or if my prayers healed me, should I have prayed more for the beautiful teen who died than for myself? If people exclaim, “God is good!” because I am cancer-free, are we to think less of God if I wasn’t?
Today I notice that Jesus doesn’t ask, “Do you believe I am going to heal you?” He simply asks, “Do you believe I am able to do this?” This helps my understanding and brings peace to my prayers. To that question, we can heartily respond, “YES!” Trusting in the incredible goodness of God- a goodness that is beyond our finite understanding or human comprehension- we can and DO believe that Jesus is able.
Yes, Jesus is able to heal. But Jesus is also able to make good from whatever life brings us. Jesus is able to know beyond what we know. Jesus is able to love us and accompany us through whatever is in store. Jesus is able to comfort. Jesus is able to wrap us in peace. Jesus is able to give us the hope, the help, the love, the joy- in all circumstances. Jesus is “able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20), through every moment of our lives. All the way into eternity.
Are you talking to ME?
Today Jesus asks, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”
Do you have a special request of Jesus today? Are you able to fully trust in his goodness? In what ways do you have doubts? Can you recall a time when your prayers weren’t answered in the way you wanted, but in the way you now see you needed? Are you comforted to know that Jesus loves you more than you love yourself? Do you see how Jesus is able to do what is best for you?
Do you believe that I am able to do this?