Faith on Fridays—Faith and formation
Faith in Jesus makes up the Mechanics of Life.
A Roman army officer came to Jesus and begged for help. “My servant is very sick at home in bed. You need only to give the order, and my servant will be healed.” Amazed Jesus said, “This man has more faith than anyone I have found!” Then Jesus said, “Go home. Your servant will be healed the way you believed he would.” (Matthew 8:5-13)
Peter cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” He said, “why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:30-31)
Peter had little faith while that of the officer was great. What’s the difference?
Faith is like a muscle. It requires formation. Focus on a person serious about muscle formation, an NFL linesman. Simplified, he will have a professional trainer and intensive training; in other words knowledge combined with action.
This was Jesus’ model, precisely. Jesus did NOT gather His trainees to a gym, classroom, auditorium or building of any kind. He gathered them to Himself: Walking along the beach, Jesus saw Simon and Andrew, two fishermen. Jesus said to them, “Come, follow Me!” A short distance down the beach He came upon James and John, also fishermen. Jesus made the same offer to them, and they were just as quick to follow (Matthew 4:18-22). He was both the Content and Action of their training in faith.
Content: they were taught—When Jesus saw His ministry drawing huge crowds, He climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to Him, the committed, climbed with Him. Arriving at a quiet place, He sat down and taught His climbing companions. (Matthew 5:1-2)
Action: they were sent out to do that which they had been taught—Jesus called the Twelve to Him, and sent them out in pairs. He sent them off with these instructions: “Don’t think you need a lot of extra equipment for this. You are the equipment.” Then they went on the road. They preached with joyful urgency that life can be radically different; they brought wellness to the sick, anointing their bodies, healing their spirits. (Mark 6:6-16)
Most people want to be physically fit. In January, gym memberships skyrocket. However, by March most of us have proved that the price of action is too high! Armed with a hundred excuses, we quit!
Most followers of Jesus, I believe, would like to have at least “mustard size faith”! However, most of us are too preoccupied with living to do faith. We’d rather just sign up for another Bible study!
Nevertheless, faith requires formation: knowledge plus action—A disciple is not above his teacher, but when he is fully trained he will be like his teacher.” (Luke 6:40)
Check back next Friday as we continue our Faith on Fridays series.