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The Power of Frustration. The Power of Faith

In the morning, when he returned to the city, he was hungry. And seeing a fig tree by the side of the road, he went to it and found nothing at all on it but leaves. Then he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once. When the disciples saw it, they were amazed, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?” Jesus answered them, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will be done.Whatever you ask for in prayer with faith, you will receive” (vv. 18-22).

Categories: disciples, Faith, jesus, matthew

Faith the Size of a Mustard Seed

When they came to the crowd, a man came to him, knelt before him,and said, “Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; he often falls into the fire and often into the water. And I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him.” Jesus answered, “You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him here to me.” And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you” (vv. 14-20).

Categories: Faith, jesus, matthew

Centurion’s Faith

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help.“Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”

Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”

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. 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.”

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment (vv. 5-13).

Categories: Faith, jesus, matthew

Passing the Test

Examine yourselves. Check your faith! Are you really in the faith? Do you still not know that Jesus the Anointed is in you?—unless, of course, you have failed the test. Surely you will realize we have not failed the test, but we pray to God that you will stay away from evil. What’s important is not whether we appear to have passed the test, but that you do what is right and act honorably, even if it appears that we have failed (vv. 5-7).

Categories: 2 Corinthians, Faith

Live By Faith

The path we walk is charted by faith, not by what we see with our eyes. There is no doubt that we live with a daring passion, but in the end we prefer to be gone from this body so that we can be at home with the Lord. Ultimately it does not matter whether we are here or gone; our purpose stays fixed, and that is to please Him. In time we will all stand in judgment before the throne of the Anointed, the Liberating King, to receive what is just for our conduct (whether it be good or bad) while we lived in this temporary body (vv. 7-10).

Categories: 2 Corinthians, Faith

Faith and Prayer

Remember when I sent you out with no money, no pack, not even sandals? Did you lack anything?

Disciples: Not a thing.

Jesus: It’s different now. If you have some savings, take them with you. If you have a pack, fill it and bring it. If you don’t have a sword, sell your coat and buy one. Here’s the truth: what the Hebrew Scriptures said, “And He was taken as one of the criminals,” must come to fruition in Me. These words must come true.

Disciples: Look, Lord, we have two swords here.

Jesus: That’s enough.

There is powerful consistency in Jesus’ life. Again and again, He withdraws from the crowds to pray in solitude. Now, at this dramatic moment, Jesus again withdraws to pray—in a solitude made more intense by the fact that He has asked His disciples to pray, too, but they have fallen asleep. And in this moment of anguished emotion, Jesus mouths a prayer that resonates with His consistent message of the Kingdom. He has taught His disciples to pray, “May Your kingdom come,” which is a request for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Now, drenched in sweat, Jesus Himself prays simply for God’s will to be done, even if it means He must drink the cup of suffering that awaits Him in the hours ahead.

We often speak of having faith in Jesus; but we seldom speak of the faith of Jesus, a faith He demonstrated consistently throughout His life and especially at its end. In a moment of agony, Jesus still trusted God, still yielded His will to God, and still approached God as “Father,” placing Himself in the position of a child, in trust—profound, tested, sincere.

Once again He left the city as He had been doing during recent days, returning to Mount Olivet along with His disciples.And He came to a certain place.

Jesus: Pray for yourselves, that you will not sink into temptation (vv. 35-40, The Voice).

Categories: disciples, Faith, jesus, luke, Prayer

Outline of Luke 17

  1. Forgive Faithfully
  2. Serve Faithfully
  3. Be Healed Faithfully
  4. Keep Watch Faithfully
Categories: Faith, jesus, luke, outline
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