This post is a part of my 10-Minute Tuesday series, where I write for just 10 minutes, without heavy editing, and see what I get. Each post is based on a prompt given to me by a reader.
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 English Standard Version).
I’ve been reading the Gospel of Mark lately. Lots and lots of things happen in the book of Mark. People are healed, authorities are challenged, parables are told. As in all the gospel narratives, one things always seems to stand out: the need for faith.
Above, I quoted a Bible verse that gives a definition of faith, but just after that, a little more is given: “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
From Jesus’ questioning of the people who wanted to be healed to His wisdom when speaking to the religious leaders, it’s apparent that what He wanted was for people to have faith—in Him and in the plan His Father had for the redemption of the world.
“Repent and believe,” “your faith has made you whole,” “come and follow Me.” All these are things Jesus said to the people He encountered. And yet, so many questioned. “Who is this man? Is he not Joseph’s son? Isn’t this the carpenter?”
They were short-sighted and hard-hearted. Jesus’ words could stir the hearts of those who heard them. Something deep within them told them that He was speaking the truth. But hard hearts have a hard time being stirred.
Have you ever tried to stir butter that has not been set out on the counter to soften? Or mold clay that has sat too long and gotten hard? Not easy, is it? If we let our hearts become hard, whether due to disappointment or discouragement or rebellion, we will have a hard time being stirred by God’s words to us. Faith will be hard to find.
Jesus encountered many lepers. Mark records an instance in which one leper came to Jesus and said, “If you will, you can heal me.” Jesus was moved by compassion and touched the man. Touched him! A leper! And made him well. The leper had faith and Jesus had compassion.
God simply wants us to believe that He is who He says He is and that He can do what He says He can do. Are you willing?