We all struggle with our faith and in our darkest hour question the very faith that has carried us thus far in our lives. None more so than Thomas.
Doubting Thomas (John 20:24-31)
“…Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”- John 20:25
This is the situation for most of us today. We keep demanding signs from God even though we have experienced his grace up close. Yet we still look for miracles and signs to reconfirm our faith.
Thomas was with Jesus for more than three years, he had seen all the miracles that Jesus had performed, how He raised the dead and would have been present for his countless teachings but still Thomas was unable to grasp the supernatural aspect of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
We may go to church regularly, and would have accepted Christ as our personal savior, but we may still not be aware of the awesome power of our God. If we keep demanding for signs, our Faith on the unseen God will never be complete. Rather, we must grow in His word and equip ourselves to face any situation that can only be possible with a complete faith on Christ, that in Him all things are possible.
Pharisees Kept Demanding Signs (Matthew 16:1-4)
“…there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of Jonah.”- Matthew 16:4
These are the people who have no intent in accepting the gift that Christ had to offer but wanted to divert anyone else who would listen to Christ’s gospel. They asked for miracles and signs in order to trap Jesus either in the name of Sabbath or accused Jesus of performing black magic. To them Christ responds that all the signs in the world would not be enough to make you turn and there is no point in ‘throwing pearls in front of you’.
There have been many philosophies trying to stamp out the name of Jesus. Darwinism and Scientology trying to belittle the marvelous creation of God but the name of Jesus still stands strong. In fact it was L. Ron Hubbard who stated his desire to start a new religion as he felt there is a lot of money in the ‘Business of Religion’ just few years prior to him fathering the religion of Scientology.
In a similar way, the Pharisees treated the religion as a business and were threatened seeing the signs that Jesus, and later his disciples would perform. They tried every possible way to negate Jesus’ teachings in the name of blasphemy.
The Unbelieving Towns (Matthew 11:20-24)
“But I say unto you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the Day of Judgment, than for thee.”- Matthew 11:24
The cities of Chorazin and Bethsaida were the places where most of Jesus’ mighty works were done, but still they stubbornly refused to repent. To them Christ says the destruction of Sodom was nothing compared to the destruction that their souls will suffer.
People keep demanding miracles and signs and when they receive they forget all about it and carry on their same path. Yet because of his grace, God keeps giving them chance after chance to repent. The warmth of Jesus’ love can melt all hardened hearts if only we receive what he freely gave.
The Centurion’s Faith (Matthew 8:5-13)
“Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.”- Matthew 8:10
And then there was this centurion who did not know Christ except for mere hearsay. Unlike the Jews he did not grow up on stories about the awesome works of the God of Abraham and Moses. But he still came to Jesus and not for his own son or daughter but to plead for the healing of his servant.
A commander of an army, humbling himself to a foreigner in every sense of the word, as he did not know anything about Christ, only that He could bring respite to his servant. The centurion insisted that Christ need not bother coming to his house but rather say the word and his servant would be healed.
In his limited understanding, he is comparing Christ’s authority to his own command over his troops. Faith like that of the centurion is something we all need to learn. Not just blind faith but applying his faith to his own circumstances.
It’s not about how many hours of mass you attend each Sunday or how many verses you can memorize. It is all in vain if we can’t apply them in our lives. Our count of years since we have been a ‘believer’ mean nothing if we lack the basic faith on Jesus. It was the gentile centurion’s belief that brought healing to his servant and similarly our faith should reap blessings for the people around us.