(From Matthew 9:18-19, 23-26) A broken hearted father knelt before the Master. “My daughter has just died, but You can bring her back to life again if You just come and lay Your hand on her.” It was a request that demonstrated a simple faith – an unwavering faith. Jesus, You are able to do this thing – no matter how much it doesn’t make human sense. Jesus, You alone can do this thing. i have no one else to turn to and no one else i can ask. And Jesus, i believe with all of my heart that You will do this thing – if You will come.
Throughout His earthly ministry, many came to Jesus, but only a few had the blessing of Jesus coming with them. And when He did, it was because of the faith they had demonstrated – faith that glorifies the Father – faith that He saw in the heart of the one He was willing to go with. Faith that says – no matter how impossible the request may seem, “Jesus, if You are willing, this will occur.”
How did the crowd react when Jesus said, “the girl isn’t dead; she’s only asleep”? Did they, like the girl’s father, kneel before Him? Did they wait in awe to see what He was going to do – because He was able? Did they cry out to Him to do what only He could? No, they laughed at Him. They ridiculed Him and mocked Him. That is often how the crowd will react to a simple, unwavering faith as it awaits an “impossible” answer from an Almighty God. But remember, Jesus wasn’t put off by the crowd, and neither was the girl’s father.
Yes, the faith of the father led to a faithful response of the Savior and a mocking response from the crowd. But it also led to life for his daughter. “Jesus took the girl by the hand, and she stood up!” The father’s faith was rewarded. His daughter’s life was restored – but not to what it had been. Rather, from that moment forward, she lived a life that had been transformed by the Savior. She would never be the same. She would always be the girl who had been dead and yet now lived simply because Jesus had taken her hand in response to the faith of her father. She would forever be a trophy of faith and faithfulness – the faith of her father, and the faithfulness of the Master.
But the girl’s father’s faith also led to one other result – glory to God. “The report of the miracle swept through the entire countryside!” No one was laughing now! They stood – or perhaps they now knelt – in awe. They had seen something occur that could only be explained by the power of God. That’s the faith that will move mountains – faith that will result in the dead arising. Not because the faith in and of itself has the power to do anything, but because the One in whom the faith is placed has the power to do everything, and He responds to honest and sincere faith. And it is not a faith that seeks selfish motives. It is a faith that truly seeks the glory of God – His will and His activity.
“Without faith, it is impossible to please God.” Faith like this young girl’s father – faith that stands firm – even when the crowd laughs.