Faith Killers

“…When Jesus entered the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd, he said, ‘Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.’ …” (Matthew 9:23-24)

One of my favorite movies is the tearjerker, melodramatic and religious film “Evan Almighty” (Get that smirk off your face!).

I was blessed to have received a VCD copy of it as a gift on Father’s Day courtesy of my family. My favorite scene is that part where Evan was laboring to build this huge ark in the middle of the city (because God told him so) and where on one side of the ark stood a throng of people who kept jeering at him while on the other side was this group of different species of animals ready to enter the ark. 

At that time, Evan was confronted with a choice: to listen to the jeers of the crowd or to find faith in the amazing assembly of God’s animals.

The synagogue ruler in today’s Gospel was confronted with the same choice.

Aggrieved and desperate, this church leader had no choice but to find help from the most unconventional places. Despite his stature, he sought the healing power of a renowned carpenter from Nazareth. But what can he do? The doctors were helpless. The meds were not effective. His prayers were falling on deaf ears. And so He went to Jesus…

Even if it meant ruining his reputation. Even it meant losing his job. Even it meant getting ridiculed by his peers. For his daughter. He needed to do it for her. God knows he was willing to do anything for her. (But God did know!)

And so he went to Jesus with nothing much but his faith. And Jesus didn’t disappoint. Not only did He pronounce healing from afar. He went to the ruler’s house, stepped into his bedroom and lifted his little girl from the tyranny of death to the freshness of new life.

But Jesus did something else. He did something more. He taught a lesson to those whose faith are weakening like that of the ruler.

He kicked out the “faith killers”.

Those men and women who love to see the darkness behind every light. The doomsayers. The fire dousers. They major on the hopelessness of every situation, and they specialize in grounding your faith.

Do you know of people like that in your life?

Sure you do.

When you tell them of your dreams, they caution you to be realistic.

When you share to them your plans, they tell you to get real.

When you tell them of your hope, they remind you of your fears.

For them, the economy is never going to improve. The marriage can never be saved. The business is never going to prosper. The government will always stay that way. And the cancer is there to stay. 

Look at what Jesus did to the naysayers of his time:

“…When Jesus entered the ruler’s house and saw the flute players and the noisy crowd, he said, ‘Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.’ …” (Matthew 9:23-24)

Jesus marvelled at the ruler’s faith and sought to prevent the faith killers from robbing him of that one thing that can heal his daughter.

My friend, Jesus wants to do the same with you.

To expand your faith in His awesome promises. To preserve your belief in His wonderful plans. To deepen your trust in His astounding dreams for you.

But He asks of you one thing: rid your life of faith killers.

Stay away from those who are negative about life. From the cynics. From the skeptics. From the pessimists. Stay away from faith killers.

Instead, fix your eyes on God’s great promises in your life. Talk to faith builders: people who believe in God’s wonderful plans for your life. They will inspire. They will encourage. They will support. They will be carriers of God’s voice and channels of God’s grace. Stay with them. Drink deep from their well of faith. Absorb their hope. Embrace their creed.

And just like the Synagogue ruler, you will realize how powerful the Nazarene Physician can be for you!

Keeping the faith,

Bobby Q.