Jesus Redefines Impossibilities
Our daughter’s wedding was in five days. In that short period of time, a simple gymnasium needed to be transformed into an elegant reception hall. A seemingly impossible task, yet this mother-of-the bride was fully confident the “impossible” would become reality. My confidence rested firmly in the transformational abilities of our dear friends. I had no doubt they would turn the common into a thing of incredible beauty.
That same confidence is evident in the lives of two blind men who came to Jesus in Matthew 9:
And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David” (v. 27).
Do you hear the desperation in their plea? Their situation is hopeless . . . they have no other answers. Nowhere else to turn. Apart from Jesus’ intervention, their circumstances are destined to remain desperate and unchanged.
So they cry out . . . unashamedly, boldly, and with incredible persistence. They aren’t about to let Jesus out of their sight.
When he [Jesus] entered the house, the blind men came to him (v. 28).
Did you catch that? With single-minded focus, these two blind men depart from the crowd and unapologetically follow Jesus right into the house where He will lodge. Where did they get such bold assurance, such confidence that Jesus could transform their impossible situation?
To put it simply . . . the grapevine! Imagine how word would have spread through the local towns as this Jesus forgave sins, healed not only the sick but the paralytics, and then raised the dead to life! Surely their confidence had grown as they heard the details of Jesus’ work in the lives of others.
But now the two blind men stand face-to-face with this Jesus! And a personal crisis of belief is about to unfold.
Jesus Impacts the Impossible
You see, Jesus isn’t primarily interested in the knowledge we have about Him (our theology), but He is intently interested in how our theology intersects with our reality. How does what we know about Jesus impact how we see the “impossible situations” in our lives?
Jesus’ question goes to the heart of this matter:
“Do you believe that I am able to do this?” (v. 28).
I wonder what the “this” is in your life. What impossibility are you up against this week? What challenges are causing you to cry out to Jesus?
You see, Jesus’ question is directed to each of us today. Do we really believe that He is able to work regardless of how hopeless the circumstances appear? Does what we know about Jesus impact what we believe about our singleness? A challenging marriage? A rebellious child? Do we really believe Jesus is able to work in that situation?
I love the blind men’s response, and pray it will mirror ours:
“Yes, Lord, we acknowledge our desperate need of Your touch; we unashamedly cry out to You, and we believe You are able to do far more than we could ever ask or think!"
But what happens when circumstances make it difficult to trust? Let’s return to my wedding transformation . . .
When the Walls Come Crashing In
Over the next five days, friends and family would give sacrificially of their time and talents in order to transform a gymnasium into an elegant ballroom for our daughter’s wedding. This transformation required not only incredible commitment, but visionary genius, determined perseverance, and unwavering faith that the “impossible” would soon become reality.
As I dropped into bed that first night, I didn’t know how vital that unwavering faith would be in the days ahead. So much had already been accomplished—walls of tulle had been erected, countless strands of white lights had already been hung. By all accounts, we were well on our way. My confidence remained firm; the transformation would be complete by wedding day.
But then it happened. Like falling dominoes, segment after segment of ten-foot tulle walls suddenly came crashing down. Gasps of horror preceded a deafening silence as we realized that hours of hard work now lay undone at our feet. This mother-of-the-bride suddenly trembled in unbelief.
Isn’t it amazing how quickly confident faith wavers in the face of unexpected circumstances? Peter experienced this in Matthew 14:
“Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus (vv. 28–30).
Amazing! Peter’s faith was so firmly grounded in His Savior that he didn’t even hesitate at Jesus command. Peter knew Jesus could be trusted. He didn’t question Jesus’ ability to work in this “impossible situation.” The evidence of his unwavering faith? He stepped out of the boat!
Seeing the Wind
But then the circumstances changed. Matthew 14:30 says, “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, ‘Lord, save me.’”
I love that phrase, “when he saw the wind.” Wind is only visible as we look at the circumstances around us—rustling leaves, swaying trees . . . raging waves. The wind Peter sees is dramatically altering the circumstances of his situation. And in that moment, his faith begins to shake as waves of fear and unbelief rush over him.
Have the waves (or the walls) of fear and unbelief come crashing in on you recently? Have you been surprised at how little it’s taken to shake your faith? Peter moved from faith to fear—from confident assurance to sinking doubt in an instant. And far too often, so do we.
Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (v. 31).
Oh, how thankful I am that Jesus reaches out immediately to those sinking in waves of fear and unbelief! He doesn’t abandon us; He doesn’t leave us to our own devices. Rather, He reaches down into our desperate need and defines the bridge that will span the gap between our theology (what we know about God) and our reality. That bridge is called faith.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (Heb. 11:1).
As mother-of-the-bride, I was overcome by doubt when my eyes turned from the commitment and faithfulness of our friends (who would have worked around the clock to accomplish the goal) to the crashing walls around me. Doubt filled Peter’s heart as his eyes moved from the faithfulness of His Savior’s face to the raging waves around him.
I wonder where your eyes are fixed today. Are you wavering in unbelief and doubt as you look at the circumstances surrounding you? Is your cry, “Lord, save me?” In the words of the old hymn, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face.” His hand of mercy is extended toward you. His tender voice whispers, “Precious child, why did you ever doubt?”
Let’s keep “looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith” (Heb. 12:2).
By Carrie Gaul
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