Jesus stepped into a boat, crossed over and came to his own town. Some men brought to him a paralyzed man, lying on a mat. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”Matthew 9:1-2
A paralyzed man lying on a mat would not have been able to get to Jesus. He would not have been able to move himself toward Jesus to receive healing. If someone else didn’t bring him, he wasn’t going.
Then a group of men, maybe family or friends, bring the paralyzed man to Jesus. And Jesus says something that should sink deep into our hearts. “When Jesus saw their faith…” Their faith? The man was healed because his friends had faith. Astounding!
And this isn’t the only time. We see a pagan, Gentile girl who was demonized get delivered because of the faith of her mom (Matthew 15:21-28). We see a servant healed because of the faith of his centurion boss (Matthew 8:5-13). And on and on it goes throughout the Gospels. Over and over again we see friends, family members, parents and others engaging their faith for the sake of their loved one. And we see Jesus honor their faith even if the person needing healing has none.
It is as if, for healing to occur, faith must be present. But God in his graciousness will let faith come from anyone involved. Sometimes it is the person who needs healing who has the faith. Jesus often said, “Your faith has healed you.” Sometimes the faith comes from friends or family who are standing the gap for their loved one. Sometimes faith comes from the person praying.
God is just looking for the conduit of faith through which to release His power into the situation. He doesn’t even need much faith. Just a little faith will do. And He’s willing to work through the faith of anyone present.
What this means is that growing in our faith–increasing our trust in God–isn’t just about us and our relationship with Him. It is about that, but it is also about being able to release faith for the sake of others.
Are you engaging your faith for the sake of others? Are you releasing your faith into situations where others may not have faith? Are you letting friends and family borrow from and draft off of your faith as it grows?