Monday, August 4, 2014

Excitement in the Boat, part 14: Lack of Faith

And He said to them, "Where is your faith?" They were fearful and amazed, saying to one another, "Who then is this, that He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey Him?" (Luke 8:25 NASB)

In the previous post, we saw that the disciples were seized by fear and amazement when the storm stopped in response to Christ's command and 
calm descended. The word translated as "amazed" is thaumaz┼Ź, and we have already looked at it as it relates to our experience of Christ. 

This word is also found in Mark 6:6. In this verse, it is translated as "wondered".  

And He wondered at their unbelief.(Mark 6:6a NASB)

In the passage in Mark, Jesus had been teaching in Nazareth, but had little success. People took offense because they were familiar with Him. They had watched Him grow up and knew His history. They knew His people, most of whom still lived in Nazareth. "Who does He think He is?" they asked. 

When Jesus saw their response, he was thaumaz┼Ź, totally amazed at their lack of faith and filled with wonder at their inability to believe. He was utterly astonished. What an indictment!  It is a good thing to be astonished by the power of Jesus. It is a terrible thing for Jesus to be astonished by our lack of faith. 

In the first century church, miracles abounded. The sick were miraculously healed. Lives were dramatically transformed. Those locked in sin were set free. The gospel was preached. Some of those same churches, however, were rebuked in the Revelation because they had "lost their first love".  

When He looks at His church today, what does Jesus see?  Is He once again astonished by our lack of faith? Sorrowing at our sin? When He looks at our lives individually, what does He see?  Do we leave Him shaking His head in amazement at our lack of faith or thrilling Him with our obedience?  One day, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. We would do well to be sure we do that with our lives now. 

Pray today that we and our loved ones will have the kind of boundless faith that pleases Christ, and the courage to obey no matter the cost. 

The terrorist prayer focus this week is Hamas. Pray that they will begin to value life, that their efforts at terror will not prosper, and that their social welfare programs will be more important to them than their costly efforts at destruction. Pray for the kind of Damascus road experience that turned a Saul into a Paul.