Tuesday, June 10, 2014

what I'm listening to: you can trust that man

It's one of my favourite stories about Jesus.

A woman, who's been bleeding for 12 years, touches the very edge of his cloak, and feels in her body that she's been healed.

He asks, "Who touched me?" She comes trembling, and falls at his feet.

He says, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” (Luke 6:40-56)

In Annabel Nixey's talk about this woman,* she asks, do we really want this woman's faith? Or do we want something more exciting?
Jesus lifts up this woman as an example, and he says, "See her faith." ... Faith is the guts of how we relate to God. ...

The faith that this woman had in this moment, we are to have in every moment.

So what was it? It's that she had empty-handed trust, and that this trust was in Jesus.

This woman came to Jesus with nothing, and she knew it. She was no great achiever. She was a receiver.

But if I'm honest, even when it comes to God, I want to be independent. I want the glamour faith. I want the independent dependence.

There's no such thing! There is simply no such thing.

When you look at this woman trembling in front of Jesus, do you want to be like her? I'm happy to learn from her. I don't know that I want to be like her.

And yet she is the example that Jesus holds up of how to treat him. 
Me too. I'd love the glamour faith, not the broken faith. But only when I'm broken do I learn what it  means to cling to Jesus. Yet my faith is no more perfect than this woman's:
But here's the comfort. This woman is held up as an example of faith, but her faith wasn't perfect.

It was tentative at first. It was wrapped up in the superstition that she had to touch Jesus. Jesus heals her anyway.

Maybe you look at your Christian friends and family, and you longingly think, "I wish I had her faith."

Look at this woman. She didn't have some mysterious quality. She simply trusted in Jesus. 

Maybe you look inside yourself, and maybe you ask yourself, "Do I have faith? Do I have enough faith? Do I have the right kind of faith?"

It wasn't about whether she had perfect faith.

It's about who her faith was in.
Instead of examining my own faith, I am learning to look away from myself and to Jesus:
We need to lift our eyes, look to Jesus, stop the self-analysis, look at Jesus.

Do you trust that man? Because we have even more reasons to trust in Jesus than this woman did.

You can trust that man. He went on to die for his people. Right after this, he raised Jairus' daughter from the dead. Who does that? He went on to punch through death himself in the resurrection. He gave us his Spirit.

And so we know that he is going to come back, and he's going to bring a whole kingdom where there will be no more bleeding. There will be no more need for doctors. There will be no more dying.

We need to lift our eyes and look forward to that kingdom.
I've been wondering what this woman would say to us. I don't think she'd say, "Look at my faith." I do think she'd say, "Look at him!"

Look at Jesus. You can trust that man.

* This is from Annabel Nixey's talk from Equip 2013. I wrote about another talk from this conference - Anna Moss on Mary and Martha - here. I highly recommend these talks. I found them very encouraging.

No comments: