by Jeffrey W. Hamilton
Text: Luke 18:35-43
I. In looking at some of the miracles of Jesus in order to answer a question, I noticed something that I had not seen before
A. If you look at the various miracles, you soon realize that faith on the part of the person being healed is not required. People were healed without faith on their part.
1. When Peter and John healed the crippled man, he was expecting a handout, he certainly wasn’t expecting to be healed. Likely, he had no idea who he was talking to - Acts 3:1-8
2. When Jesus healed the blind man, the man knew Jesus’s name - John 9:11
a. But he did not know who he was - John 9:35-38
b. It was only afterward that he came to belief
3. When Jesus raised the young man at Nain, certainly the young man who was dead did not have faith, nor was there faith in the members of the funeral procession. Jesus and his disciples were passing through and were strangers in this region - Luke 7:11-16
4. It is even shown in the Old Testament - II Kings 13:20-21
a. A man dies and as his friends take him to be buried, they see raiders approaching. Quickly they stuff the body in a nearby tomb, which just happens to be Elisha's. And when the body touched Elisha's bones, he was restored to life.
b. No one was asking for a miracle. No one was looking for a miracle. Everyone's focus was on the Moabites and their need to defend themselves.
c. There was no faith involved by anyone in this situation, and yet faith came as a result of the situation.
B. But faith had a role in healing. The disciples tried and failed to cast out a demon while Jesus was not with them - Matthew 17:19-21
II. I began looking at situations where Jesus told the person that his faith made him well.
A. In the healing of the ten lepers, one comes back, after realizing he was healed, to thank Jesus - Luke 17:15-19
1. His faith made him well; yet ten were healed. What made the other nine well?
2. Unless “well” is not talking about physical health, but spiritual health.
3. There were ten who were cured of leprosy, but only one had faith to become spiritually whole.
B. In the case of the woman suffering from hemorrhaging, she believed that if she touched Jesus’ garments, she would be made well - Matthew 5:28
1. Jesus felt the power leave him and turned to the woman, telling her that her faith had made her well - Matthew 5:34
2. Here you could argue that the woman’s faith healed her, but what if Jesus meant more by this? That she wasn’t just healed, but she had become truly and fully whole – physically and spiritually?
C. One more case of blind Bartimaeus - Mark 10:51-52
1. Notice the clear order: Jesus told Bartimaeus that his faith had made him well (past tense) and then Bartimaeus was healed.
2. (Side note: Luke’s account makes it sound as almost simultaneous with the pronouncement - Luke 18:41-43)
3. But still, the state is that Bartimaeus was already made whole before he received his sight.
III. The word in all three cases is sozo.
A. It means primarily to save, to preserve or keep safe, or a person’s well-being
B. In the case of the woman, she was looking to be rescued (sozo) from 12 years of bleeding, but it is very likely Jesus was telling her that her faith rescued her from something greater than a mere physical ailment.
C. It can mean rescued from danger
1. Physical danger - Matthew 14:30
2. But it also means to be rescued from spiritual danger - Romans 5:9-10
3. Jesus is able to completely save - Hebrews 7:24-25
IV. True, permanent salvation
A. That salvation is not through men earning it as a wage - II Timothy 1:8-10
B. The means of that salvation is through preaching the gospel - I Corinthians 1:21
1. It is here we learn what God has to offer
2. Paul preached to save people - Romans 11:13-14; I Corinthians 9:22
3. It is what all preachers do - I Timothy 4:16
4. It is what any of us do when we bring someone back out of sin - James 5:19-20
C. But it does require man to respond to God’s offer - Titus 3:4-7
1. We have to desire salvation, losing our life to gain it - Mark 8:35
2. Salvation requires hope - Romans 8:24
3. It requires faith. Faith is the critical element to our rescue - Acts 16:30-31
a. God’s gift to us is salvation by faith - Ephesians 2:8-10
b. But it does not end at faith - Acts 16:32-33
c. It requires confession - Romans 10:8-10
d. Faith requires action - James 2:14-17
4. Baptism now saves - I Peter 3:21
V. Salvation can be rejected
A. God wants everyone saved - I Timothy 2:3-4
B. Jesus came into this world to save - I Timothy 1:15
C. But the sad fact is that only few will be saved - Luke 13:23-30
1. Some think they can force an entrance, but it won’t work
2. You can’t make your own door
D. The righteous are scarcely saved - I Peter 4:18
1. What makes you think you can find a different way in?
E. Will you trust God with your life?
1. Will your faith make you whole?