Matthew 9:18 – Faith
by Jonathan Tsai -
Passage: Matthew 9:18 (c.f. Mark 5:21-24)
A synagogue official comes before Jesus in desperation because his daughter just died. What’s the big deal? This kind of thing happens every day, right? (No!) Why is it recorded in the Bible?
When you think about it, since the Bible is inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16), then what we read in the gospels is a very selective account of Jesus’ life. The gospels don’t talk about His entire life, but mostly circumstances and events prior to Jesus’ birth, His early childhood, and then the last three years of His life before crucifixion.
Of the selectivity of what is recorded for us in God’s word in the gospel of John, John gives a specific reason:
Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.
And there are also many other things which Jesus did, which if they *were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself *would not contain the books that *would be written.
Therefore, when we read the Bible, we should not read it flippantly or casually, but we should always ask the deeper questions–“Why was this passage recorded for God’s people to read for generations and generations to come?” and “What can I learn from this passage?” and “How does this apply to me?”
One more example of selective records from Matthew 26:13 (c.f. Mark 14:9)
Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.
Now that we have seen that the gospels are not an exhaustive historical record, but rather a highlight reel for Christians to pay heed to, we can look at this passage and seek to understand its significance.
Two characteristics which the synagogue official exhibit, and which we should emulate, are:
Humility and reverence in coming before God
a synagogue official came and bowed down before Him
An unwavering faith and trust in God’s ability to save
My daughter has just died; but come and lay Your hand on her, and she will live.
Along the spectrum of worshiping God and faith in God, where do you lie–nonchalantly casual towards God and doubting Him, or humbly dependent before Him and completely trusting in Him?