Matthew 9:27-34 — What Jesus can do, and what he can’t

I had to do a double-take here as I read through these two stories because they are so similar to two others.  One was another case in which Jesus cast out a demon that caused a man to be mute (Matthew 12:22-37), and the other was the case with Bartimaeus (which we haven’t gotten to yet) and his companion who was also blind (Matthew 20:29-34; Mark 10:46-52).

At any rate, as I look at these two stories, it strikes me what Jesus can do and what he can’t.

Jesus has the power to heal the blind and to give speech to the mute.

But what he can’t do, or at least, what he won’t do, is make someone believe.

One thing that he asked the two blind men was “Do you believe that I am able to do this? (28)”

When they answered yes, he told them, “According to your faith will it be done to you (29),”  the clear implication being that they wouldn’t be healed if they didn’t truly believe.  This is not to say that Jesus can’t heal apart from our faith.  There were times when the person didn’t even know who Jesus was, much less put his trust in him, and yet Jesus healed him anyway (See John 5:1-15).  But most times Jesus did require faith on the part of the people he healed.  

As it was, these two men believed and received their sight.

But as you look at the second story, while many of the people looked in wonder at what Jesus had done for the mute man, it did nothing to shake the unbelief of the Pharisees who merely said, “It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.  (34)”

It didn’t matter what Jesus did, what miracles or signs he showed.  The Pharisees refused to believe.

And much as he wanted them to believe, he would not make them believe in him, no more than he tried to make the blind men believe.  They either did or they didn’t.

The same is true with us.  Jesus has given us his word.  He can point to all the things he’s done in your life and how he’s blessed you when you trusted and followed him.  But every day, the question you need to ask yourself is, “Do I trust him?  Do I trust him enough to follow him and do things his way?”

If you do, you’ll find healing and blessing in your life.

But if you don’t, you’ll end up like the Pharisees, apart from the healing and blessing in God in your life.

What choice will you make?


About bkshiroma

I'm from Hawaii, but have been in Japan as a missionary/English teacher since 1995. I'm currently going to a church called Crossroad Nishinomiya, an international church in Nishinomiya, a city right between Kobe and Osaka. Check out their website: 私がハワイから来ましたけど1995年に宣教師と英会話の教師として日本に引っ越しました。 今西宮にあるクロスロード西宮という国際の教会に行っています。どうぞ、そのホムページを見てください:
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