Matthew 6:28–31 (NIV) 28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
Whenever Jesus gets to that phrase… “you of little faith”… (and he does it a lot)… I feel small. How come I don’t have enough faith?
Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, former Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, describes his personal journey from atheism to Christianity when he was a young doctor and an aspiring academic.
“If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” 5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. (Luke 17:3-6, NIV)
The rebukes of Jesus to his disciples constantly challenge me. I am especially challenged when he points out their “little faith” or “no faith.”
In Matthew 17, after Jesus has come down from the transfiguration event, the disciples have been confronted with a situation they can’t handle. The trouble they have is they experienced the spiritual battle with demons before and had cast out demons, but now this particular situation wasn’t working out the same.
At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you ahead of time. (Matt. 24:23-25, NIV) Continue reading “The rise of false Messiahs”→
“The fact that those freed by the divine action still live in the world does not mean that they belong to the world, as though possessed by the world and incorporated into its structure. They are indeed in themselves finite individuals, but are no longer in slavery for — through the process of dying and rising with Christ — they have broken through into the infinity and freedom of God himself.” — Hans Urs von Balthasar, Engagement with God