Then Jesus said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ The other guests began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’ Jesus said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’ (Luke 7:48-50)
There has been a focus on faith in Luke for the last couple of weeks. This Sunday’s passage looks at the great benefit of faith: it is what saves us. If we know who Jesus is - by his words and his actions - and we believe it, we are saved though that faith.
“Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” (Luke 7:22-23)
What do we expect from Jesus? Does he do what we think he’s going to do? Does the Jesus we see in action - both in God’s Word and around us - make us question who he is? What Jesus does tells us what he is like, and what we should be like.
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, ‘I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.’ (Luke 7:9)
What is faith? What does it mean for us to have faith? As we return to Luke's gospel for a few weeks, we start with a look at what faith is. How can we have faith in the way Jesus describes?
God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear (Psalm 46:1-2)
Fear can be paralysing, stopping us from doing what we should do and from enjoying all the goodness that God gives us. What is it that helps us with our fear? Remembering that God is our refuge and strength. If God is with us, we don’t need to fear anything - no matter what happens, God is permanent and secure, he can never be shaken. If we are with God, then we won’t be shaken either.
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. (Psalm 42:1)
What is it that you really want? What does your heart desire? When you dream of the future, what is it that comes to mind? When life is hard, where do go for help? When the future is uncertain, to whom do you turn?