What kind of faith?
Basic faith assessments
Matthew 8 and 16
Three assessments of basic faith
How do you respond in crisis?
Do you perceive life only from an earthly perspective?
Do you expect Jesus to act?
I. The test: A major crisis
A. The underlying issue: Situation out of my control
(NKJV) Matthew 8 23 Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep.
1. Overwhelmed by sudden events
2. Seismos – great shaking
3. Swamping the boat
4. Beyond their capabilities as fishermen
5. God had checked out
B. The response: Fear
(NKJV) Matthew 8 25 Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
1. Scared witless
2. Thought they were abandoned
C. The assessment: F-
(NKJV) Matthew 8 26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?”
D. The underlying hint: Wasn’t Jesus there all along?
(NKJV) Matthew 8 26 … Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.
1. Answer among them
E. The expected response: Know and trust Jesus
(NKJV) Matthew 8 27 So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?”
1. Jesus is in control
2. Power to calm storm – disciples have a choice
II. The Test: A need to perceive the spiritual
A. The underlying issue: Consumed with the earthly
1. Inability to see beyond the surface
(NKJV) Matthew 16 5 Now when His disciples had come to the other side, they had forgotten to take bread.
B. The response: Wrong life interpretation
(NKJV) Matthew 16 6 Then Jesus said to them, “Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.” 7 And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “It is because we have taken no bread.”
1. Missing spiritual focus
C. The assessment: F-
(NKJV) Matthew 16 8 But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, “O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread?
D. The underlying hint: Wasn’t the food miracle about the spiritual?
(NKJV) Matthew 16 9 Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up? 10 Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up? 11 How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread?—but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
E. Our expected response: Pursue spiritual understanding
(NKJV) Matthew 16 12 Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.
III. The test: A need for Jesus’ intervention
A. The underlying issue: Unworthy to be helped
(NKJV) Matthew 8 5 Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, 6 saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” 7 And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8 The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof.
1. Needed major intervention
2. Recognized own unworthiness
3. Not a religious guy – a Gentile (maybe a god-fearer)
B. The response: Trusted him anyway
(NKJV) Matthew 8 8 … But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.
C. The assessment: A+
(NKJV) Matthew 8 10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!
1. Jesus can act without any religious ritual
2. Believed Jesus had ultimate authority
3. Did not need to see to believe
D. The underlying hint:
(NKJV) Matthew 8 9 For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
1. Doesn’t Jesus have authority?
E. Our expected response: Trust Him to act
(NKJV) Matthew 8 11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. … 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour.