What is faith? What does it meet to act by faith? In the book of 2nd Corinthians, Paul said, “we live by faith, not by sight” (2nd Corinthians 5:7), but what does this mean? What does the Bible say about it? These questions have been asked for generations by millions as they search for meaning in their lives.
In the many miracles that Jesus performed while He was on this earth, faith was of utmost importance to him. When explaining to His disciples why they were not able to heal somebody, Jesus replied, "You didn't have enough faith. I assure you, even if you had faith as small as a mustard seed (the smallest seed of any plant), you could say to this mountain, `Move from here to there,' and it would move. Nothing would be impossible." (Matthew 17:20 – New Living Translation) This article is not going to explain how to acquire faith, because I am often praying for more. However, I know how to get it. By believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, “who gives generously to all without finding fault.” (James 1:5 – New International Version)
Mark 10 is one of the many examples where faith is shown and Jesus’ heart is moved enough that he healed the person who had asked for a miracle. This particular man is blind, doing the only thing blind men could do in Jesus day, beg. However, Bartimaeus did something that many blind men in Jesus day did not do, he showed faith that Jesus could heal him.
When we read the story, we learn that faith must be active, so Bartimaeus was active, shouting at the top of his voice to get Jesus attention. Even when people scolded him, swore at him, or demeaned him, he did not stop. As a result, Bartimaeus received what he had been waiting for, for years, the attention of someone who could do something about his immediate situation.
As someone with a disability, I can imagine how Bartimaeus might have felt when someone in the crowd said, "Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling you." Was he excited? Ecstatic? I do not think the English language has the words to express this man’s joy.
In Mark 10:51, Jesus asks him, “’What do you want me to do for you?’ The knowledge that Bartimaeus’ acts of faith had gotten Jesus attention and that his lowly situation mattered to Jesus was certainly enough to make him cheer up quickly. “Jesus wants to do something for me?” How would you feel if Jesus came into your situation and asked that question? What would you say? Would you have the faith that Jesus could do it?
Getting Jesus attention and answering His questions, were the first two steps towards healing for Bartimaeus. And this remains true for many others who have called on the name of Jesus Christ. Believing that Jesus can do what we ask is the third and often the most difficult stage.
So, what is faith? In one of his many songs, Michael Card, a contemporary Christian artist wrote:
To hear with my heart,
To see with my soul,
To be guided by a hand I cannot hold,
To trust in a way that I cannot see,
That's what faith must be.
The details of your answer may be different from mine. However, the primary meaning of faith is just as the song says. To believe in my heart that God can do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine. Do you believe this?