In Mark 10 and in Luke 18 are stories of the healing of a blind man. In Mark 10:52, a man is healed and is told, “Your faith has healed you.” I have often heard this phrase used as evidence that if we only believe enough, we are going to be healed. But something about the whole verse has troubled me. This morning I realized that his faith was not in the healing itself, but in Jesus.
Earlier in the passage he called Jesus “son of David.” This is a title. The Jews used this title to refer to the Messiah King. This is clear in Isaiah 11:1-5, Jeremiah 23:5-6, and in many, many other Old Testament passages.
What’s fascinating is this: this man’s faith is not a matter of “what”; it was a matter of “who.” It was not faith in a law. It was not faith in a formula. It was not faith in faith. It was faith in a person. His faith was rooted in this thought progression: 1) Jesus is. 2) So Jesus can. He desperately needed to know only one more thing: (3) that Jesus would. He was waiting for the “word.”
This is the pattern of the biblical record (see Luke: 9:7-8). Many of us have confused faith with super belief or with positive thinking; but biblical faith is unique in that it is rooted in “who,” not “what.” It is trusting the word of a person more than you trust anything or anyone else.
The enemy traps us with a false model of faith. Then he shatters the model. With this move, he shatters the God that we constructed for the model. But as John 6:29 says, our primary work is believing in a person.
Earlier in this passage: “You cannot receive the kingdom of God unless you become like a little child.” It is notable that Jesus said to this man, “Receive your sight or your healing.” I think children trust what is said because they trust who is saying it. At some point, they “cross the line” and start to become adults. When they cross that line, they reverse the process. At that point they examine what is said before they trust who is saying it.