“When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8)
What Jesus is looking for — was when He walked the dusty roads of Galilee and is today — is faith. Nothing touches His heart like encountering someone who believes in Him and accepts that He is the living Son of God. “Without faith it is impossible to please God,” we read in Hebrews 11:6. That’s the point.
Four men heard Jesus was in the little house down the road and sprang into action. For days, they had been waiting on this moment. They hurried down to their friend’s house and loaded him onto a pallet. (A pallet could have been something as simple as a quilt.) Each grabbed a corner and they hoisted up their paralyzed colleague and proceeded out the door and down the road. Today, their friend would meet Jesus the Healer.
At the house, they ran into a problem. The place was packed out. People were stuffed into the doorways and hanging out the windows. No one made any move toward opening a way into the house for them.
The four, still bearing their burden of love, walked around the side of the house and up the outside stairs to the roof. (In that part of the world, people built their homes so on hot nights, they could sleep outside for coolness and atop the house for safety.) They laid the man down and commenced to tearing into the roof. (These were not large houses and the roofs were nothing as elaborate as ours today.)
We can only imagine how the folks inside felt when parts of the ceiling began falling on them. Did they laugh when they realized what was happening? Someone on top must have called, “Hey, someone in there — give us a hand.” As they lowered the pallet into the room, men on the floor steadied the paralytic with their hands and gently laid him on the floor.
By now, the crowd had moved back and the four friends walked in the front door.
Great moment, now. All eyes are on Jesus. What will He do?
“When Jesus saw their faith….” (Mark 2:5)
How’s that? He SAW their faith, the faith of the four friends?
How exactly does one “see” faith? Isn’t it an intangible quality, something like hope and love?
In Scriptures, faith is never a feeling. It’s always an action. Faith is something we do.
Faith in Jesus caused these friends to bring their paralyzed buddy to Jesus and to tear up someone’s house in order to get it done.
So, what has your faith made you do?
When our Lord said, “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?” he was most definitely not saying He would be looking for people who like or admire Him. He will not be looking for people who claim to love Him or say they are His disciples.
Jesus is looking for people who demonstrate their faith in Him by the way they live, the way they run their businesses, the way they confess Him, pray to Him, give to His work, share their faith, and help others. That’s why, in Luke 19, when Zaccheus announced he was quitting his bad ways and giving away half his income to the poor, Jesus had no trouble announcing, “Today, salvation has come to this house!”
Rearranging your life for Jesus is an act of faith. You have no way of knowing how your friends or family will react or what the cost may be in other terms.
Praying is an act of faith. You cannot prove that anyone is listening to your requests and intercessions, and in many cases, you never see the answer. Yet, you go right on praying, every day. You are demonstrating faith in Jesus Christ—that He hears and that your prayers make a difference.
Giving is an act of faith. When you drop your offering into the plate at church, you lose control of it. You have no way of knowing what that portion of money will be used for or where it will end up. Yet, you trust your church leadership to be people of integrity, you trust key personnel to monitor the denomination’s use of the money, and you trust that God in Heaven sees and knows and cares.
Serving others is an act of faith because you often do so without appreciation or reward or notice of any kind. Sharing your faith in Christ with unbelievers is a great act of faith since you never know how they will receive it or what they will do with your words. Confessing Christ itself — in the initial experience of walking forward in church and being baptized — is an act of faith because you do not know where the Lord will lead you or what changes He will work in your life.
“Do you believe?” Jesus asked one man.
The fellow, thoroughly modern, answered for this entire generation. “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)
That was sufficient for our Lord. He heard the man’s prayer and gave him what he was asking for.
If the Lord walks among us today and seeks out those whose lives demonstrate faith in Him, would He stop at your house and call your name?
The great faith chapter in the Bible is Hebrews 11. In the midst of a massive roll-call of people who acted by faith, even though many had great negatives on their records, we read these words: “Wherefore, God is not ashamed to be called their God.” (Hebrews 11:16)
Go ahead. Believe in Jesus. Make Him proud.