As I read through Matthew 8, I can’t help but think about how awesome Jesus is. As he’s traveling around, he healed a leper, healed a Roman officer’s suffering and paralyzed servant from a distance, healed Peter’s mother-in-law, calmed a freakin’ storm (!) and cast a bunch of demons into a herd of pigs.
Jesus is incredible and we need to not forget that. (Not just because of these amazing things, but because of who he is.) I love how Jesus stops the crowd for a moment when the Roman officer told him he wasn’t worthy to have Jesus come to his house (“Could you just heal him from here?”)… Jesus was amazed.
Does our faith amaze Jesus? Is he astonished at how we trust his authority? I’m afraid too often we’re like the people of the town near the pig-in-a-lake incident. “The entire town came out to meet Jesus, but they begged him to go away and leave them alone.” His authority threatened their system – He made it obvious that whatever control over their little slice of the world they thought they had was only an illusion. So they told Jesus to go away. One of the saddest moments in the Bible – Jesus was there with them, the power to make them whole… and they sent Him away. I know most of us would never say those words to Jesus – but the way we try to control our own lives speaks loudly to our Creator. “Leave me alone. I’ve got it covered. I can handle this.”
But the truth is, we can’t. Sometimes in difficult circumstances, you’ll hear people say that “God will never give you more than you can handle”. That may be the biggest load of crap ever twisted out of misinterpreted Scripture. But He can handle it. He is not surprised by the circumstances that cause us to go Psalm 22 (“My God, my God… why have you forsaken me?”). He wants to see in us a Psalm 23, amazing faith. (“I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”) May we remember how awesome Jesus is (even if His followers make some colossal blunders sometimes) and lean on His authority in our lives.