Tests of Faith

It is an easy thing to say we have faith.  Some may believe they have faith, until a trial actually arises and that faith is put to the test.  Jesus, quoting Isiah, said that many people loved him with their lips but their hears were far from him.  Some of the things Jesus said or did was because he sees through our speech and knows the heart.  Consider these two examples:

When the Syrophenician woman came to Jesus his response seems pretty calloused.  Her daughter was possessed by a demon, and she was asking Jesus to cast it out.  His response is that it would not be right to cast the children’s bread to the dogs.  He was a Jewish teacher, she was basically Greek.  He literally and figuratively called her a dog.  This was a test of her faith, and she responded wisely. “Yes Lord, but even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”  Jesus tells her to go her way,  that her daughter has been healed.

Just a few chapters later is the story of the rich young man.  He is either lying to Jesus, or more likely has deceived himself, when he proclaims he has kept all the commandments since his youth.  Jesus tells him he lacks one thing: “Go, sell all that you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”  The man left very sad for he had great possessions.  Regardless of what he said, his actions spoke louder than words.  His faith was not in Jesus but in all that he had.  He was depending on his wealth to see him through life, he could not let go and let God.  By the way, don’t miss the part were Jesus looked at him, loved him, and then told him he lacked one thing.  The testing of his faith forced him to be honest with himself and others about where his faith really was.