“When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.” (Matthew 9:8)
Jesus said to us “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” (John 20:29) With just one word, “Go” Jesus cast out demons. Today, some really good friends went all the way to bring a paralyzed man to Jesus. Matthew tells us that Jesus was moved by their faith. These friends believed completely in Jesus. Their faith was visible to Jesus.
When it comes to faith, we can never hide anything from God because He sees our hearts. While these friends were acting out their faith, there were some people who in fact doing the very opposite. You may wonder why they were part of Jesus’ crusades in the first place if they so much lacked faith in Jesus.
Not everyone who comes to Church is there to worship God. Like these scribes and Pharisees, there are many who come simply to pick our errors, to challenge the truth, to cause disaffection, and ultimately to work for the destruction of God’s work. They may even advance in God’s house but as Jesus told us, by their fruits, they are known.
In the time of Amos, there was a man called Amaziah who claimed to be a priest but in the real sense, had lost his true calling and had become merely a minister of stomach infrastructure. Since he fed on the king’s table, he no longer had the effrontery to speak the truth to power. Instead, he turned around to attack Amos.
Amaziah represents the many men and women of God who continue to attack the Church from within because their primary concern is personal wealth. These Amaziahs are the reason for the deep-seated divisions and enmity between Christians of different as well as similar denominations today.
Jesus’ question to the Scribes and Pharisees is one that deserves some pondering. Jesus did not ask, “Why are you thinking I can’t forgive sins?” Instead, he asked: “Why do you think evil in your hearts?” Lack of Faith in God is itself a great evil we must tackle in our lives. To underestimate God or to belittle God’s power and authority is just as bad as any sin we can think of.
Let us pray: Lord God, free me from faithlessness regardless of my circumstances. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
( Bible Study: Amos 7:10-17, Ps. 19:8-11, Matthew 9:1-8)
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu