Confident Enough To Stake Your Life On It
Ed and I talked about being so confident about something or someone that we would stake our lives on them. It’s hard to be 100 % confident. We agreed that usually, our feelings of highest confidence still come with a tiny degree of doubt. Ed suggested that Christians can sometimes be so certain about their faith that they seem arrogant to others.
Indeed, the Bible tells of some who had no faith or trust in Jesus while others had no question about believing entirely in his power and authority. Confidence may mean there are good reasons to believe in someone or something. Faith, on the other hand, can mean trusting in someone without proof. Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”
This kind of faith was the case for a blind man named Bartimaeus. He was sitting begging beside the roadside at Jericho when Jesus, his disciples, and a large crowd passed by him. He asked who was going down the road, and when he was told it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began shouting, “Jesus son of David, have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:47)
Bartimaeus was more than confident that Jesus could help him, for he was sure Jesus would help him. Bartimaeus hadn’t any visible proof to comfort him. Many rebuked him or tried to get Bartimaeus to stop shouting out at Jesus, but the more they told him to be quiet, the more he shouted loudly, “Son of David have mercy on me!” (Mark 10:48)
Jesus stopped and had Bartimaeus called to come to Him. When Bartimaeus came up to Jesus, he said to Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?” (Mark 10:51)
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” (Mark 10:51) Immediately Bartimaeus received his sight and followed Jesus along the road. Jesus told Bartimaeus that it was his faith that healed him. Bartimaeus had a sure faith in Jesus that was not based on any proof but on pure 100 % trust that Jesus could heal him.
Believing in Jesus of Nazareth, Bartimaeus overcame his blindness. He experienced God’s grace or undeserved love. Jesus, while on earth, showed the love of God to those needing healings like Bartimaeus. Jesus also, by his life and death, brought the free and unmerited favor of God in the salvation of sinners. We do not all need to be cured of blindness, but we all need healing for our sinfulness. (Romans 3:22) says, “There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.”
In kindness, Jesus healed the blindness of Bartimaeus, and in compassion, God offers us his undeserved love through our faith in Jesus Christ. “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8,9
Martin Luther said that faith is a living, daring, confidence in God’s grace and that a person could undoubtedly stake their life on grace an unlimited number of times. (Paraphrase of Luther’s words)