Faith in God's Power
The religious leaders of Israel did not consider themselves friends of Jesus. He was a danger to their authority over the people. Although the Romans had conquered the country, they allowed the religious establishment to rule the Jewish society on the condition that they obeyed Roman laws, paid Roman taxes and prevented any subversion against Rome. However, wherever Jesus went, a crowd of people followed Him and questioned the official 'spiritual authorities'. Eventually they feared losing the right to rule if they lost control of the people - that fear led them to ask the Romans to execute Jesus.
So when a synagogue ruler came to kneel before Jesus, everybody took notice (Matthew 9:26). His daughter had died: he knew she was dead, but he still had hope that Jesus could bring her back to life. Even though he was not supposed to bow to Jesus, he was unashamed to put his faith in the Lord before his fear of his superiors.
All he wanted was for his little girl to live, and for Jesus to act in power. His faith was very focussed, "... come and put your hand on her, and she will live". The result of Jesus' ministry would certainly bring life to the dead. And the Jewish leader was not ashamed to say it in public.
Often we are not desperate enough to come to Jesus. We easily adopt a faith-style which is predictable, expecting nothing much from God while we organise our lives in the best way we can. Our prayer life may reflect that: we pray without urgency because we see nothing that we cannot deal with. We are living in the power of the flesh. Today's verses and, sometimes, our circumstances rebuke us. We need the Lord far more than we know and are more loved than ever we realise. The power of God is not just for the times of crisis and we should be much more eager to see His hand on every one of our circumstances, believing that He can and will do far more than ever we might imagine (Ephesians 3:20).
© Dr Paul Adams