Faith is Always Relationally Based - Matthew 16

Thoughts from today’s reading of Matthew 16...

5 When they went across the lake, the disciples forgot to take bread. 6 “Be careful,” Jesus said to them. “Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 7 They discussed this among themselves and said, “It is because we didn’t bring any bread.” 8 Aware of their discussion, Jesus asked, “You of little faith, why are you talking among yourselves about having no bread? 9 Do you still not understand? Don’t you remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many basketfuls you gathered? 11 How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” 12 Then they understood that he was not telling them to guard against the yeast used in bread, but against the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

 

When Jesus warned His disciples to be on their guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees and they respond, “It is because we didn’t bring ay bread,” my response to them would’ve been—you knuckleheads! What’s curious to me is Jesus’ response—“You of little faith.” He seems to make a connection between their ignorance and their lack of faith. I think that what helps us understand this is to read Jesus’ response as—you of little faith IN ME (this last part is added by me, but it’s definitely implied). You see, Jesus’ admonition of His disciples wasn’t just a ministerial or theological matter, but a relational one. As I had said on Sunday, faith is never performance driven. It is relationally based. And Jesus was asking them, “After all this time together, don’t you guys know me? Why would I simply be talking about bread?”

I think that we have to be careful not to fool ourselves into thinking that just because we’re where Jesus is (ie. church) and even doing things “on His behalf” (ie. ministry) that that’s the kind of relationship that He’s called us to. Though a performance or task driven relationship is still a relationship, it’s not the intimate and personal one that Jesus desires with us. And I think that one of the biggest differences between those relationships has to do with motivation. The performance driven relationship is actually driven by the task, while the intimate relationship is driven by the relationship itself. And that’s why when it comes to the increase of our faith or the desiring of our God, it’s not simply to perform better or to live better. It’s not to get some job done (even when that task is done in the name of Jesus). Desiring God is solely for the purpose… of desiring Him. May the focus of your faith today be directed to Jesus and Jesus alone. #desiringGod2017

Love, Sam