Matthew 4: Faith in Testimony
After being tested in the wilderness by Satan, Jesus began His earthly ministry in Matthew 4. He called His disciples, and He began performing miracles throughout Galilee.
Mat 4:23 And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.
Mat 4:24 And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatick, and those that had the palsy; and he healed them.
Mat 4:25 And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyond Jordan.
This is interesting. Particularly, I am interested in where the people came from to follow Him. He was in Galilee. The Decapolis referred to a group of ten cities that stretch out to the southeast of Galilee. Jerusalem was at least 50 miles south of Galilee. From beyond the Jordan would probably put those people in the neighborhood of the Decapolis, but it could obviously refer to something farther away than that.
I point this out because Jesus was clearly the type of guy who people wanted to follow. He performed miracles. He healed people who were sick. He did what no one else was able to do for these people.
People came from a relatively long way away to find this Rabbi. They came to find this man who presumably they had been told about. These people did not randomly find Jesus. It seems to me that someone would need to spread the word about the miracle worker in Galilee.
The comparison is kind of hard for us because in the age of the automobile, we can travel 50 miles in an hour or less. It is not a big deal. In this time, it was a significant venture. There was at least a two day commitment to walk each way from Jerusalem to Galilee.
I think about Jesus, and I think about this faith that these people were displaying. Certainly, they had presumably the testimony of other people who had told them that Jesus was performing miracles, but it seems to me that they had faith that Jesus could heal them because of that testimony.
This is one of the biggest misconceptions about faith in the world today. Faith is not blind; it is based upon evidence. I would be willing to bet that these people would not have walked 50 miles from Jerusalem to Galilee if there was not a degree of confidence that they testimony they had heard was legitimate. They had faith based upon the reputation of Jesus as seen in the evidence of these presumed messengers.
As a result, faith does not need to be a bad word. It is not a blind superstition. Do not fall for the redefinition that so many people try to force. Faith is not blind. It is a trust putting something based upon evidence.