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The Beauty of Faith

August 29, 2023

Mark 8:29
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Christ.”

Faith does not mean having every detail, or understanding every little piece of what you are believing in. This was certainly the case for Peter and the other disciples at this moment, and pretty much during Jesus’ entire ministry until after the resurrection. For context, Jesus had just accomplished feeding the 4,000 with 7 loaves of bread (the 2nd time He did this type of miracle), and immediately after the disciples were sitting on a boat worried that 1 loaf wouldn’t be enough to feed them. A tad ironic. The disciples had been privy to so many miracles already, and yet they did not understand who Jesus truly was. The reason they all dropped everything to follow Him was because they had faith he was the Messiah foretold by the prophets. But their understanding of what that actually meant was slow in coming. They had grown up reading the Torah and believing that the Messiah would be a military victor, come to free them from tyranny. So, as they walked along, Jesus asked them who people say He is, and then who they themselves believed He is. And Peter answered what He has probably believed all along, that Jesus is the Christ, another way to say Messiah, their Savior. He said so in faith. But what happened next shows just how little Peter understood up to this point. Jesus began to open their eyes to what is coming, what it actually means to be the Christ – that He would die, and after 3 days rise from the dead. And Peter immediately rebuked Jesus for daring to suggest this! It wasn’t a lack of faith that Peter had, but a misunderstanding based on his own expectations. Peter and the other disciples continued to stumble along until the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry and His ascension back to Heaven. And when the Holy Spirit came on them, Peter and the others boldly launched the Church, explaining these truths with such clarity and conviction that thousands were coming to Jesus every day! 

    The disciples’ experience is probably shared by all of us that have come to know Christ as our Savior. But the beauty of faith is that we don’t have to reach a specific benchmark of understanding before we can access faith. Rather, faith comes first, and then the Holy Spirit illuminates our hearts and minds with understanding. Thank the Lord that our access to Him is not based on our understanding, but rather that our understanding comes through access to Him, which was provided to us by the Messiah, our Savior, the Christ. 

Brittany H

’96 / ’08  San Jose Costa Rica

CoLaborers International Missionary

Birth year / spiritual birth year / hometown

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