“Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”
The men at the table said among themselves,
“Who is this man, that he goes around forgiving sins?”
And Jesus said to the woman,
“Your faith has saved you; go in peace.””
Luke 7:48-50 NLT
The context is the forgiveness of sins. Jesus says if you have been forgiven much, you will love much. This is reason, Jesus points ,why the prostitute loved Him so much.
Forgiveness of sins is a big thing, because only God can do it. Only God is judge of the creation that, well, He created. He commands. He holds accountable. There will be a judgment. But He is also merciful and full of unmerited favor. Therefore, King David says, “Happy is the man whom God does not credit sin.” Happy is the man who is forgiven.
Thus there is reason for the crowd say, “how is Jesus able to forgive sins,” if they do not believe He is God’s son and sent from God.
However, the part that I wish to focus on is the last statement. Jesus says, “Your faith has saved you.”
The context is that Jesus is God. Let the sink in. Jesus only speaks and does whatthe Father tells Him. Thus, Jesus says, if you have seen me, you have seen the Father. Let that sink in.
You cannot get more God-centered than God. Or do you think you are more God-centered than God? God says He does all things for His own glory (Ezekiel 36, Romans 11:33-36.)
Jesus has no issue saying statements about the absolute and direct sovereignty of God over all things (John 10:26, 6:44,65). But these are a super minority of the time. Most of the time Jesus speaks on our human level by saying, “your faith saved you,” “your faith healed you,” “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar.”
This immediate context is about the forgiveness of sins. This topic is a “central” and linchpin issue for most Churchs and Christians, as it should be. However, when Jesus ends the whole exchange he says, “God saved you.” No, that is not what He said. He said, “your faith saved you.”
If I were to say something as awful as this statement on facebook, twitter (etc.) to a person who just asked God to forgiven them, I would be trolled by elitists and heresy hunting Christians saying, “NO, God is the one who saves, not the person, for even their faith is a gift of God.”
But who is wrong? Jesus or these concerned scholastic cattle? They somehow expect us to put systematic theology into every sentence. Yet if you read them, they do not perform this standard. However, beyond their irrational and hypocritical demands, there is another issue.
They tell me that I am not “God-centered” enough. They use this to scare people. They bully people into thinking they are humble and concerned for the things of God. Yet, all I did was repeat what Jesus did in the same context about forgiveness of sin that Jesus did. So, who is more God-centered, God or men who say they are God-centered?
When even God, is not God-centered enough for you, then you are being played like a demon meat puppet. The bible is not God-centered enough for you, because you are so high on “your” God-centeredness you cannot see reality anymore. However, if you would focus on what “God” is centered on, you would see He is mostly centered on the human level. He is centered on “your” faith in the scripture.
Jesus would beeline to anyone with faith. The Father is the same. Jesus did not beeline to, “God is sovereign, therefore you are forgiven.” No, He would beeline to faith, and say, “your faith healed” or “your faith saved you.” By saying “saved,” as in “your faith has saved you,” he meant it as forgiveness of sins. That is, “your faith has caused you to be forgiven of your sins.” Therefore, I will also say this.
I tell you the truth, those who would correct me saying such a thing, would have also rebuked Jesus, if they were born during His time. If you rebuke the messenger, you rebuke the one who sent him. There is no escaping this condemnation, well, unless you have faith, so that by your faith you are saved.
It is always important to remember the foundation of God’s absolute and direct control over all things, however when we pray, seek and look to God for our daily bread, it is our faith that will save us. Faith in God’s words, is how we engage God. It is how we receive from Him. It is how we please God. Jesus did not stop and asked “who touched me,” because he was annoyed, but because He likes it when faith touches Him.
Do you feel you are one face in a crowd of millions? Who cares. If you have faith, God will beeline to you as if you are the only one there. You want God’s attention? Have faith in His promises. Even a pagan can say, “God-centeredness,” however, only a child can freely ask for healing and receive it in faith.
For those who have faith, and are seeking God, I can say in confidence, “your faith has already saved and healed you.”
What encouragement it is to know, instead to being so high minded that our brains even leave heaven, that if we center on God, who is centered on our faith, our faith will heal us. All we need to do is focus on God’s wonderful and good promises. If we do, it is revealed that faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10). There is no fear that this will not happen. And when faith does arise, all things become possible for us. Mountains will obey us. Demons will scream in terror. Broken bodies will fix themselves at our word. And every sort of help will take wings and fly to us. Yes, even God Himself will beeline toward us, and focus on us, when there is a sea of 8 billions faces.
Do not fear, only believe.