How’s your Faith?

By Tammy Holton

Edenton, NC
(Luke 7: 36 – 50) “One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat. When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them. When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!’ Then Jesus answered his thoughts, ‘Simon,’ he said to the Pharisee, ‘I have something to say to you.’ ‘Go ahead, Teacher,’ Simon replied. Then Jesus told him this story. ‘A man loaned money to two people–500 pieces of silver to one and 50 pieces to the other. But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?’ Simon answered. ‘I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.’ ‘That’s right,’ Jesus said. Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon. ‘Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. You eglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume. I tell you, her sins–and they are many– have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. but a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.’ 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.’”

The dictionary defines faith: “1) complete trust or confidence in someone or something. 2) strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.”
A portion of the footnotes for Luke 7: 44 says: “Although God’s grace through faith is what saves us, and not acts of love or generosity, this woman’s act demonstrated her true faith, and Jesus honored her.”
The title of this blog asks…”how’s your faith?” On a scale from 1 to 10, (10 = the most faith in Christ), do you think this woman’s score would be a 10? What do you think your score is?

21 thoughts on “How’s your Faith?

  1. Whoa! TH…these are hard questions. We think in and of ourselves that we have faith in God and trust Him implicitly. However, when the tests come….how do we fare? And there will be tests. Jesus, Himself, said….”When I return will I find faith on the earth?” Faith is a precious commodity and those of us who think we have faith find out when the economic crunch comes into our lives, do we say….”My God will supply all my need according to His riches in glory”? And MEAN IT! Or do we take out a loan? I am not saying taking out a loan is bad, it’s just that I need to put
    my money where my mouth is if I am professing that I have faith in GOD.
    If I profess that God is my Healer and I have faith in His healing power….the next moment am I running to several doctors? Has my faith had even enough to be tested? Going to doctors is not evil unless I am speaking out of both sides of my mouth. These are tough questions. I shake in my boots as I write this.
    I do know of people who have trusted and had faith in the Lord for healing…and they are not moved and they received their healing. It was child-like faith.
    The faith of the woman in the Scenario must have had great faith for a woman of her
    profession to even approach Jesus Christ surrounded by those religious men and even attempt to communicate with Him. She had faith that He would respond in
    compassion, love and forgiveness. I say with Jesus…she is a 10!!

    1. “The faith of the woman in the scenario must have had great faith for a woman of her profession…” MG, the footnotes for 7:38 says: “Although the woman was not an invited guest, she entered the house anyway and knelt behind Jesus at his feet.” She wasn’t even invited!!!

  2. This is a tough question. It seems from reading scriptures there are degrees of faith. Jesus was astonished at the faith of the centurion whose servant He healed. To me he exhibited a profound recognition of and submission to Jesus spiritual authority. Also his concern was for someone other than himself. Jesus called his faith ‘great’. I would think that would be high on the scale (8). On the other end, Jesus’ own disciples were rebuked in Matt 17:20 for their ‘little’ faith because they couldn’t cast a demon out of a boy. I guess I would rate that a least Jesus still referred to them as His disciples. The immoral woman in the above passage was told by Jesus she had faith and that faith saved her and she had works to prove she personally trusted Christ to forgive her. I would rate that faith a 5. The apostle Paul seemed to have a high degree of faith. He wrote in Romans 10:17: “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” His faith was an action faith (not dead w/ no action) because he understood the power and love of speaking the word of Christ to others so that they could receive faith in Christ unto salvation. And he did it by writing and speaking to others. I would rate this kind of faith a 9 or 10.
    I would rate my faith a 1 based on my rating scale above.

    1. “It seems from reading scriptures there are degrees of faith.” ( a “2”, a “5”, a “9 or 10” and a “1”) Hay Debi, looks like your on the chart too!…… what Matthew 17: 20 says: “You don’t have enough faith,’ Jesus told them. ‘I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.'” Debi, how big is a mustard seed?

      1. Tammy, I read that a mustard seed is about 1/16th to 1/20th of an inch. There are smaller seeds than that…so in size its not the smallest seed. Interesting that Jesus used that size seed to let us know how much faith was needed.
        I would have to agree with the apostles on this prayer…”The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” (Luke 17:5). That might help us on our ratings.

  3. I think her faith would be a 10! Not sure I like self scoring here since I probably would have to hope for curve grading.

    This woman’s love reminds me of a study from James, the brother of Jesus; faith without deeds is dead as well as deeds without faith. She gave of her finances as well as served while going out on a broken limb to do it which showed a lack of fear. She could have lost a fortune but she dared to take a stand and massed a fortune.

    Tammy, another good one to make one scratch their head to employ their thoughts.

    1. Sara, I don’t like this self scoring stuff either. Some days I think I am a little higher on the scale and then some days much lower, if at all? 😦 I’m with you on the “curve grade”, I need my score to be curved too, but not sure curving is an option.

      1. Hey, we better up our grade on Faith if we want God’s Grace to meet our needs; according to Joyce Meyer Ministries;
        “Faith is the channel through which you and I receive God’s grace to meet our needs.”

  4. On my recent life’s journey, I would think that Joyce Meyers statement, “Faith is the channel through which you and I receive God’s grace to meet our needs,” that my friends here on would be much higher than they have rated themselves as they have lifted me up time upon times in prayer. There has been nothing lacking in my needs. Every need I could hope for has been met with excellence. I would be remiss in not thanking all those who have stood in the gap for me, the lilies, bowed in faith and prayer. Again today they pray. I, today, sit here in Louisiana knowing that God is control of this storm Isaac. I know his hand is on it and he is in complete control. Many have prayed for the pressures to go down and thus God has answered. We sometimes forget, but God’s hand is working. We thank you God for all you are doing.

    Someone told me 10 (perfect faith scale) plus 1 = 11 or relationship. Faith in God plus Jesus. This relationship does not work as the world would look at it. Ten would appear to be a bigger number but not in the spiritual rhelm. Man’s Faith at best scored as a 10 (like the tiny mustard seed) when working in relationship with Jesus who is the SON of GOD (MIGHTY GOD) for whom NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE can accomplish mighty things. Thus when facing needs and in relationship with Jesus, we can see the HAND of God moving in our needs due to JESUS strength and our little faith. Facing the heavy, ferocious winds in our own stead we will fall. Call upon Jesus and He like a Father in HIS strength will come up behind you and hold you steady pointing out the way and showing you what to do.

    I give thedailylilies a good rating in their Faith score. I may not know the scoring but I do know that needs are being met through their faith prayers.

    1. Rena,
      It is so refreshing when we have “faith prayers” going up to the Father, on our behalf. I pray for the safety of all, as Hurricane Isaac comes ashore. Blessings to you.

  5. Rena, the Scripture Song that Debi taught me a long time ago based on
    Psalm 29:10has been sung to the Lord in your behalf and for those saints in harm’s way.
    The Lord sits as King of the deluge. The Lord sits as King forever
    The Lord will give strength to His people
    The Lord will bless His people with Peace.

    I believe when we have faith in the Master of the Wind He will protect us. We pray that for you, even now, in Jesus’ Name.

  6. Checking in with blog and myself to see if I did extra curriculum homework to up my score. I hope I did a few task of serving others in “feet washing” as illustrated; ‘Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.”

    This blog and comment has given me a different perspective on this verse; “Then he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.” Mark 7:14-15, NRSV Now the ANTONYMS for defile are purify and sanctify. Repentance, attitude, listening to what God has to say to me by understanding it and if I understand I will DO IT! I believe by my actions of humility in reaching out to others with truth has increases my score a little. Hopefully, by my taking our blogs to heart with study and doing has given me another edge. Hey, I might have a full point up!!!!!!

  7. Amen, Sara….and even when we DON’T completely understand why He has asked us to do or say a certain thing(s) we still humbly will DO IT! Keeping one’s heart and mind pure is a moment by moment exercise but by “casting down vain imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and by bringing every thought into the obedience of the WORD of Christ ” we can gain some foothold on faith and faithfulness. [2Cor. 10:5]

  8. Ok, so…Sara! After your teaching yesterday I did go back and read the Scriptures you posted in your comment Mark 7: 14-15…and then found the courage to go on and read further. [As you were saying]….that Jesus called attention, sternly, to this dissertation that He was revealing. You pointed out that He was adamant that the people hear this and GET IT! In the Amp. Bible it is VERY clear.
    Jesus was saying, ” Are you so dull-minded without understanding that whatever goes into a man CANNOT defile him since it does NOT go into his heart but into his digestive tract and finds release. But what comes out of a man’s mouth is what makes him unclean and renders him unhallowed. For what comes out of a man’s heart and is expressed with his mouth (and sometimes actions) are base and wicked THOUGHTS, sexual unmorality, stealing, murder, adultery, lying, deceit ,GREED, PRIDE, envy, slander, foolishness, jealousy, insensitivity, thoughtlessness, misrepresentation, bigotry, prejudice, gossip, hatred of one’s fellow man, etc. etc. etc. All these evil purposes and desires come from within and they make the man unclean and unholy and defiled.” [some words paraphrased]
    So Jesus presented a long laundry list of things that some think they are getting away with just because it is regarded just as a THOUGHT . But …there it is! It begins with a thought. And if it is entertained or mused over, it can quickly become a sin. It’s that easy. So that is why Paul in 2 Cor. 10:5 says to cast it out immediately. Reject it, rebuke it, refuse it, relinquish it, and call upon the Name of the Lord so that the devil will flee from our minds.
    So, Sara, that is a wake up call to God’s people because the way the Scriptures read, right after Jesus gave that commanding lesson He got right up and got out of there! That was His signature that said…AMEN! So be it!
    Now I have to choose. When I go to school tomorrow, am I going to join in any chatter or gossip about the new regs and stats? My God, Holy Spirit, help me to keep my mind and my tongue clean and undefiled, in Jesus’ Name.

    1. MG, guess the issue is, do we serve others as the woman did that knelt at the feet of Jesus or do we chatter with tongue, pen and keyboard. I know you will serve in a big way as you touch the keys of your piano at school and give sounds that show the range of the voice of The Holy Spirit. As you greet the precious children on their back to school days with your loving smile and tender touch. That you will make them feel they are loved, accepted and welcomed into the arms of your school.

      It is not by accident that God has asked you to be the first one they see in the am’s. He knew you could if you would give them His love. I join you in prayer of agreement for your hearts desire.

  9. Thank you, Sara! I receive those blessings and pass them onto the little guys and gals as they troupe through the halls of our schools…especially the little ones who are coming to school for the first time. Jesus loves the little children. They are precious in His sight. “Suffer the little children come unto ME and forbid {hinder them} not.” May we keep that scene before us all through the year.

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