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Needs vs Faith

Updated: Apr 1, 2019

Needs Based vs Faith Based The world tends to respond to need and route resources based on how much they are needed. In the marketplace it’s referred to as how much something is “in demand.” If there is a huge need, or demand, for a product or service then it most likely can be sold profitably. Need is also how many compassionate charities allocate resources too. In fact many charities are created solely to serve “the needy” in their communities. Now before I go on, please hear me. It is an excellent thing that we each have compassion and help others in their times of need. All of us as believers should participate in helping those less well off than ourselves. There are several times in the New Testament where people are praised specifically for assisting those in need. So what I’m about to say does not in any way mean that giving to those in need is a bad thing or improper for us to do today. That said, the Kingdom of God does not respond on the basis of our need. Instead God responds on the basis of faith. Throughout the Gospels we see Jesus healing people and performing miracles. Most times Jesus explicitly ties the healing to the faith of the person being healed. Other times it was Jesus’ own faith that accomplished the miracle. Yet we don’t see Jesus responding to needs. For example Matthew, Mark, and Luke all recount the encounter between Jesus and a woman who had some sort of long term bleeding disorder that had been going on for 12 years. At that encounter people were thronging all round Jesus. There were potentially hundreds of people there with needs. However, as far as we know, she was the only one healed then. And it’s true, she had a great need. However in all three Gospels Jesus explicitly states that it was the lady’s faith that made her well, not her need. When Jesus encountered the lame man at the pool of Bethesda, John 5:3 clearly states that there were many sick people there. The need for healing there was huge. But Jesus only healed one man there, so it wasn’t need that prompted that miracle. Both Mark and Luke tell about a time when Jesus was teaching in a house and the crowd was so big that some guys couldn’t get their paralyzed friend to Jesus so he could be healed. So they decided to cut a hole in the roof and lower a stretcher with their friend down to Jesus. Both accounts say that Jesus responded to their faith. There are so many examples of this throughout the Gospels and the rest of the New Testament. Where the world responds primarily to need, the system in the Kingdom of God responds to faith.

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