Friday, November 11, 2011

Jesus Rudely Interrupted In Mid-Sentence

V18 "while he was saying this, a ruler came, knelt before him and said..."
Whoa! Jesus was rudely interrupted in mid-sentence.

Why? What's going on here? Let's back track a little bit. One day, Jesus was speaking with John The Baptist's disciples on the subject of fasting when a synagogue ruler interrupted them with a BIG request.

Bible says as Jesus was in mid-sentence, the Synagogue leader butted in, brought up a new topic and asked for a miracle.
"My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live." (Matthew 9:18 NIV)
Ok, his daughter just died. That explains the man's urgency and the lack of courtesy to let Jesus finish talking. But the request he made and the way in which he asked it was without shame and almost like claiming something he was entitled to have. Shocking.

Yet what happened next was even more shocking:
Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.(Matthew 9:19 NIV)

Without any questions asked, Jesus got up, left the people he was talking to and eating with and went with the man who interrupted their conversation to grant his request! unbelievable... What did this man do to Jesus?!

At first look, it seemed like the man asked Jesus a selfish and presumptuous request (a dangerous prayer so many Christians use on God today.)

Presumptuous prayers:
1. Assume that, "if you request it, it doesn't really matter what you ask for, God will surely give it whatever it is."
2. When not granted, can lead to disappointment with God (like God owes you or something)
3. Are requests based on nothing but false assumptions about the promises and character of God. (e.g. Above anything else, God wants me to be happy doesn't he?)

But in the same breath, this prayer of the synagogue ruler can very well be an example of a prayer expressed with an audacious faith.

Audacious faith prayers have almost the same outward appearance with presumptuous prayers. Audacious faith prayers differ from presumptuous prayers specifically in motivation and basis.
1. Motivation
Presumptuous prayer: To get what I want whether it is according to God's will or not
Audacious faith prayer: To get what God says (in His word) He wants me to have
2. Basis
Presumptuous prayers: I'll get what I ask because I have the faith and belief that I'll get it.
Audacious faith prayers: I'll get what I ask because I have faith in God's ability to do it and I have reasons to believe that what i ask for is in His nature to give.

I know that what the man prayed was not a presumptuous prayer but an audacious faith prayer because:
1. Jesus didn't get offended with the magnitude and grandeur of the request
2. Jesus granted the request. (Even leaving Matthew's party at once to do it)

Audacious faith charged prayers. I like the concept. I know the bible says God is pleased with us when we engage Him with faith. Therefore I want to learn to pray these kinds of prayers - not to twist God's arm to giving me what I want (as if I have the ability to do that) but to be able to ask God in a way that He'd be glorified and pleased to answer.

How about you? How're your prayers lately? Are they charged with bold, audacious faith that leaves no room for you or anyone else but God to answer them? or are they charged with nothing but presumptions that God is someone you can keep in your back pocket, ready to give you whatever you want whenever you want it?

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