RE:QUESTA space for resources to help RE teachers and their students explore the Christian faith
Lat Blaylock, Editor, RE Today
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Jesus' Teaching: Faith
What did Jesus teach about faith?
The dictionary states that the definition of faith is 'complete trust or confidence in someone or something.'
Jesus had absolute faith in God the Father and encourages people to have the same faith. One day Jesus’ disciples asked him to increase their faith, but he simply replied:
‘“If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.”’ (Luke 17:6)
Jesus was teaching that with God nothing is impossible, so all things are possible to those who have faith. There were many times that Jesus recognised the faith he saw in people and such faith often led to physical healing. In one story, a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.”
Jesus turned and saw her and said:
“Take heart, daughter,
your faith has healed you.”
And the woman was healed at that moment. (Luke 9:20-22).
At other times, Jesus told the disciples off for lack of faith. In another story, Jesus and his disciples were in a boat crossing the lake when a terrible storm blew up. As the storm got worse the disciples began to fear for their lives and went to wake up Jesus who was asleep in the front of the boat: The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
He said to his disciples,
“Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” (Mark 4:35-41)
Jesus wanted the disciples to have faith in him, with a complete trust and confidence that believes nothing is impossible for God.
- 'Everyone has faith in someone or something' - do you agree or disagree? Why?
- Many people put their faith in all sorts of things - they may have faith in their football team, or in the companies who build cars - that they're not going to crash or breakdown! Do you have faith in someone or something?
- For Christians, it is very important to have faith in God - to trust that He can do everything. This faith isn't blind faith, but is based on what we can read in the Bible, and in the relationship that Christians have with God. Many Christians would say that they see God at work in their lives and this encourages their faith in God. God isn't distant, but is close - He can be known.
- Do you have faith in God?