When here in the flesh, Jesus cast out demons (Luke 6:18), gave hope to the hopeless (Luke 6:20-23), showed people how to live out God&rsqup;s agape love (Luke 6: 27-49), healed the centurion’s servant (Luke 7:2-10), raised a widow’s dead son(Luke 7:12-16), stilled a storm (Luke 8:22-25), freed the demoniac at Gadara of his demons (Luke 8:26-39), healed a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years (Luke 8:43-48), raised Jairus’s dead daughter (Luke 8:41-42, Luke 8:49-56), and even raised Lazarus from the dead after he had been dead for four days (John 11:39-44).
All that He did, and so much more, and yet people still struggled to believe in Him. “Even Christ’s own disciples were slow to learn and to understand. Notwithstanding their love for Him and their reverence of His character, their faith in His being the Son of God wavered. Their frequent reference to the traditions of the fathers, and their continual misunderstanding of His discourses, show how difficult it was for them to free themselves from superstition.”-Ellen G. White, Manuscript Releases, vol. 18, p. 116. Faith is a gift from God, but it is a gift that people can resist. And that’s because, as we have been warned, Satan is real, the great controversy is real, and the enemy works hard to cause us to doubt and disbelieve. Salvation is found through faith in what Christ has done for us; Satan knows that and thus will do everything he can to turn us away from that faith. Fortunately, and we must always remember this-Jesus is infinitely more powerful than the devil, and if we cling to Jesus, Satan cannot defeat us.
- What answer would you give to someone who asked, “If Jesus has so much power over nature, why do so many people, even Christians, fall victim to natural disasters?” How does the reality of the great controversy fit into the answer?
- What are some of the reasons we have for faith in Jesus and what the Bible says about Him? Why is it important to keep these reasons always before us? Also, despite the many good reasons we have, why do so many people struggle with faith? What are the things that cause us to doubt, and what is the best way to deal with them?
- As we saw this week, Jesus chose some flawed people to work with Him. What hope does that give you in regard to how Jesus can use you, despite your own weaknesses?