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Question

What does “according to your faith” mean in Matthew 9:29?

according to your faith
Answer


Matthew chapters 8—9 showcase the healing ministry of Jesus. From the outcast leper (Matthew 8:1–4) to the Gentile servant (Matthew 8:5–13) and the perpetually unclean woman (Matthew 9:20–22), Jesus disregarded social and religious conventions to demonstrate compassion and minister healing to those who placed their faith in Him. When two blind beggars approached Jesus, crying out for mercy, He asked them, “Do you believe that I can do this?” They answered, “Yes, Lord” (Matthew 9:28, HCSB). Jesus touched their eyes and said, “Let it be done for you according to your faith!” (Matthew 9:29, HCSB). Immediately, their eyes were opened, and the two men could see.

Jesus often noted a person’s faith as the impetus for healing (see Matthew 8:13; 15:28). When a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years touched the hem of His garment, believing it was all she needed to do to be healed, Jesus said, “Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well” (Matthew 9:22, NLT). At that moment, she was healed. This same event is recorded in Mark 5:24–34 and Luke 8:43–48. When Jesus cleansed a leper in Luke 17:19, He said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you” (NLT). To the blind man in Mark 10:52, Jesus said, “Go your way; your faith has made you well” (ESV; see also Luke 18:42).

According to your faith does not refer to the quantity, quality, or degree of a person’s faith; instead, it indicates the presence of genuine faith. Having faith in Jesus, having confidence in His ability to heal, was often the key to activating His healing power. Our faith is not the power behind the healing. Faith is merely the channel or conduit for God’s healing.

When Jesus said, “Let it be done according to your faith,” He meant that a person’s faith—the fact that the person believed and had confidence in Him—had moved Him to pour out His healing touch. Jesus is the Healer, the One with the power to perform the cure, and He looks for our faith.

Christ’s power rarely operates in a climate of unbelief. Just as faith enabled some people to receive healing, a lack of faith sometimes hindered or prevented Jesus from healing (see Matthew 13:53–58; 17:19–20). In Matthew 9, many people in the crowd pressed up against Jesus, but only the woman who reached out in faith and touched the edge of His robe received healing. When the professional mourners who had gathered around the dead girl laughed at Jesus, He sent them away before He raised the child to life (Matthew 9:24–25). Many people saw the incredible miracles Jesus performed, but many still did not believe in Him.

Just as healing comes “according to your faith,” salvation comes to sinners through faith: “If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved” (Romans 10:9–10, NLT; see also Acts 16:31). To the sinful woman who anointed Jesus’ feet with her expensive flask of ointment, Jesus said, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace” (Luke 7:50, NLT). Everyone who believes in Jesus is saved, but Christ’s power accomplishes the saving, not the believer’s faith. The sole value of our faith rests in the object of our faith—the Lord Jesus Christ—and not in ourselves or our faith (John 14:1; 1 Peter 1:21; Romans 4:19–21).

God responds graciously, compassionately, and generously according to our faith because faith pleases Him. The author of Hebrews informs, “And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him” (Hebrews 11:6, NLT).

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What does “according to your faith” mean in Matthew 9:29?
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This page last updated: May 21, 2024