Custom «Comparison: Faith and Unbelief in the Scriptures by Matthew» Essay Paper Sample
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This essay analyzes how the subject of faith and unbelief is addressed in the Scriptures by Matthew. It compares two passages: Matthew 8-12 and Matthew 13-18. The passages recount the miracles performed by Jesus and his disciples. The reaction to Jesus and the miracles differs. While some find faith, others do not want to believe. The essay defends the position that Matthew 8-12 illustrates faith as a condition for healing and miracles while Matthew 13-18 has verses on different meanings of faith explaining who are true believers compared to unbelievers.
Faith as Condition for Miracles
The Scriptures by Matthew describe many miraculous events, such as the healing of the sick, the restoration of the sight and the hearing. Christ helps people who suffer and casts out a devil from them. Everyone who comes or is brought to Christ is saved (The Holy Bible, King James Version, Matthew 8:16). For example, Jesus helps a woman who has been sick for many years (Matthew 10:21) and he improve the health of a man struck with paralysis (Matthew 9:6). He also touches the people who are blind or numb, and they start to see and speak (Matthew 10:28-33).
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The people described in Matthew 8-12 are healed because of the faith in Jesus. The man who was suffered from palsy is forgiven for his sins and afterward he could walk (Matthew 9:6). The woman who touches the garments of Jesus thinks that she will be healed, so Jesus do it according to her belief (Matthew 10:21-22). The blind men admit to having faith in Jesus and his ability to restore their sight, which He does immediately after hearing a response to his question about their faith (Matthew 10:28).
Many people think that these events are great miracles, and they agree that nothing similar has happened in Israel before (Matthew 10:33). The purpose of the miracles is to preach the Word to the people and help those who need to be comforted (Matthew 11:5). As a result of witnessing and experiencing these miracles, many people believe and grow in their faith.
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The Meanings of Faith and Unbelief
Matthew 14-18 complements what was said in the previous passages. Though, it differs from Matthew 8-12 in illustrating the meanings of faith and unbelief. In this passage, Matthew recounts the characteristics of true believers as well as the unbelievers.
The unbelievers are unable to benefit from the miracles. Among them could be the Pharisees, who worship with their mouth but not with their heart (Matthew 15:8). The Pharisees gain their knowledge from the commandments and doctrines (Matthew 15:9). Their activities are in vain (Matthew 15:9), because they are hypocrites (Matthew 15:7). The people who were the leaders of the religious community at the time of Jesus minister did not have the characteristics of true believers. Thus, they did not benefit from the miracles.
In one of the many examples of casting out an evil spirit, Jesus tells the Apostles that their faith should resemble a mustard seed (Matthew 17:20). The Apostles lack the faith to cast out a devil from a boy (Matthew 17:19-20). Though, if they have a little faith, they could have moved a mountain from one place to another (Matthew 17:20). In fact, mountains were important for the contemporaries of Jesus, and many important events including the ministry of Jesus happened on the mountains (Volschenk 2010). Jesus instructs the Apostles that the faith needed to overcome a difficult situation is only possible for those who pray and fast (Matthew 17:21). This passage implies that true believers are endowed with the abilities to perform the miracles, such as casting out a devil.
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In conclusion, the passages by Matthew describe how people respond to the Word of God with faith or unbelief. The responses to the miracles performed by Jesus and His disciples differed at the time of His ministry, with the reference to Matthew. The passages (Matthew 8-12) illustrate numerous examples of miracles, which occurred due to faith. These miracles made some people believe in the Word of God and glorify Jesus. However, some people, particularly the Pharisees, were not true believers. The passages (Matthew 14-18) illustrate the opposite responses to the miracles and define the meanings of true faith. When the two passages are combined, the reader discovers various meanings of belief and how to grow in faith.