Lessons in Faith – Ronnie Scherffius

Lessons in Faith – Ronnie Scherffius

When studying the gospel records we often discover multiple accounts of teachings and events in the life of Christ. One would expect to observe a repetition of Jesus’ betrayal (Matt. 26:47-56; Mark 14:43-52; Luke 22:47-52; John 18:1-11), His trials before the Hebrews (Matt. 26:57-75; Mark 14:53-65; Luke 22:54-71; John 18:12-27) and Romans (Matt. 27:1-25; Mark 15:1-14; Luke 23:1-26; John 18:28-40), His suffering and crucifixion (Matt. 27:26-66; Mark 15:15-47; Luke 23:27-56; John 19:1-42), as well as His resurrection and ascension (Matt. 28:1-20; Mark 16:1-20; Luke 24:1-53; John 20:1-25). However, we also find multiple recordings of parables and events. For example, the parables of the leaven and lost sheep are recorded by both Matthew (13:33; 18:12-14) and Luke (13:20-21; 15:3-7) while the parable of the sower is recorded by Matthew (13:3-9), Mark (4:3-9) and Luke (8:4-15). Similarly, we find the account of the rich young ruler recorded in three gospel accounts (Matt. 19:16-26; Mark 10:17-27; Luke 18:18-30) each with a varying degree of detail.

One event in the life of Christ found in multiple passages is the sending of Peter and John into Jerusalem to make preparations for the Passover (Matt. 26:17-19; Mark 14:12-16; Luke 22:7-13). While these passages provide background and information concerning Jesus’ final observance of the Passover and the institution of the Lord’s Supper, they also provide three lessons on faith. We will study Luke’s account as it is more detailed.

Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guest chamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover (Luke 22:7-13).

From this text, we learn three key lessons regarding faith in Jesus Christ. First, we learn that faith in Jesus Christ will cause us to follow His will: “follow him into the house” (10). A faith that follows was demonstrated by Peter, Andrew, James, and John when Jesus called them from their business of catching fish (Luke 5:4-11) to become fishers of men (Matt. 4:18-22). Levi also exhibited a following faith when he forsook all earthly endeavors and took up the cause of the Savior (Luke 5:27, 28). Genuine saving faith is that faith that willingly and without regret follows the will of Jesus.

Second, we learn that faith in Jesus Christ will furnish us with what is needed: “he shall shew you a large upper room furnished” (12). When Peter and John followed the will of Jesus they were led to an upper room that was furnished, i.e., carpet and couches were set for Jesus and His apostles, and (Mark adds) the room was “prepared” (14:15). Thus, all that was needed for Peter and John to make ready was furnished. Such is the case with one who has faith in Jesus Christ. We are instructed that faith comes by hearing “the word of God” (Rom. 10:17) and that the word of God makes man “fully furnished” with nothing lacking (2 Tim. 3:16-17). John noted that one who has faith in Jesus has “the power to become” a child of God (John 1:12) and that faith is not simply verbal ascent but doing (John 3:36, cf. ASV). A deep, abiding faith in Jesus furnishes man with all he needs both to live a life pleasing to God now and to dwell with God in the life to come.

Finally, we learn that faith in Jesus Christ will cause us to fulfill His commands that we may be ready: “they made ready the passover” (13). Following the will and words of Jesus, Peter and John were able to “make ready” for the purposes and works of Christ. Faith alone will not save man (James 2:14-26), but faith together with fulfilling the commands of Jesus (obedience!) will make us ready, not only for judgment (Acts 17:30-31; Matt. 7:21-23; 25:31-46) but also living the Christian life and being fruitful in the works of God (Eph. 2:10; Col. 1:10; l Tim. 6:18 2 Tim. 2:21; 1 Cor. 15:58; 2 Pet. 1:18; et al).

Three tremendous lessons are learned from Luke’s record of preparations being made for the final Passover in Jesus’ earthly ministry. As Christians, are we maintaining a faith that follows Jesus in all things; furnishes us for a life that is pleasing to God and that fulfills the work of Christ? May we always have the mind of Jesus’ disciples: “Lord, increase our faith” (Luke 17:5).