The Gospel of Luke tells us about two other men who were crucified with Jesus...
One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, "So you're the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself - and us, too, while you're at it!" But the other criminal protested, "Don't you fear God even when you have been sentenced to die? We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man hasn't done anything wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom."
And Jesus replied, "I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise." Luke 23:39-43
Maybe you've read this before. Maybe you're reading it for the first time. Either way, doesn't it make you wonder...
Why did one man see Jesus as just another person while the other saw him as the Messiah?
Well, the answer to that question is that only one of these men had faith. Faith is knowing without seeing. The second man on the cross knew that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God. He knew it simply because God had given him faith. God have given him the proof he needed...the ability to see something not with his eyes but with his heart and with his soul.
God gives us faith. He plants it like a seed in us. And it grows when it is watered by the things we do see...like the words we read in the Bible, the wonder of God's creation, and the experiences we have.
And that's why the second man on the cross responded so differently to Jesus.
Unlike the first man, he didn't need to ask Jesus to prove he was the Messiah. He already knew. And that gift of faith also made him see his own mistakes and his need for Jesus.
I am glad that God has given me eyes to see so many beautiful things in this world. But I am even more glad that he has given me faith to see things my eyes cannot.
Read Hebrews 11:1-16 (or enjoy all of chapter 11...)
How does this passage describe faith? What examples does the author give? How do these examples help you understand what faith is and what it looks like?
Create an emoji for faith. Think about how the face of a person with faith might look...or a symbol that would represent faith. Use what you have learned from scripture and be creative!
Enjoy some seeds as a part of a snack this week...sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, any kind of seeds you like. You could even choose something with seeds already in it! As you eat the seeds, remember how faith is like a seed that God plants in people.