“According to your faith will it be done to you.” (Matthew 9:29)

As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, “Have mercy on us, Son of David!” When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied. Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; and their sight was restored. (Matt. 9:27-30)

What does 'according to your faith' mean?

Was he trying to show everyone that he was a successful healer with this statement? No, he was making a point about faith.

The four Gospels only reveal 27 times where Jesus healed someone or cleansed someone. This is out of thousands - if not tens or even hundreds of thousands - of people who came into contact with Jesus by attending one of his sermons or seeing him travel through a town or village.

This would mean that either Jesus' healing power was extremely limited, or healing was not his primary purpose.

Most take this "faith" in the visible - as in faith in Jesus, or the ability of Jesus to produce a healing effect. However, this interpretation would be inconsistent with Jesus’ other statements regarding who he was.

Certainly, Jesus was standing in front of these people, so they didn’t need any faith to accept his existence. He was right there in front of them.

And since he had healed other people, he didn’t need any faith in his ability to heal. There was already significant evidence for this.

The word "faith" is being translated from the Greek word πίστις (pistis). This can certainly be translated to "faith" as in "belief." But its meaning in this context is confirmed by the lexicon as "the character of one who can be relied on."

Jesus was speaking of relying upon the Supreme Being. He was speaking of trusting in God.

This trust - this reliance upon the Supreme Being, is not only why but also how Jesus healed.

Consider this clear statement by Jesus:
"Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matt. 26:53)
Jesus is clearly stating the source of his power and authority - they are coming from the Supreme Being. This also illustrates that Jesus himself was relying upon the Supreme Being.

And he was requesting that others also rely upon the Supreme Being as well.

Do we have freedom of choice?

Some postulate that our fate is sealed. Everything is planned out in advance and we have no choice over the matter. This is called predestination. Others contend everything is random and everything takes place by chance. This is called the chaos theory.

Neither of these is true. Yes, there is a design to the physical world, and there is a plan determined for each of our lives. But the physical world still allows us to have a broad range of freedom of choice.

This is because the physical world has been set up to provide a learning experience - one where we get to make choices, and then deal with the consequences of those choices.

We dwell within these temporary bodies for a period of time because of our inclination for independence from God. So God arranged a dimension and temporary vehicles - the physical body - so we could learn.

 This means that we are not these physical bodies. These bodies are coverings over our real selves.

In fact, these “garments of skin" (Genesis 3:21) were designed to shield us from our spiritual identities as children of the Supreme Being. We wanted our independence - symbolized by Adam and Eve eating the fruit. Since we wanted our independence, God gave us a dimension where we could ignore His existence for a while.

Consider what a parent might do if a child were to tell his parents in a fit of rage to get away from him. They might put the child into their room and close the door, so the child could be "on their own" for a while. As the child gets older, some parents might even build a treehouse or something in the backyard, all to give the child their own "space."

While the parents still own the house and the backyard, these facilities - the room and treehouse - give the child a sense of independence from the parents.

The Supreme Being does the same thing with this physical world. He is everywhere and He owns everything. We are also His children. There is really no way to get away from Him, but He created a virtual space where we get to feel independent from Him. This gives us the freedom to choose whether we want to be with Him or not.

This is because love requires the freedom to choose.

What will we choose?

For those who choose to love Him, He set up a way to return to Him. This path, however, is built upon trust. We must first trust in His existence despite what our physical eyes see. Though the world presents us with the possibility that He does not exist, if we trust that He exists - even going against our senses - we begin the process along the path towards returning to Him.

Think about it. Let's say we had a loving friend for many years, and suddenly that friend said they wanted to leave our friendship and get away. Because of our love for them (and pain) we would surely let them go, yes? Why would we want to stay in touch with them after they rejected us? They indicated they wanted to be away from us. Certainly, we would keep our distance, yes?

But say one day the distanced friend called us out of the blue. Would we immediately embrace them and let them back into our life after they had rejected us and told us they didn’t want anything to do with us before?

Most people would most likely be a little distant at first, and wait for them to prove they indeed wanted to return to our friendship. We might even question their sincerity. Are they sure they want to return to our relationship again? Or do they have an ulterior motive?

Certainly, there would be a warming period, where we go slow and see what is going on. Are they sincere or not? Are they committed to a relationship or will they leave again on a whim?

These are natural tendencies of relationships because relationships are universal for living beings. Why? Because our happiness is built upon relationships. Because we were created by the Supreme Being to exchange a relationship with Him. As such, the key to being happy is rekindling our relationship with God.

But just as we might want a lost friend who re-approaches us to be serious this time - the Supreme Being also wants us to be serious. This is why there is a period of testing involved as we approach the Supreme Being. It is not as if He doesn't know our intentions though. He wants us to realize our lack of seriousness. And He wants us to become more serious.

Will heaven bring us happiness?

Many institutions and teachers talk about heaven as some sort of perfect life here on earth. Some even paint the whole picture: We are sipping lemonade on lounge chairs under an umbrella in perfect weather, or floating in the clouds playing harps. Others talk about "heaven on earth” as though if we could just get rid of all the wars and hatred, we would be happy living here.

All these scenarios barely even mention the Supreme Being - and then only as sitting in judgment on a big throne somewhere or floating around nebulously. Either way, He is put in the background, out of the way.

Basically, we are looking for heaven without the Supreme Being.

However, this concept of heaven will not bring happiness. This will not solve the main problems of life: Loneliness, emptiness, and a craving for pleasure.

Why do we look for our perfect mate?

We are all craving a perfect loving relationship with the perfect person. That perfect love will fulfill us. For this reason, most of us are continually looking for that perfect mate.

However, as soon as we think we have found the perfect mate, we soon realize that they are not perfect. Then we spend the rest of the relationship working on the relationship in an attempt to make the relationship perfect. Or the relationship ends in divorce because we want to continue looking for the perfect person elsewhere. The reason we continually look for the perfect mate here on earth - and never finding it - is because we are searching for our lost relationship with the Supreme Being - the Perfect Person.

In other words, we have been separated from our original perfect relationship with the Perfect Person, God. The reason so many of us are lonely and unhappy - even when we are surrounded by so-called friends and family - is because we are without our Best Friend and our real Family.

So trusting in the Supreme Being is the first step of re-developing our relationship with Him. When we learn to rely upon God, we find that He gradually reveals Himself to us. And as we take actions to progress in our relationship with the Supreme Being He opens up more and more, allowing us to come to know Him and love Him. This is the goal of life, as communicated by Jesus:
" 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment." (Matt. 22:37-38)