Mark 5:24-34; John 5:1-9
And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague. (Mark 5:34)
There’s a dramatic contrast between the faith of the woman who had the issue of blood and the man who was lame at the pool of Bethesda. Both desperately wanted to be healed. The man at Bethesda was feeling hopeless because he didn’t have anyone to help him into the pool. He had faith, but it was passive, based on someone else doing something. However, the woman had an active faith that reached out and took God’s healing. She acted while the man sat and waited. Both were healed, but there was a big difference.
Jesus told the woman that her faith had made her whole. That’s an amazing statement! Her faith, not Jesus’ faith, produced her miracle. This woman was able to receive when Jesus wasn’t physically there because her faith was active. However, the man didn’t have the kind of faith that produced on its own. He was passive and Jesus had to encourage him to believe and then tell him, “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk” (John 5:8). If the man had not believed and acted in faith, someone else would have had to come along and do what Jesus did all over again.
An active faith is full of energy and felt so strongly that it compels the individual to act. A passive faith is one that only acts on the encouragement of others. The believer with an active faith depends on God; the believer with a passive faith depends on the faith and encouragement of other believers. While the first won’t be denied what God has promised, the other can be easily discouraged and let go of what’s theirs in Christ.
Which kind of faith would you rather have? Both of these individuals were in hopeless situations, but they had totally different responses. Choose to stir up your faith today so that it’s active instead of passive.