The dying Israelites didn’t have to look at the snake in any special way. Some may have squinted from astigmatism or less than 20/20 vision. Some may have been selfish, pushing past others to get a better look. Some may have doubted, wondering if staring at a bronze snake would really make them well. It didn’t matter. The look may have been dim or delayed, but anyone who saw the snake was instantly healed.
Here’s what this means for you: the object of your faith is vastly more important than the power of your faith. Your faith may be tiny, fragile, and full of fear. It doesn’t matter. Faith is like horseradish—a little goes a long way. Your faith doesn’t need to be fancy, it just needs to be well placed. Your faith may be as small as a mustard seed, but if it’s in Jesus it’s enough to move mountains of guilt and calm the stormy waters of your troubled heart (Matthew 17:20).
As the Israelites with the bronze snake, you don’t need to look to Jesus in any special way. You aren’t more saved if you pray longer, louder, or with bold confidence. And you aren’t less saved if your gaze is shaky and clouded by doubt. Your faith might be “weak” and “imperfect,” wrote the author of the Heidelberg Catechism, but it is “nevertheless true and unfeigned.” So don’t worry about how you are looking. Just look, and you are healed. The same Jesus who forgives the sin in your fruit also forgives any flaws in your faith that looks to Him (Despite Doubt: Embracing a Confident Faith, p. 155).
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