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Faith of A Mustard Seed

by Barbara Woods-Washington

Barbara Woods Washington

Barbara Woods-Washington

The ‘pistis/Faith’ word group has several variations formed from the pist— root. Much akin to a family, it’s roots and offsprings can go in varied and different directions. Such is the case with John’s Gospel. The word used from this word group in John is a vital and a most critical part of his message. With more than 90 occurrences of this word in John’s Gospel, 99.9% of them are translated ‘believe’ in English versions of Bible. Still again, a separate and completely different word form of the pist— root is used one time in John and is the only time that we see it translated using a form of the word ‘faith’: “Then he said to Thomas, Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side; do not be faithless, but believing.” (John 20:27)

I am very deliberately not identifying these words here in this space because of the time required to examine them as well as the direction that it would take us. John’s word translated ‘believe’ follows our completed course of study on ‘pistis/faith’ as it will begin the study anew, for this word is also found in all three Synoptic Gospels. To remain on task we note, again, that there are no uses in line with our study of ‘pistis/faith’ in John’s Gospel.

Turning, then, to The Acts of The Apostles which takes us to the historical beginnings of The Christian Church history. This ‘Apostolic Age’ is marked by the crucifixion death of Jesus of Nazareth— resurrected with appearances to several persons. This ‘Age’ is marked by an ending of ‘Disciples(ship)’ for those who had ‘followed him’ in his earthly ministry, to a movement towards ‘Apostles(ship)’— now is the time to be ‘sent out’ to preach, to teach and to have authority over unclean spirits as He had taught. ‘The Pentecost’ event in Acts is perhaps the single most important event in the Church’s history marking the ‘receiving of The Holy Spirit’… This ‘NEW Age’.

Faith first occurs in the 3rd chapter of Acts (3:11-16) where Peter addressed the people concerning he and John’s healing miracle; and is written twice in the one verse— 3:16. “…Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? …And his name, by faith in his name, has made this man strong whom you see and know; and the faith which is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all.”

So much ‘chatter’ this week on Social Media with reference to “The Preachers” invited to sit at the Table of ‘45′ for the purpose of spiritual perspective on “Prison Reform’; yet no conversation has been reported on any solutions from “This Table” to this, which I believe to be “The Most” critical issue of Black America in our times. What has followed is a series of thoughts addressing the motives, the preparation and even the character of selected Preachers who sat at ‘45’s Table’.

But, I have come to a very REAL perspective on ‘Preachers’ AND ‘Politicians’ this week as it would also be The Primary Election week; and it has caused me to settle in on TWO of the most ‘discerning power’ Texts of scripture: “My People are destroyed for lack of Knowledge” (Hosea 4:6) and “Where there is no Vision the People perish.” (Proverbs 29:18). So I wrote, “Every One is called to be GOOD. Good Preachers and Good Politicians are… mediocrity. Our Times call for, no, demands #Preachers And Politicians Of Knowledge And Vision.”

It is interesting to note that in this first occurrence of ‘pistis/faith’ in Acts, ‘the movement’ is still wholely and fully a part of Judaism. On this occasion, Peter and John were going up to the Temple at the hour of prayer. This man, crippled from birth, was laid there daily at Temple Gate Beautiful to beg for alms. Peter said to him, “I have no silver or gold.” But what I do have is ‘the power of the Holy Spirit’ (the movement’s ONLY Resource!). And, “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth…” What a timely place to begin a Biblical Journey into ‘The Acts of The Apostles’… a fresh look at The roots of the Christian Church.

by email: mustardseedfaith@outlook.com

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