Today’s Gospel ends with a rather interesting statement by the people who witnessed the healing of the deaf and dumb man, “He has done all things well. He makes the deaf to hear and the mute speak.” It seems that the people are comparing the actions of Jesus with some sort of external measure that they have. This is probably the case and the measure that they are using is derived from the prophecies of the Old Testament concerning the Messiah. This seems to indicate that there must have been quite an active and open debate as to whether or not Jesus was the Messiah for whom the Jews had been waiting for so long. Ultimately the majority of the leaders of the Jews must have decided that He was not and so they are still waiting today!

On the other hand the statement also indicates that there were at least a few who were inclined to believe that Jesus was indeed the Messiah! Obviously Jesus disciples would have belonged to the latter crowd but it would have been important for the early propagation of the Gospel that there be others who held influential positions in Judaism who believed in Jesus. Just as it was probably through the Diaspora Jewish communities that the Gospel first took hold outside Israel, so within Israel influential Jewish leaders who believed in Jesus would have played a major role in the early success of evangelization. Further evidence of this is found in that after the Romans destroyed the Temple in about 70AD the Christians were all expelled from the synagogues and had to find their own places to gather and worship according to the practices of their infant faith and Church.

It is not only today that we have conflicting claims about religion arising from both within and outside our Christian faith. All through human history there have been claims and counter claims. What we must do is choose where and to whom we will give our allegiance of faith and then follow this decision with conforming our lifestyle to the faith that we proclaim. If we really believe that Jesus is the Messiah and Redeemer of the world then our lifestyle ought to witness to this fact! Faith has costs involved with it; there is no way around this. The question is, “Are you and I willing to the pay the price of standing up for our faith?”

What is the level of my commitment to my faith? Am I willing to pay the price involved in standing up for my faith, that is, choosing to live by the truth without compromise?

Holy Spirit, I need your help in order to give good witness to the Gospel. Help me to root out all the compromises I have made in my life so that my witness to the Gospel will be true and pure.