Matthew 9:1f, has Jesus telling a paralytic man to “have courage.” The Son of Man does not tell the sickened man to have faith,or experience religion. He tells the “Man on the Mat” to have courage. Jesus forgives the fellow’s sin, but Jesus forgives and heals the man after He tells the crippled fellow to have “courage.”
Courage is required to live a religious life. Some enterprising young theological student should write her thesis on the subject of Courage as an element of faith, by which grace is experienced. I am neither young (nor old) and certainly not writing a Master’s Thesis, but I do want to spend some time in this space on Jesus as Hero, a leader who inspires courage in the heart of the person(s) who follow Him.
When I read the story of Thomas’s statement (Thomas is the most useful of the Apostles, if you take into account his doubt and magnificent faith) in John 11, where Thomas is recorded as saying, about Jesus’s death pronouncement, “Let us also go to Jerusalem and die with Him…” I must now read the words of Thomas as Courage, not Mindless Resignation. He is inspired by Jesus to Courage. Jesus is a Hero, a Hero who moves others to great works.
I put it to us this way, “If Courage is important to Jesus, how important should Courage be to us?”