Faith vs. Proof

Three BIG Theorems:  MVT, EVT, IVT

Matthew 8:5-13 NIV

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 

"Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly." 

Jesus said to him, "Shall I come and heal him?"

The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.  For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, "Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.  I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.  But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." 

Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would." And his servant was healed at that moment.

Do you believe that the big theorems (EVT, IVT, MVT, FTC, etc.) of Calculus are true?  Or do you need to see a proof?  Some are willing to believe everything a perceived authority says is true, and we might disparage them as gullible people. Each person is different in what they are willing to believe on faith--this depends upon experience, how the new information fits with current knowledge, and their trust in the authority espousing the information. 

In mathematics, there is tension between what must be proven and what can be accepted on faith.  In Calculus, some of the proofs are too complex for the context of learning the new information while others can be very instructive in understanding a new topic. 

In the Christian tradition, much of what we believe must be taken on faith.  Jesus was impressed by those who were willing to accept his status as son of God without proof.  The centurion identified with the authority of Jesus because of his own experience in the military.  We can speculate that he was witness to some of the miracles of Jesus, giving evidence to support his faith.  But his willingness to accept the word of Jesus that his servant would be healed was beyond Jesus' expectations.  We hope that Jesus will be impressed by our willingness to believe and that we will be blessed by our faith.