My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don't lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body. (Proverbs 4:20-22 NLT) Have you ever made a promise that you either could not or did not keep? Many people have. Before I was saved I would make promises and sometimes failed at carrying them out. However, not long after I became a believer I completely stopped making any promises. Many believers
look at Gods Word and see things like, "For they (Gods Word) bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body" and marvel at the promise(s) of God. However, let's begin to see Gods Word as facts! This is what faith is built upon.
Luke 5 is one of numerous passages of scripture that paints a clear picture of hearing the Word of God and and responding to the facts. In Luke 5:12-15 we see a leper who asks Jesus if He is willing to heal Him. Jesus said, "I am WILLING, be cleansed". We see Gods willingness to heal this man but verse 15 holds a key that we need to see, "However, the REPORT went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to HEAR, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities." Isaiah 53:1, John 12:38 and Romans 10:16 all ask the same question, "Who has believed our report"? We see in Luke that a multitude heard His report, believed and were healed. But a little further into Luke 5: 16-26 we see a different perspective towards God Word.
On a certain day Jesus was teaching and as He taught the power to heal was present. But why do we suppose that these men mentioned here brought a paralyzed man on a bed to Jesus? It should be obvious, they must have HEARD and because they heard and responded, Jesus sees their faith in action. Understand, there was power to heal all who would hear, even for the Pharisees and teachers of the Law, but the scribes and Pharisees "began to reason."
"For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it." (Hebrews 4:2) This is contracting the promise that God gave Israel that Canaan, the Promised Land, would be a place of rest for them in the same way Christ is the ultimate promise of rest to those who believe in Him. Moses preached Gods promises to Israel and they did not mix it with faith (receive the Word as facts) and their unbelief caused a generation to die in the wilderness. When the Word is preached today the same danger exists. If believers do not hear the Word and let it penetrate deep into their hearts and act upon it, unbelief becomes the product and believers will be unfruitful. (See John 15:1-11).
There are many reasons why people, including believers, will not hear Gods Word and act in faith, but the effect is the same, unbelief. Think about this, "God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?" (Numbers 23:19)