Text: St. Luke 7
Now understand that Jesus wants to be our friend, but there are some qualifications to His friendship. James 4:4 reads, “Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” God wants to be our friend but He asks that we be a faithful friend to Him. Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” If we are going to be considered God’s friend we must first believe that He exists and that He truly wants to have a relationship with those who seek after Him.
First, I want you to see that this was a powerful man. Luke 7:1-2 “When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. It is interesting to note that whenever a Centurion is mentioned in scripture he is always mentioned in a positive light. There was the Roman centurion at the cross who said, “Surely this man was the son of God. There was the Roman Centurion Cornelius who Peter spoke to and he and his whole family became believers. And finally this man mentioned here in Luke 7. This man was no loser, he wasn’t downtrodden, he wasn’t poor, he was a very powerful man.
Second, notice that this man was a compassionate man. Luke 7:3-5 “The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant.
This was no ordinary Centurion. It was odd for a Centurion to even less about the conquered people, but this man went above and beyond. He took care of the oppressed people and even went so far to build them a synagogue.
He was a humble man. Luke 7:6-8 “So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But 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.” Imagine a Roman officer telling a poor Jewish rabbi that he was unworthy to have Him enter his house! The Romans were not known for displaying humility, especially before their Jewish subjects. But true faith always starts with humility, humbling yourself before God. Even though this Centurion was a man of authority he realized that it was limited.
Jesus said in Matthew 28:18 “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” When Jesus spoke, the demons came into immediate obedience. When He told the winds and seas to be still, even nature had to submit to His authority. Even the great enemy of death had no authority over our Lord all of creation is under His submission.
But the quality about this Centurion that I want you to see the most was that he was a man of incredible faith. Luke 7:9 “When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” This man had only heard of Jesus, and he believed in Christ so much that not only did He believe that Jesus could heal his servant, but also Jesus didn’t even have to be there. According to this Centurion, all Jesus had to do was merely say the word. He simply believed. In the scriptures, we are called to have that child like faith where we simply believe because Jesus says so.
There are a few lessons I want you to pick up on faith that I think we all need to know. First, faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. We believe even though we have never seen. Have you ever thought of all the incredible things we ask non-Christians to believe. We ask them to believe in a God who we have never seen. We ask them to believe that God is able to raise folks from the dead, even though we have never seen such a thing done before. But with that childlike faith we spoke of earlier, we believe…even though we have not seen. We are called to live by faith and not by sight.1 Peter 1:8-9 “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving.
The next lesson is that no matter the level of faith you have, you must act on the faith you have. This Centurion couldn’t prove everything , nor did he have all the answers, but what he did have and what he did know he acted on. Your faith will grow not from speculation but from using it, from action. James 2:17 says, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
Finally, realize that faith is a choice. Once you gather the evidence, you must decide whether you will believe or not. You must make the choice.
Now many of you right now are doubting God’s provisions, your doubting God’s will and you are having a rough time making up your mind. Yet when you examine the evidence, the choice to be made is yours and yours alone.
Faith is a wonderful thing. My question is. “Will you fully trust God no matter your circumstances today? The choice is yours.
Posted by Fay-Ann Swearing December 6, 2013
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