We try to do all the "right things" as Christians, but there isn't a day that we don't mess up—again and again.
Instead of ridiculing ourselves, the recognition of our shortcomings can be reminders of the extravagance of God's grace and encourage us to follow Him.
In Luke 7 we see the religious leaders declare someone is "worthy" of Jesus because of what this person does and has (he helped pay to build a Jewish synagogue), but the man himself shows humility in knowing he is unworthy of even being in Jesus' presence.
And Jesus declares that man's faith more powerful than anyone in Israel.
In this episode, you will hear the contrast between those who think they are good enough for God—and those who know they are not. And you will have time to reflect and pray about your own gratitude for God's grace.
BIBLE READING APPS:
Welcome to Luke Chapter 7 in our Certainty of Faith series through the Gospel of Luke.
So far in the Gospel of Luke, we have explored the foretelling of John the Baptist and Jesus, the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus, which both fulfilled Old Testament Prohesies about the coming of the Messiah—the Savior.
We also explored Jesus’ time in the wilderness being tempted by Satan and then accounts Luke recorded of Jesus’ public ministry. In the public ministry we have seen the religious Jews who oppose Jesus because he breaks their religious cultural rules and they can’t see that God in the flesh is standing before them.
And we have seen that those who know they need God—like Peter and the disciples, like those healed of evil spirits and illnesses—and the sinners at dinner with Levi the tax collector—those who know they are sinners, are the ones Jesus extends the kingdom of God to.
But those who THINK they have the keys to the kingdom of God because of their religious heritage, they are closed off to the real Key to the Kingdom—the man Jesus Christ.
Today, we will listen to and meditate on the story of the Centurion’s servant at the beginning of Luke 7 and I will summarize the rest because I want us to focus on why the Jews thought the Centurion’s servant should be healed—and why Jesus said the Centurion’s servant was healed.
Before I read today’s passage, let’s take a silent moment to focus on our breath and prepare our hearts to hear the Word of God.
Once again, listen for the reason the Jews think Jesus should heal the Gentile Centurion’s servant and then the reason Jesus states that he healed the servant—or whatever else the Holy Spirit prods in your heart through this scripture.
When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. 2 There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3 The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4 When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, 5 because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” 6 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. 7 That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 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.”
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.” 10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.
What stood out to you from these verses?
The elders of the Jews told Jesus that the Centurion was DESERVING of his servant being healed because he gave money to build a synagogue.
But the Centurion was humble. SO humble he didn’t even approach Jesus himself, and believed that even if Jesus said the word—healing would be accomplished.
The Jews depended on works and effort to make the Centurion worthy before Jesus.
But the Centurion depended on grace through faith to make himself worthy before Jesus.
And Jesus responded, “I tell you, I have not found such great even in Israel.”
Take a moment to think about Jesus’ response and what it might mean for your relationship with God.
In the rest of the chapter we see Jesus perform another miracle, raising a widows son.
And John the Baptist asking from prison if Jesus was the Messiah to come. Jesus responds in an interesting way by telling John all that is happening. The blind receive sight. The lame walk. Those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.
John the Baptist would know prophesy—and know that this means Jesus is indeed the Messiah to come—not by him SAYING he is, but by him DOING what the Messiah would do.
If others looked at your life, what would they see?
Would they see a follower of Jesus? Or would they just HEAR that you are a follower of Jesus? Think about this for a moment.
The last part of the chapter, we read the story of the sinful woman who anoints Jesus with oil at the self-righteous Pharisee’s house. And Jesus explains that those who are forgiven much, love much. And those who are forgiven little, love little. The woman pouring expensive perfume on Jesus, maybe even worth her life’s savings—shows the extent of her gratitude for the forgiveness of her sin.
In the beginning and end of this chapter, we see the contrast. Between those who THINK they are right with God because of their religion vrs. Those who know they need God’s grace.
Where in your life are you depending on God’s favor because of your good deeds? Where do you need his grace? Pray about this or whatever the Spirit has laid on your heart.
God; Father, Son, and holy Spirit; we worship you. You are the one and only true God There is no other. Thank you for your grace.
Thank you for salvation through grace and God help us to live it. Just like you. When you told John the Baptist, the the dead are raised and the good news has preached to them, John knew that that was what the Messiah was going to come to do. We too need to live lives that show who we. But often we are tripped up by our exhaustion or our sinful habits or our selfish ways, so easily now we don't look like we are Christians.
God help us every moment, day by day this week to live as Christ followers.
In Jesus' name we pray amen.
Thank you for joining me on the Well Soul Podcast today.
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There is so much more to the story in this chapter, so if you would like to drink in the scriptures more slowly than the podcast allows, I encourage you to look at the resources linked in the show notes.
I would like to give a special thanks to Dr. Sandra Glahn for her Latte with Luke Bible study and Brian Vasquez productions, who has made this podcast possible. This episode is sponsored by socialremix.co to SocialRemix.co, a social media generating website that saves you hours of content creation with just a click of a button. For more information, see the Links in the show notes.
God bless you and I pray that you have a well soul.