What did I learn about Jesus?
- Jesus had time for people—all kinds of people in just this one chapter. Whose story do you most resonate with? The servant or the centurion? The widow or the dead boy? The messengers of John or the sick? The sinful woman or the dinner attenders? Jesus has time for you today.
- Jesus is looking for people of faith.
What did I learn about disciple-making?
- Don’t rule out who may or may not be a person of great faith. They just might surprise you.
Extended thoughts and observations from Pastor Mark:
Good morning disciples. Thank you for your diligence in God’s word.
I want to focus just on the first story…and leave others of you to dive into other parts.
- The Centurion- a Gentile. Luke treats Gentiles kindly in his gospel. Notice the difference in perspective of the Centurion, whom Jesus praised, and the Jewish leaders who came representing him. They said their centurion friend “deserved” Jesus’ intervention in the servant’s illness because of all the good things he had done for the Jewish people. The centurion sends friends to tell Jesus that he “does NOT deserve” Jesus’ kindness. The friends then go on to repeat the centurion’s words to Jesus about how he understands authority and because of that, understands that Jesus doesn’t even need to come to him in order to heal his friend; he can simply say the words.
- This is the only other time that we read that Jesus was “amazed” by something. The first time, it was the lack of faith among his hometown people in Nazareth (Luke 4) that amazed Jesus. Now Jesus is amazed by the faith of this non-Jew.
Two things about this: First, I would rather Jesus be amazed by my faith in him than my un-faith in him; wouldn’t you? But I’m sure I lean toward the Nazarenes, I’m sorry to say. May the Lord help me to really believe in him!
Secondly, note the attitude of the Jewish elders, that this man “deserved” something from God. This is typically American, frankly. You hear it in most non-Christian funerals. Everybody goes to heaven because they were “good” people. But they were not… not by God’s standards. And we are not! We are not good; we are sinful, broken people who need saving. Thank God that Jesus came toward our “house” as he did toward the Centurion to do for us what we could not do for ourselves and certainly did not deserve!