Sunday, June 02, 2013

Channels of the supernatural

The Centurion's Faith - Luke 7:6-9
Detail from "The Centurion's Faith" - The Bible in Pictures
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Luke 7:1-10

TO CHEW ON: "When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, 'I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel.'" Luke 7:10

The events of this story play out on two planes.

There is the natural one where a Gentile centurion, concerned about a favourite ill servant asks Jewish leaders to be a go-between and request Jesus heal the man.  These leaders come to Jesus and beg Him for a healing because the sick man's boss is deserving, in that he has built them a synagogue.

On His way to heal the man, Jesus is met by friends the centurion has sent to try to dissuade Him from coming all the way. The centurion has told them to say, "Lord … I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof …. But say the word and my servant will be healed." And then they explain how the centurion understands authority, and particularly Jesus' authority (Luke 7:8).

And so we come to the second plane, the plane of the supernatural. Jesus ignores the fact that a Gentile is asking for help, though properly through Jewish liaisons, and that he might be considered worthy to receive it because he has helped the Jews. Instead, He draws attention to one thing—the man's faith.

Somehow this centurion, with his background of chain-of-command and military authority gets it. He recognizes what the Jews, even the disciples, don't—that Jesus represents and operates under the authority and with the authority of the greatest Authority on earth.

The centurion's servant is healed
not because his boss built the synagogue or comes to Jesus through the right people but because he believes and the One in whom he believes extends grace.

There is a lesson for us in this. God still saves us and meets our needs through these channels. It's not who we are, who we know, or what we do but our faith in Him and His grace extended to us.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast." Ephesians 2:8,9

PRAYER: Dear God, it's easy for me to think in terms of earning Your favour, something I know I can't do. Please help me to grasp the lesson of this story at a deep level. Amen.

MORE: Grace awakens longing and resentment
"The Gospel of the grace of God awakens an intense longing in human souls and an equally intense resentment, because the revelation which it brings is not palatable. There is a certain pride in man that will give and give, but to come and accept is another thing. I will give myself in consecration, I will do anything, but do not humiliate me to the level of the most hell-deserving sinner and tell me that all I have to do is accept the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ" - Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, November 28th reading.

The Holy Bible, New King James Version Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. - Used with permission.
Bible Drive-Thru

Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...