Thursday, October 13, 2016

What is "Great Faith"?

Luke 7 The Faith of the Centurion
7 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.

I love this story of the interaction between Jesus and the centurion. A Roman centurion had charge over 100 soldiers. This is the beginning of Luke's particular interest in Jesus reaching out to the Gentiles. Apparently this particular centurion had a good relationship with the elders at the temple in Capernaum, because he sent them to ask if Jesus could come to his house. After Jesus heals his servant, he remarks that even though the centurion was a Gentile, he had not seen such great faith in all of Israel. So why did Jesus call him a man of great faith? Surely we would want Jesus to say this about us.

1. The centurion had faith that Jesus could heal his servant. Though he had not seen him, he had heard of him and trusted in his ability to heal his servant. He had faith without sight.

2. As Jesus made his way to his house, he sent a delegation to tell Jesus that he wasn't worthy to have him come into his house. He was humble and knew he was not worthy enough for Jesus to come to his house. .

3. Even though he was a man with authority, he realized Jesus came from a higher authority. Unlike the Pharisees who rejected Jesus because of their pride of position and power.

For this faith Jesus did something he had never done before. He healed a man without even being in his presence. Jesus honored humility and sincere trust in His authority over and against his own. Great faith enables God to do great things. Where is God calling you to exhibit great faith even if you don't feel worthy of it?

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