The Church and Salvation: The Centurion (Luke 7:1-10)

Today’s message summary of January 28, 2018 from Pastor Gus Brown:

God wants to use each one of us every day.  Every moment.  Every hour.  In the same way that doctors are always on call, you are also on call for the Lord each day.

If you walk with Jesus every day, you will not only learn more about Him, but you will learn a lot about you.  You are a product of Jesus Christ.  He is working on you, and He is working on your behalf.

We are blessed to have the Word before us each and every day.  There are many around the world who live in situations that are far from comfortable; yet, they come to hear the Word in spite of difficult circumstances because they know that the Word is precious and special enough to come after.  It has a deep and special meaning for them.

The apostles were learning in the same way, and they will be learning on the spot from someone who was a Gentile–the Centurion.

Luke 7:1-10

When he had concluded saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum.  A centurions servant, who was highly valued by him, was sick and about to die.  When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, requesting him to come and save the life of his servant. When they reached Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, He is worthy for you to grant this, because he loves our nation and has built us a synagogue.

Jesus went with them, and when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, Lord, dont trouble yourself, since I am not worthy to have you come under my roof.  That is why I didnt even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed.  For I too am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under my command. I say to this one, Go, and he goes; and to another, Come, and he comes; and to my servant, Do this, and he does it.

Jesus heard this and was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, I tell you, I have not found so great a faith even in Israel.  When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant in good health.

The Centurion heard the words of Jesus.  He came by hearing the word of God.

Romans 10:17 NKJV

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

How many of you hear the message of Jesus Christ.  When you hear, you have to be willing to listen.  For us, we need to teach ourselves how to listen.

Ecclesiastes 5:1-2

Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Better to approach in obedience than to offer the sacrifice as fools do, for they ignorantly do wrong. Do not be hasty to speak, and do not be impulsive to make a speech before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.

We are to avoid those who are a distraction to hearing the Word of God.  Note that Satan will even come to church, too!

Those that hunger for the word of God will do what is necessary to get to that place.  The Centurion went to hear the words of Jesus.

In addition, you should emphasize reading on a regular basis.  In order to learn, you will have to be an avid reader.  It is not a stretch that the Centurion was also reading about the prophets.  He was able to read the words and gain knowledge from their writings.  He saw that Jesus was someone who could make a difference, as there is no one like Him!

Psalm 33:9

For he spoke, and it came into being;

he commanded, and it came into existence.

 

The Centurion cried out for his servant.  Here he was, a Roman, a pagan, and here he is coming to a Jewish God to intercede on behalf of his servant.  In order to do this, he certainly had to humble himself.  He was well read and ready to do what was necessary to ask for grace for his servant.

Psalm 107:19-20

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble;

he saved them from their distress.

He sent his word and healed them;

he rescued them from the Pit.

 

The Centurion must have concluded that Jesus was hardly an enemy.  He was someone who could make a difference for him and for his family.  He called for the Jewish elders to go out and seek Jesus.  The people who saw him knew that he was a soldier and a leader of the soldiers.  They would see him as an enemy, but because of his authority, the Jewish leaders deemed him worthy of attention.  The Centurion, on the other hand, did not see himself as worthy because of his reverence for Jesus Christ.  The people responded to him with favor because of how he presented himself before them…not as an authoritarian, but as a person who was seeking Jesus Christ in humility.

Luke 7:4-5

When they reached Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, He is worthy for you to grant this, because he loves our nation and has built us a synagogue.

The Centurion built the Jews a synagogue!  He paid for this out of his own pocket!  He understood the importance of worship, study and prayer.  What an example for the Jews to see!

When God has your heart, it is no longer about money or finding favor with others.  It is all about serving the Lord in totality.

Because of the Centurion’s actions, Jesus deemed him to be a humble man of great faith.  The Jews, and especially the apostles, had to hear and see this important lesson.  It is all about the heart of the person and their actions that demonstrates a person’s faith.  Look at how this lesson must have impacted the apostles–a Gentile with great faith who recognized Jesus Christ’s authority!  All that he wanted was for Jesus to speak the word and that his servant would be healed.

Luke 7:6-10

Jesus went with them, and when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, Lord, dont trouble yourself, since I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. That is why I didnt even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed.  For I too am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under my command. I say to this one, Go, and he goes; and to another, Come, and he comes; and to my servant, Do this, and he does it.

 Jesus heard this and was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, I tell you, I have not found so great a faith even in Israel. When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant in good health.

A look at the Centurion’s life should give you pause to examine your own life.  Are you worthy of being in the presence of Jesus Christ?

1 Peter 5:6-11

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you. Be sober-minded, be alert. Your adversary the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him, firm in the faith, knowing that the same kind of sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world.

The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while.  To him be dominion forever.  Amen.

You are to consistently remain in the presence of Jesus Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to teach you and help you to grow in your faith.

2 Peter 3:18

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.

John 16:12-15

I still have many things to tell you, but you cant bear them now.  When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears. He will also declare to you what is to come.  He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.  Everything the Father has is mine. This is why I told you that he takes from what is mine and will declare it to you.

When you sit and ponder God and His presence, allow the Spirit to teach you.  You can’t help but see Him in a new and wonderful way!

Are you satisfied with where you are with Jesus, or do you want more?

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