ripple effect: vacaville

d186 Real Authority
October 31, 2007, 10:41 am
Filed under: abraham, elijah, elisha, god, jesus, luke, naomi, ruth

Read Luke 7:1-17.

1. OK…things I’m noticing from this story. One, we are talking about a powerful guy’s servant who’s sick here. Not a family member. Also, it just says that he “valued” him. That could mean he either had compassion or needed someone to get the job done. And then, you’ve got the fact that this guy doesn’t go to Jesus himself. He sends important Jewish elders along. And, the elders (who you’d think would be thinking spiritually) say that Jesus should help him because he loves the nation (good) and built the synagogue (um…so, he is valuable to them?). To me, unless I’m reading this with a suspicious eye, I haven’t really seen a huge amount of faith or spirituality yet…
2. Wow…and then everything changes in the second paragraph. He sends out friends to stop Jesus from coming. He felt unworthy to see Jesus or even have Him under his roof. Whoah. I think I’m beginning to understand this guy. He’s a Roman leader in a Jewish nation. And he’s seeing God in their synagogue, and he’s seeing God in this Jesus. But, he feels unworthy, as a Gentile, to have Jesus near him. His only hope is for a long-distance relationship because of who he is. (I love that Jesus doesn’t think like that…)
3. How about this dude’s faith! He just asks (through his friends) to have Jesus “say the word.” He believes that when someone is in authority that a command is carried out. So…he believes that Jesus is in command over life and death, so why wouldn’t they do what He told them to do?
4. For Jesus to say this about a Gentile was an act of grace. It was faith that mattered to Jesus, not lineage to Abraham. So…this guy simply took Jesus at His word. I think we still squirm at Jesus’ teachings and promises. So…it’s refreshing to see someone who didn’t have childlike faith, but more like military certainty-like faith.

5. A widow (no husband) losing her only son (no heirs, no providers) would be up a creek without a paddle in this culture. (Kind of like Naomi in the book of Ruth and the widow that Elijah stayed with.) In the two previous cases, we know that God has compassion towards widows…
6. Jesus’ heart went out to this lady, while she was in the funeral procession. He tells her not to cry… What do you think her response was at that moment?
7. I love Jesus style here. Almost to reinforce what the centurion had said, he commands the boy to get up. He does! And he talks. I wonder what he says!
8. Prophets could do what Jesus just did (see Elijah and Elisha…of course, that was only with the power of God). So…it comes as no surprise that the people simply think that Jesus is a prophet. Oh…but He’s so much more…


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