Lessons Of A Lifetime

UNDERSTANDING CHRIST’S AUTHORITY
OR
SUCH GREAT FAITH
SUNDAY SEPT. 15, 2019

Scripture To Consider:
“Now when Jesus concluded all His sayings in the hearing of the people, He entered Capernaum. And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. So, when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant.”

“And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that one for who he should do this was deserving, ‘For he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.’ Then Jesus went with them.”

“And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Jesus, saying to Him, ‘Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. Therefore, I did not think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, “Go,” and he goes; and to another, “Come,” and he comes; and to my servant, “do this,” and he does it.’”

“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 in Israel!’ And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick.” Luke 7.1-10

Something To Consider:
On a previous visit a certain nobleman had implored Jesus to heal his sick son who was at the point of death. Once again, in the same city, a certain centurion whose faith must have been inspired by the healing of the nobleman’s son sent word to Jesus. But it is not a son who is sick and dying, it is a servant who was dear to him, thereby revealing this centurion’s kind heartedness even to his servant.

Paul writing to the Ephesian church in chapter 2 explained, “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ… And raised us up together, and made us to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He [God] might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

Paul also asked a most important question in Romans 2.4; “Or do you despise the riches of His [God’s] goodness [kindness], forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness [kindness] of God leads you to repentance.” Therefore, whether we have attained to understanding Christ’s authority over our lives or still lack such great faith, we must fully understand that it is the kindness or goodness of God that eventually leads us to repentance. And yet, if we further rebel against Christ’s authority, against the kindness of God, then judgment is reserved for the foolish of heart.

Something Else To Consider:
Being a Roman citizen and not of Jewish descent, the centurion sent word by way of some elders of the Jews who had nothing but the utmost of praise for this kind and most generous individual. This certain centurion, according to the Jewish elders in our text had built the community a synagogue, or place of worship. Therefore, the elders spoke highly of this certain centurion and acknowledged to Jesus that he was worthy of His help.

Being worthy of God’s mercy, goodness, and kind treatment is what grace is all about. We are, according to the Word of God, saved by grace, God’s grace through such great faith no matter how small. And even the faith to believe is a gift of God and not of ourselves, it is the gift of our heavenly Father and Almighty God. But has such great faith and gracious gift been received?

Something More To Consider:
And according to Jesus, this certain Roman centurion was indeed a man of exceptionable faith, for as Jesus approached the house the man sent friends to remind Jesus that he was not worthy for Jesus to enter his home. He also had them explain to Jesus that he fully understood authority and all that was needed was for Jesus to simply speak the word.

And so, Jesus did, but not before He commended this certain Roman centurion by saying, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel.” Do we as 21st century true enduring to the end believers, understand Christ’s authority in and over our lives? And if not, when do we think we will start that much needed understanding process?

Jesus’ last words spoken in Matthew 28.18-20, before ascending into the heavens, speak to the authority of Christ then, now, and for all eternity. “All authority has been given Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples [not converts to religion or a denomination] of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

If we understand Christ’s authority in heaven and on earth, are we obeying His command of Matthew 28.19-20? Are we in some way involved in the making of disciples, not converts to a tradition-based religion or a denomination steeped in demonic doctrines and or so-called Christian creeds established by men?

Hebrews 4.12 proclaims, “For the Word of God [not the word of man] is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”  It is the Word of God that verifies the spirit of discernment and not man’s faithless traditions and earthly agendas!

A Few Final Words:
Therefore, are we, those who understand Christ’s words having authority in our lives? And if we understand that Jesus has promised to be with us in the teaching disciples process of observing all things Jesus commanded, even to the end of this age, are we personally involved in the work and ministry of making disciples?

If we are indeed the final end time generation of believers, will we be found with such great faith as the Roman centurion of our Scripture to consider today? Or will we be found without faith when Jesus returns to gather His elect from the four corners of the earth? This is something to consider now!

Will we be found among those who have and will continue to fall away from the faith due to being offended at the revelation of the Antichrist sitting in the yet to be built Jewish temple in Jerusalem because we have believed the lie of a pre-tribulation rapture? Jesus predicted the future of so many in Luke 18.8, when He declared; “When the Son of Man comes [His second and soon coming], will He really find faith [such great faith] on the earth.”

Understanding the rightful authority of Jesus is a right first step in understanding and benefiting from the power and pleasure of God’s healing touch. “Therefore, I did not even think myself worthy to come to You [Jesus]. But say the word, and my servant will be healed.”

Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, may You instill within us an infusion of faith this day, that we might serve You unashamedly and most faithfully. In Him Always, Amen!

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