Monthly Archives: April 2011
5And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him, 6and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.” 7Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8But the centurion said, “Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9“For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” 10Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel. 11“I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; 12but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13And Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed that very moment.
What is it that amazes Jesus? We read in the New Testament about how He was constantly amazing others with His teaching and His ministry, but what could possibly amaze the Amazing One? What could possibly cause the Creator of Heaven and Earth to marvel? We find out in our Scripture today.
First, let us see who is it that amazes Christ. Not a Jewish religious leader or even an apostle, but a military leader from the occupying Roman force.
A centurion. A man under the command of others and in command of others and entrusted to keep the Israelites, God’s people, and Jesus’ earthly family, under control.
What was it that amazed Jesus? Jesus had seen and caused the greatest miracles that anyone could ever imagine. Creation, the burning bush, the parting of the Red Sea, Elijah calling down fire to defeat the prophets of Baal, and the sun standing still in Joshua 10, yet even with all of these miracles it is not recorded that He was amazed.
In His earthly ministry, Peter walked on water with Him, but that did not amaze Him. Peter was willing to draw a sword and fight for Him, but that only caused Him to rebuke Peter, not amaze Him. He was not amazed that Lazarus obeyed His command to come out of the tomb. No. What truly amazes our Lord is when we totally and completely believe Him.
Isn’t that sad in a way? Jesus is more amazed when we believe Him than when we don’t believe Him, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Alpha and Omega. This centurion’s faith was so strong, that he didn’t even ask Jesus to come with Him. In his mind, all Jesus had to do was will it to be done, and it would be done. That is amazing faith.
Would you like to amaze Jesus today? Then simply trust Him, believe His word, and have faith.
1When Jesus came down from the mountain, large crowds followed Him. 2And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” 3Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4And Jesus said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go, show yourself to the priest and present the offering that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
The man bowing before him is ragged and rough. Once began, the cycle of leprosy is demanding. Leviticus 13 depicts the constant poking and prodding of the priest. The man comes and is inspected like livestock. As he stands, vulnerable before the priest, all he can do is hope, but then the pronouncement of “unclean” is made, and his heart shrinks in disappointment and discouragement followed by isolation and loneliness.
Many of us have been there in one way or another. We fail to live up to the scrutiny of others. What could ever stop this cycle of perpetual disappointment? A touch. The touch. The man came to Jesus and bowed low saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus was willing. Jesus is willing. The scripture says that, “Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him”. The touch of the Master healed this man. Jesus could have spoken a word and healed him. Jesus could have commanded him to dip in a river seven times and be healed. When was the last time this man was touched? Who would have been brave enough to touch him? We do not know, but Jesus was not, and is not, afraid to touch the lowliest of the unclean. And so the Master stretched out His hand, and touched the untouchable.
Friend, you and I were just as unclean, if not even more so than this leper. But on a hill called Golgotha, Jesus stretched out His hand and allowed a nail to be driven through it. Through this act, Jesus made a way to personally touch every man and woman throughout history. He made a way to take away their leprosy-like sin, much deeper than a simple skin disease. He made a way to rejoin them to their true family, not just from a period of isolation and loneliness, but to restore them for all eternity with their Heavenly Father.
But He did not stop there. Then He told this healed man, once a leper, to go back to the very priests whose eyes had so scrutinized him, and let them witness the change. Let them dare to try to find a blemish now after the touch of the Master’s hand. Why? For vindication? For revenge? Because he was now better than the priests? No. They needed to see a testimony of healing. They would now have to pronounce this man as clean. They would see the change with their own eyes and have to speak those words that the leper had so longed to hear, “you are clean”.
Have you been touched by the Master’s hand? If so, then who could dare to tell you that you are not good enough? You are healed.
3He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
5But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
We all like to win. There, I said it. There is only one problem with winning. Someone has to lose. When a discussion dissolves into disagreement and disagreement becomes an open argument. We need to remember the words of Proverbs 18:1-2.
When we argue with our spouse, ultimately, the problem is that you are each of a differing opinion. There is nothing wrong with having a different opinion. The problem is when the discussion quits being about “WE” and starts to become about “ME”.
Verse 1 states that when we isolate ourselves, we are basically setting up a defensive position from which we cannot be reasoned with. It is all about “ME”. In marriage, we have to remember that there is no “ME”.
When Jesus was questioned about divorce in Mark chapter 10, He reminded them of the commitment made in marriage. He says, “8AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH; so they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9“What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
When we allow a discussion to become an argument, we are backing ourselves into separate corners and the argument becomes about winning. Instead, we have to remember the “ME” is actually “WE”. The reason you started the discussion in the first place was because you wanted to do what was best for your family, “WE”.
Don’t let family decisions turn you into a fool. When many of us turn to “ME”-mentality, we are no longer concerned about understanding our spouse’s reasoning or opinion, we just want to win. We want to get OUR point across. We want OUR way.
YOU can win the argument, but what will be the cost to your FAMILY? What will be the cost in respect to your relationship? When you find yourself in a situation that could become an argument or fight with your spouse, ask yourself this question, “Is this about “WE” or “ME”?”
Maybe, with a little thought and prayer, your FAMILY can win the battle and the war.
Father, teach us how to be two people glorifying you with one family.
Bring us unity and peace. And in all situations, let us work together
to find Your path to a solution that will benefit our family,
bring us closer together, and bring you glory.