Friday, July 24, 2020

2020.07.24 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 7:1–10

Questions from the Scripture text: What did Jesus conclude in Luke 7:1? Where did He then enter? To whom does Luke 7:2 introduce us? What did he have? How did he feel about this bondslave (lit.)? What was happening to his bondslave? About what had he heard (Luke 7:3)? Whom did he send? What did they plead? To Whom did they come (Luke 7:4)? In what manner did they beg? What particular reasoning did they give? What did they say in favor of his deservingness (Luke 7:5)? What does Jesus do in Luke 7:6? Whom does the centurion send? What do they tell Jesus not to do? What does the centurion think of himself with respect to Christ? Of what else had he thought of himself unworthy (Luke 7:7)? What does he ask Jesus to do instead? What does he believe will happen? What was the centurion under (Luke 7:8)? What did he have under him? What did those under him do out of respect to those over him? How did Jesus respond to hearing this (Luke 7:9)? To whom did He speak? What did He say He had not found? Where did He say that He had not found it? To where did the sent ones return (Luke 7:10)? What did they find?
Luke 7:9 stops us in our tracks. “When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him.” It catches our attention when Jesus is impressed by something. Jesus goes on to say that He found this man’s faith to be particularly great.

That is high commendation. Wouldn’t you like to have faith that Jesus Himself calls “great”?!

So, let us look closely at what the centurion says in Luke 7:8. What we find is that faith in Jesus is not only faith that He has authority to command, but also that (in His human nature, as our Mediator) He is under the authority of heaven. Just as Rome was the authority behind everything that the centurion commanded his soldiers, so also God Himself is behind everything that Jesus does in His human nature (remembering, of course, that Jesus is also God).

The centurion’s commands and actions are that of a Rome-man. The empire commanded his soldiers whatever the centurion commanded.

This explains why the centurion considered himself unworthy either to have Jesus come to him (Luke 7:6) or to have Jesus receive him (Luke 7:7). Amazingly, he considered the Jewish elders (Luke 7:3) and his friends (Luke 7:6) more worthy than himself. This corresponds well to how his bondslave (doulos) would be “dear to him” (Luke 7:2). And how marvelous that this centurion knew that Jesus, the compassionate, would be more moved by unworthiness than worthiness. Certainly, the elders he sent didn’t understand this (cf. Luke 7:4-5).

So, what is this marvelous faith? Faith that considers self unworthy. Faith that considers others more worthy. But especially faith that sees Jesus’s human actions as the actions of a divine Person—that knows that it was with God’s own blood that He has purchased the church (cf. Acts 28:20)!
What does your faith believe about yourself? About others? About Jesus and His actions?
Suggested songs: ARP110B “The Lord Has Spoken to My Lord” or TPH270 “At the Name of Jesus”

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