Day 7: Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Bible Reading: The Gospel of Luke 7:1-50
Focus Scripture: Luke 7:47 “For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much: but he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
Our social media usernames say a lot about us. I pray I haven’t offended anyone with the title of this devotional but let’s be honest, there are some unique, attention grabbing, usernames that may have us question what that person does. We may be afraid to pull up their Facebook profile in front of people; or we quickly scroll past it. What could we possibly have in common with Hot Sexy Chocolate? If we continue to think this way as Believers, we will not be able to point them to Christ. There is always someone ready to receive and hear the Word of God. (John 4:35)
The Roman Centurion likely had this happen to him. After all he was a commander with soldiers that answered to him and did his bidding. Well, how did he come into knowledge of our Lord? He reverenced Jesus deeply. (Luke 7:6) We can infer that at some point this career solider was befriended or influenced by someone who opened his eyes to the Truth. As believers we are acting as agents of Christ. We are what the world sees and influence the hearts of unbelievers.
Have you ever been so impressed by someone’s actions that it made you want to go out of your way to serve them? This is what the Jewish community felt when they sought out Jesus to heal the Centurion’s servant who was like a son to him. This Roman Centurion impressed Jesus. (Luke 7:9) He did not feel worthy to speak with Him or have Jesus enter his home, he had a deep respect for Jesus. Wow, talk about being humble! He recognized Jesus’ power and that He was acting on behalf of God the Father. The Centurion understood that if Jesus was to speak a word it would be done, and he explained it from his human perspective.(Luke 7:8) Being in command is trusting others to follow your directions. The Centurion believed that the supernatural powers of God’s healing could be commanded by Jesus. That’s what he believed!! He converted from some pagan religion to follow Jesus. He embraced the Jewish culture. He embraced God.
Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10
There are several minute details to unpack in Luke’s account of this story. I believe it is important to discuss why the Gospels seem to contradict each other in the retelling. First, when servants were sent with messages in that era it was as if the person relaying the message was the person in charge. We could regard it as the first virtual messaging system. In our modern-day text messaging and email system, if it is sent from your electronic device, regardless of who typed it, YOU are the person “talking” to the receiver. In essence we have replaced people with technology.
Luke focused on the relationship the Centurion had with the Jews, the Gospel according to Matthew focused on his faith. This is how we get a clear picture of who this Roman Centurion was and the important part he played in the Jewish community as a proselyte (new convert). The servant or son was part of the Centurion’s household therefore it would be understood that he was part of the family. However, just as all scripture is divinely inspired, God knew that 2,000 years later we would be reading these words attempting to understand who was requesting Jesus’ divine mercy. We could get caught up on the “who” and miss the “what”. The ‘what’? Faith, and the amazing display of it by a Gentile… an outsider.
When we love each other as Jesus commanded we will look past the exterior of a person and aim for their heart.( Deuteronomy 6:5 and Luke 10:27) What is their heart seen doing? It shouldn’t matter if we have befriended Hot Sexy Chocolate, Boozing Babes, or Out of Control Gun-Slinger because they are the ones that may need Jesus the most. We can push aside our disdain for their choice of clothing, jobs, and sin to point them to the one Who saves. Once we have planted seeds of love we can be effective disciples of Christ. As always our first responsibility is to God, if everything begins from that point our home, work, and social lives will fall into place. *Contrast Luke 7:30, Luke 10:27*
Facebook Group Questions:
1.Are we embracing God or are we chasing after pagan idols in order to make ourselves appear in command?
2. Do we judge others based on their names, appearances, or job titles?
3. Do we openly and honestly talk with the confidants in our lives about the calling God has placed in your heart?
A Few Points:
Depending on your personal view of the story, the Centurion will affect what you focus on in this study. “Blessed is he that does not take offense at Me” Luke 7:23
- The Roman Centurion’s faith is on display and the Jewish community intercedes on his behalf. Luke 7:1-10 and Matthew 8:5-13
- Jesus’ compassion raised the dead son of the widow, He knew she had no one left. Luke 7:11-17
- Jesus answers John the Forerunner of Christ’s messengers and alleviates all doubt that He is the one they’ve been waiting for. Luke 7:18-26 and Matthew 11:1-19
- The sinful woman anoints Jesus’ feet while He is reclining at the table of Simon the Pharisees home. He teaches about forgiveness and how much more is forgiven in contrast to the amount of sin committed. Luke 7:36-50
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