Thursday, October 4, 2018

A Foundation of Grace: By Grace Through Faith

Now when He 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 the one for whom 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 Him, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof.  Therefore I did not even 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 even in Israel!” And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick.-Luke 7:1-10 (NKJV)

This is a very interesting story.  We can learn so much about the time period by reading this account.  And this is a very simple picture of law and grace.

Remember that according to John 1:17, the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.  The Jewish elders would have been following the law of Moses, but when Jesus came things changed.

A centurion was a Roman soldier who over 100 men. This one lived in Capernaum, a place Jesus visited frequently.  He had probably already heard about Jesus or come in contact with Him even. We are told he had a sick servant, who was dear to him.  This affection prompted him to seek help for him, which already tells us something about the posture of his heart, to care for a servant.

The centurion sends the Jewish elders to Jesus, and they came to Him, which tells us that there were Jewish leaders there that believed in Him.  They may not have had a full picture of who He was, because of the way they approached Him.  They approached Him based on the law.

They come to Jesus, and they start telling Jesus He should help the man based on what the man has done, based on his works.

And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving,  “for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.”

So, what does Jesus do.  He goes with them!  Because that what Jesus does.  He is a healer.  But when he gets close to the house, the centurion sends more people to him saying he is not worthy to have Jesus come under his roof.  He sends the message to just say the word and he knows his servant will be healed.

He was not looking at himself!  He was not looking at his actions or deeds!  He is looking to the person and grace of Jesus! At the end of the story, Jesus commends him for his faith. Knowing the grace of God produces faith.

Ephesians 2:8 says,

For it is by grace you have saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.

This story is a beautiful picture of that scripture!!

And the servant was healed.  Grace causes healing to flow.  Knowing Jesus causes healing to flow.

To read more in the series, please join me here, at A Foundation of Grace.

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