This week, as we continue in our series in Luke, we will be reflecting on Jesus’ teaching from Luke 7:1-10 where Jesus praises the faith of a Roman centurion as he asks Jesus to heal his servant. Today, I want us to see that Jesus loves to see faith and commends those who exhibit it.
‘When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.’ (Luke 7:1-10)
Lesson: Jesus loves to see faith in us because faith - believing God - is at the heart of worship.
You can listen to this devotional at:
What are the traits that you most like to see in others? Something which I have always highly esteemed in others, and particularly in my children, is the willingness to say sorry. Strangely, I learnt this lesson when I was at school standing with my nose against the wall in the headmaster’s office! I was in trouble for something and I remember that when I said 'sorry', it seemed to change the atmosphere and got me out of trouble - amazing! Since then I’ve always thought that anyone whom confesses to a mistake shows great character. Jesus, makes it clear that one of the things that He loves to see in us is faith. Jesus draws attention to:
‘When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.”’
Why does Jesus love to see faith? Faith (pístis) means, belief, trust, firm persuasion, conviction, assurance. Jesus loves to see faith because it is at the heart of worship. Faith - trust in God - is an expression worship because faith expresses that God is powerful, He’s right, He’s trustworthy, that He tells the truth… Faith is the opposite of idolatry because faith trusts in God over other things.
In the most famous teaching on faith in Hebrews 11 we read of the impossibility of pleasing God without faith:
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
In Hebrews 11, we see that God wants each of us to follow the examples of people like Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah… who did hard things and received impossible things because they believed God. If we are to see more healing, we need to allow worship to give us a true vision of God and the faith that believes for big things.
John Piper writes of the effects of faith that’s built on worship:
‘The inner essence of worship is to know God truly and then respond from the heart to that knowledge by valuing God, treasuring God, prizing God, enjoying God, being satisfied with God above all earthly things. And then that deep, restful, joyful satisfaction in God overflows in demonstrable acts of praise from the lips and demonstrable acts of love in serving others for the sake of Christ.’ (John Piper)
Jesus loves to see faith in us because faith - believing God - is at the heart of worship. Jesus knows that with faith all things are possible. If we are not praying big things or attempting things for Jesus it is because our faith is small. To combat this, we need to allow a true vision of God to grow our faith through worship.
Our lives are the overflow of our worship and who we believe God to be. As a final response, allow your faith in God to be stirred by choosing a passage of scripture (such as as Isaiah 40:27-31) and worship God as He reveals Himself and, as our vision of God grows, so our faith for healing will grow.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
Very importantly, let’s be praying and inviting to our carol service on 10th December; in preparation for this, we have Carol Singing on the 3rd.
How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you?
3. Worship together
Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.
4. Study and pray together
This week, as we continue in our series in Luke, we will be reflecting on Jesus’ teaching from Luke 7:1-10. Jesus is asked to heal the servant of a Roman centurion. Through this event we are taught about God’s desire to save people from all backgrounds and His desire to see faith in all of us.
Please read Luke 7:1-10
Why do you think that Luke wants us to see that this centurion (rather the Theophilus for whom this gospel is written) is not Jewish?
What do we learn about the place of status and good works for salvation and things like healing?
What do we learn about healing from this narrative?
SIV - Why does this centurion believe and intercede to Jesus?
SIV - What does this account teach us about how we can affectively serve and bring our community to Jesus?
SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ this week?
SIV - Lets now pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV.
Does anyone want prayer for healing or prayer for someone else who is sick or in need?