Today you should read: Luke 7:1-17
The passage we are reading today has always struck me as interesting. Verse 9 is really the verse that jumps off the page at me: “When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, ‘I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.'” Your first reaction to that statement might be: “I want to be like that guy!” and to that I say “amen”! But the focus of our attention in this passage should not be primarily on the faith of the man, but in the object of his faith. Sure, there are some great lessons and principles we can draw from this man—it seems that he was a man of character (2, 4-5), he was humble (6), he had great faith (7), and he was very wise (8). But while these are great character qualities to emulate, the greatness of this centurion is secondary to the greatness of Jesus in this passage.
Our attention should not be drawn away from the fact that Jesus healed this centurion’s servant from miles away. And directly following that account, we see Jesus raise a man from the dead! The Bible is a book about God, not us. That’s certainly not to say that the Bible isn’t applicable to us, or relevant to us, but that we must not be so focused on how it applies to us that we miss the true focus, which is God.
If nothing else today, I hope you can be encouraged to allow your time in the Scriptures every day to be a time where you are able to see God and grow in your love for Him. As you come to God’s Word every day and ask the Spirit to illuminate God’s words to you, two things will inevitably happen: you will love God more and you will love sin less. Ask God to make that true of your time in His Word today!
By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Apprentice
One thought on “January 23, 2018”
I have always read this passage with a bit of wonder, especially verse 8. It shows us the human side of Jesus. In an astounding moment of clarity, an individual who has never even met Jesus, seemed to know EXACTLY who he was. It stopped Jesus in his tracks and “Jesus marveled at him” is how my translation renders his response. We don’t see Jesus marveling all that often.
At several points in Jesus’ ministry, he expresses frustration with the Jews for their hard-headedness; being fully human, I have to think there were times where he wondered if his efforts were in vain. But here, Jesus’ excitement is almost palpable – “someone gets it!”