Opportunity Jesus: FAITH (Ch. 19)
After a prolonged section of teaching, we see Jesus continue to teach and display what His Kingdom is about. We see a the common theme of FAITH in his interaction with a Centurion (soldier), a widow and the prophet John the Baptist.
Hebrews 11:1-2 reminds us that faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation. By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.
What is fascinating about these encounters is that it is the Centurion, the least “religious”, that shows more faith and trust in God than the religious (Matthew 8:11-12) and even John the Baptist (Luke 7:19). The Centurion has an extreme faith Jesus will indeed heal his servant (p. 127).
Through the Centurion, we see faith in Jesus – trust in Jesus – is available to and needed by everyone. Jesus gives a clue that salvation and Kingdom entrance will be for all mankind. No matter your nationality, no matter your geographical location, whether from the east or west, men and women of faith will eat with the Lord and the saints in His Kingdom. (p. 127).
Faith not only brings you into the Kingdom of God, it brings healing, transformation and purpose. When individuals give their lives to Christ (put their faith in Him), they receive His life and His Spirit inside working through them all the time. They are under a new covenant of grace and not under the burden of the law (p. 130).
Now some, like the Centurion and the Widow, know their desperate need for a savior and deliverer and put their faith in Jesus. They put Jesus in the center of their lives (p. 131). But others — who count on their pedigree, their own righteousness, their tradition — don’t see their need for a savior. They are unmoved, critical and ultimately cut off from the joy of true life, eternal life that comes through faith in Jesus.
Jesus continually brought wisdom and healing to those around Him and proved over and over again that He can be trusted. He continually called those around Him to put their faith in Him. It is the same for us.
What area of your life are your “desperate” like the centurion or widow for God’s healing?
How can you trust God to bring healing, transformation and purpose through faith in Him?
How can you celebrate all God has and is doing in your life?