Sunday, October 24, 2010

Would you like to amaze the Son of God?

"Amazed" is a strong verb. It is defined as "To affect with great wonder, to astonish" . Using the concordance one will see a multitude of its usage in the Gospels as an apt word to describe how one felt as a witness to the miracles and power of Christ.

And yet there is one passage that describes the  Son of God as being filled with great wonder at a soldier in the Roman army. What a legacy to leave - that the one who raised the dead and turned water into wine would be astonished at the words of a Roman officer, one who had never even met Jesus.

You probably know the story- A God fearing Roman Centurion has a very ill servant for whom he cares greatly. He has heard of Jesus and presumably had learned of his ability to heal the sick: Luke 7

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 him: "Lord, don't trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not 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.

What this Centurion understood and believed meant so much to Jesus that he turned to bellow it out to the crowd following him- as if to say, "You want to be a follower of mine, you want to be a believer in me? "Then understand as this Gentile understands. "

And so it follows, that if we would want the Son of God to be amazed with us individually and as a body we must believe and confess Jesus Christ's authority over all the elements and  principalities that he himself created. That God is God and we are not. That although he is not here to physically touch or to speak to us it does not in one iota effect his ability to affect every detail and needs of our perspective lives. That our desires and hurts are his concern and no occurrence in life is random. Because as the Centurion understood, he is the Lord of the Universe and under him he has  power and control over all his creation.

In an episode that presumably took less than an hour from start to finish, this Centurion had "showed up" all of those that "knew" and had followed and had touched the Son of God. This story is in stark contrast to the panicking disciples in the sinking boat- his own hand picked followers.

And so we must be careful on how we use terms like "our walk with Jesus" and "discipleship training" when what most glorifies him is the spontaneous faith of the Centurion, who had never met nor touched the living Lord, but nevertheless believed in Him.

"...blessed are those that have not seen and yet have believed."

"Let us come boldly then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace in the time of need.'

1 comment:

  1. It is incredible. How thankful should we be that God's given faith to us the Gentiles beyond what the jews have received.