Luke 7: 1-10
July 16, 2017
Almost all of the European countries have accepted gay marriage, as Germany justified gay marriage recently. Then, European pastors said this to Korean churches. “Korea should never collapse. When Korea collapses, Asia collapses and the whole world collapses. Korean churches must adhere to the purity of Christianity. The Korean Church is the only hope of the world church” We must also keep our faith. Faith is taken away if you just have it. Faith can be our faith to the end until it defends, struggles, protects and is kept in our lives. At that time, we can live with the great faith of the centurion introducing us today.
The name of the centurion does not appear in this passage today. He was a man of faith like Cornelius in Acts 10. This centurion was not a Jew. He was a soldier of Rome and has little to do with faith. To become a Roman soldier at that time, he had to make a vow to believe in the sun god and become a soldier. And on Sunday, he had to attend the worship service of the sun god. In such an environment, he was a man of great faith who kept his faith.
What does this say? Faith is not something of a particular person. There is no limit to race and race in faith. There is no discrimination in the profession. No matter what career you have, you can be a person of faith. At that time, the Jews insisted that faith was theirs only. But the centurion, who was not a Jew, lived with greater faith than the Jews. This centurion’s faith was a faith that moved the Lord. How much was Jesus impressed? “I have never seen such a faith among the Israelites yet.”
It is still important to say. This point is now about a year after Jesus ministered. The Lord also lived in fellowship and worship with his own Jews from a young age. I have met many religious people, so-called chosen people who are proud to be God’s people, but I have not seen the belief of this centurion. It is a shocking word. These words were heard by the disciples. The crowds heard it. Religious people also heard it. It would have been a shame for the disciples to hear it. Religious people would be resentful. Why? It was because they believed that they were the best of their own faith. This was because the beliefs of the supreme leaders that self-faith was supreme are less than the belief of one gentile soldier.
Matthew recorded the Gospel for the Jews. Matthews warned this event more severely in Chapter 8. Anyone who is a Gentile goes to heaven if he believes in Jesus. However, he records as the warning that if the Jews did not believe in Jesus, they would go to hell and grind teeth and weep. But Luke records the Gospel for the Gentiles. So, he encouraged the Gentiles that we, gentiles could live with a better faith than the Jewish people’s faith.
Today I am going to look closely at the centurion’s faith. This centurion’s faith is what faith is, and we want our faith to live in a great faith that the Lord praises, in which the Lord is moved. What faith is Jesus impressed with? (pause)
1) It was faith to practice love.
First, he loved the Jewish people, the people of the tribe, as Roman soldiers. It was amazing. There was no love between Rome and Israel. Israel had a grudge in Rome and was angry with revenge. But the Jewish elders, the elders of old, came to Jesus and begged him, “He is worthy of grace. He is a pious person. He is a person who loves our nation and has given us a synagogue (church).” It was not difficult for the military to build a house. There were people, equipment, and supplies. Everything was possible when the engineers were mobilized.
But he was a Roman soldier. It was not common for the Roman centurion to have built a synagogue for the Jews. He had to think about his identity. He had to have courage. He must pay for the violation of Roman rule. He was prepared to sacrifice and did this. The Word expressed his love as Agape love. This love must be sacrificed. Agape love touches anyone. It gives grace to all. Everyone praises it. This love is not a love that anyone can do. We can love our family. Friends can also love. Children and parents can also love. This is a natural love. You cannot love your neighbors and love your enemies unless you love Agape. Neighbors do not refer to friendly neighbors. Neighbors like never knowing, hating neighbors, enemies. That is, it includes the Gentiles, the Romans, the forsaken, and the object that cannot be loved at all. The Lord has made this love for these people to die on the cross. The centurion’s love was recorded as agape love. This love gave love to the Jews who hated and hated themselves.
Another faith that impressed Jesus came to Jesus to heal the sick slaves. It was not common for the situation at that time to come to cure sick slaves. It was because he loved sick slaves. The sickness was paralytic, Matthew said. It was the end of life that slaves who were not ordinary people have paralysis. These slaves lost their worth of living if they did not work. The owner took it away. In the Greek culture at the time, it was neither good nor praise for the elders to give favor to the person below or to show mercy to a slave. At that time, slavery was a product of the time. But to him all slaves were “beloved servants.” This means that all slaves have been regarded as precious and important. So, he tried to cure it, but he could not.
You can see that faith if you look at how he treats others. Treat all people like you cherish them. It was the centurion’s faith to look back on the poor and the powerless. This was like the heart of Jesus. So, Jesus was moved. The faith that Jesus was touched was a life of faith that loves and precious and loves everyone with a loving heart. Live by faith practicing love. What faith is Jesus impressed with? (pause)
2) It was a faith that acknowledges the power of Jesus.
The centurion acknowledged the authority of Jesus, who is higher than the supreme superior. It is written in verse 6. He acknowledged the authority of the Word. “You do not have to work hard. I cannot afford to come to my house. You can cure with just your Word.” The centurion experienced the authority of the Word in the army. Soldiers live on command and die on command. The order of the superior office is the law. The same was true of his followers. If he told his servants to do something, they must do it. If he said to go they went. If he said to come, they came. The centurion applied the command system of the human world to Jesus and the natural world.
The position of the centurion of the Roman army was not the position assigned to anyone. The centurion, now commander of the rank of commander, is not only an intellectual above the middle class in Rome, but also a soldier who has been fighting him for a long time, rather than arbitrarily appointed at the top. Therefore, he could never be appointed to the position of a centurion if he did not have the qualities as a commander, such as personality, leadership, insight and bravery.
In other words, the centurion’s authority was the empowered authority of the Roman Emperor. If they disobey the command of the centurion, they will disobey the command of the emperor. Likewise, Jesus was entrusted with the authority of God. The Word of Jesus is the Word of God that created the heavens and the earth. That was why he begged Jesus that the disease could submit to Jesus even if he only speaks. How simple and pure is faith? The Jews, the chosen people of God, had no such faith. All the Jews knew Jesus only as a prophet or an excellent teacher.
Faith that does not recognize the authority of Jesus and the authority of the Word is not true faith. It is becoming an age when we do not recognize the authority of God’s Word. This is evidence that the world is heading toward the edge of the cliff. It is the same for individuals, families and churches. We must live by faith that acknowledges the authority of the Word of God. We know the Word by knowledge, but we do not recognize it. If you acknowledge authority, you should obey and live your best. God requires 100% obedience, but we cannot. The problem is that lots of things we could obey easily are ignored. This is a faith that does not engage in the authority of the Word. Restore faith in the authority of the Word. What faith is Jesus impressed with? (pause)
3) It was a humble faith.
In front of Jesus, the centurion lowered himself. The centurion had considerable authority at that time. If he had been proud, he could officially ask Jesus to come to Jesus with all his might. Or he could sit at home and get Jesus to come home. However, it was through the elders to ask first to heal the sick servant. At that time, when Jesus visited the house, he sent elders to tell him. “I do not deserve to have Jesus home. It is not even worth it. Only say the word.” It meant that you should just say a word on the spot. The Lord is able to heal the servant by word alone. You can order by word or declare it.” Thus, the centurion knew Jesus as the holy and honorable power of God, so that he was afraid of accepting Jesus to his home.
Another word that proves the modest character of the centurion is the root of “love” The specific meaning of ‘Timao’, which is the root word of this word, refers to feelings that look up from below (Philippians 2:29). This tells us that at that time the centurion dealt with the servant in an attitude of lowering and servicing himself, not as a level of passive love as a host to his servant. This relationship between the master and the slave was the only thing that impressed the Jews. This kind of humility of the centurion is flowing throughout the text.
Jesus marveled at this belief of the centurion. That means was so surprised. And he said to the gatherers, “I tell you, I have not found such a faith in Israel.” What happened to the servant? Jesus sent the elders and the people in the village. When they got home, the servant had already been restored clean.
Let’s think about the centurion’s belief at this time. He was a faith to practice love. He gave love to the Jews who regarded themselves as their enemies. It was a humble faith. Faith begins with humility. Humility is a sign that we know God right away. It was a faith that recognized Jesus’ authority. Recognize the authority of the Word. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus declared to the centurion, “It will be done just as you believed it would” This is the power and authority of faith. Live a life of believing in the authority of the Word. Big faith is this belief: faith to practice love, humble faith, faith to acknowledge the authority of the Word. Live with this great faith and always win. Amen