This week’s message is about our self perception versus Jesus’ perception. Once again, we are challenged to consider what Jesus really values; we must ask ourselves where he stand in His values system….
Jesus values faith in His authority. The blind faith of an “outsider” will earn him a seat at the feasting table with Jesus. Contrarily, the “subjects” in God’s kingdom will be thrown tossed out of God’s kingdom.
What does it mean to be a “subject”? It means that a person ls living under dominion and domination. According to the following teaching of Christ, the subjects/slaves in the kingdom will be thrown out… While, on the other hand, the outsiders who have blind faith–in His authority and not their good works/righteousness– will dine with him in heaven.
Read the following story from Matthew 8.
The Faith of the Centurion
5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”
7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”
8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 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.”
10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.
This story shows that Jesus values faith. Essentially, he values blind faith–IN HIS WORDS! In other words, Jesus is saying here that when you behave like the centurion and take Jesus at his words–even though you might not have “proof,” you are in the “inner circle” with Jesus. And when the “rubber meets the road,” it does not matter where you are from, what rules you followed, or what bloodline you have–it matters if you have faith that Jesus Christ has full authority over the universe.
In the short analogy that Jesus used about sitting at the feasting table with him, he showed that the Roman outsider (the centurion) had more faith than the majority of his “own” people. Hence, the “subjects” in the kingdom would represent those who are living under a dominion already; this points to the Jews–the followers of the “Law.”
However, the people coming from distant lands will be the ones who will be arm-in-arm with Christ–at the dining table. Why? They will come in blind faith and trust in God’s grace and love alone–not their own accomplishments/perfection.
Where do you stand? Are you the centurion or the “subject”? Do you feel unworthy to have Jesus in your home? Or do you feel a sense of entitlement? Do you feel that you have earned Jesus’ favor? Are you angry that he has not given you what you want…after all of your hard work to please him??? Remember this, what pleases him is to truly KNOW him and trust in HIS LOVE alone.
Are you trusting in your own merits? Or are you trusting in Christ’s words alone? Do you believe in your authority or His?
Be humble like the centurion. Realize that none of us is worthy of His love. Trust in His grace and healing–not your efforts. Trust and ask Him to “say the word,” and healing will be yours.
This week contemplate on your faith in the authority of Jesus Christ. Do you really believe that all He has to do is “say the word”? To you trust in your fancy words and your “discipline”? Or do you trust in HIS authority and HIS words?
Prayer: Lord, please give me the faith and humility of the centurion. Lord, please reveal to me the authority of Jesus the Christ. Amen.