Sunday, May 4, 2014

Recognizing Our Unworthiness (Luke 7:6-8)

Now Jesus started on His way with them; and when He was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to Him, "Lord, do not trouble Yourself further, for I am not worthy for You to come under my roof; for this reason I did not even consider myself worthy to come to You, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man placed under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, 'Go!' and he goes, and to another, 'Come!' and he comes, and to my slave, 'Do this!' and he does it." (Luke 7:6-8 NASB)

This centurion was an officer in the Roman army. He commanded at least 80 men, and, if he was a high ranking, or senior, centurion, he would have had 480 men under his command. (Because he built the synagogue, he almost certainly had the authority of a senior centurion, thus a larger command.) In Roman-occupied Israel, he was "important" by almost anyone's standards. 

What is truly amazing is that this professional soldier saw himself as unworthy to make a request of Jesus in person. Eventually, it would be Roman soldiers who carried out the crucifixion of Jesus, but this soldier would not even approach Him because of his own unworthiness. 

His attitude is more than just humility. He had a clear sense of his own unholiness in contrast to the absolute holiness of Christ. He saw his unrighteousness in comparison to Christ's righteousness and found himself sadly lacking.  He saw himself as a sinner in need of the sinless lamb of God. 

I'm not sure how it has happened in our culture, but there has been a diminution of the understanding of our position before a holy and righteous God. It seems that sin is not viewed with the same abhorrence with which God views it. Ours has become a culture that demands instant gratification and indulges in the disposable, ranging from plates and cups to relationships and lives. The problem is one of values and priorities. Our desires have become more important than God's, and it has changed the priorities of our lives. We are the worse for it, and the problem is not just one of those outside the church. 

The question for us today is how do we see ourselves in comparison to Almighty God? Do we "just want what we want" or do we most desire what God wants? 

Pray today that God would allow us and our loved ones to see our hearts, our desires, our priorities in comparison to His own. Pray that we, like the centurion, would recognize our own worthiness and approach Christ with the humility that comes from an understand of who we are not and who Jesus is. 
Here's the link for last might's post: