Sunday, May 4, 2014

When Knowing becomes Trusting (Luke 7:9)

Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled at him, and turned and said to the crowd that was following Him, "I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith." (Luke 7:9 NASB)

In the previous lesson, we read that the centurion recognized he was unworthy to approach Jesus. The more he thought about it, the more he realized that he was not even worthy to ask Jesus to enter his home. He knew Jesus could heal his servant, though, so he initially asked that the Jewish elders in Capernaum make the request of Jesus instead. 

After the elders headed out to speak with Jesus, the centurion considered the situation further. All he could think about was Jesus. He began to ponder his own authority over the soldiers under Him. Jesus seemed to have authority, too. His authority was not over soldiers, though. It seemed to be over demons and illness. That was exactly the kind of authority needed to heal his servant. It was his "ah ha" moment, when he finally understood Who Jesus was. 

Immediately, he took a giant leap of faith. Jesus could just say the word, he thought, and healing would happen. He was sure of it, and he immediately acted on his faith. That's when he sent his friends to Jesus. 

When Jesus heard what the centurion had said, He marveled at his faith. He turned to the crowd and said, "I haven't even seen this kind of faith in all of Israel!" Because theirs was a religion that "walked by faith and not by sight", worshipping an unseen God, it should have been easier for them. Their Scriptures were filled with prayers and the recorded conversations between their unseen God and man. If they had understood Who Jesus was, they should have understood the power He had, but they didn't. It was a Roman soldier who finally made the leap of faith that incorporated all Jesus had taught with all that He did. 

Even for the centurion, the unfolding of his faith was a process, just like it is for us. He didn't arrive at great faith that very first moment, nor do we. When he finally understood Who Jesus was and what that meant for him, it changed everything! That centurion knew he could trust Jesus with the life of his servant, even when he did not see Jesus. He could trust Jesus, no matter where He was. 

Our faith should change everything for us, too.  It should bring us to the point of trusting Jesus with our loved ones without reservation. He can handle it. He can handle their problems and their bad decisions. He can handle their doubts and their questions. The question for us is not whether Jesus can take care of our loved ones, the question is whether or not we trust Him to do so. 

Today, pray that our faith would be so increased that we would be filled with faith to trust Him with every need of our loved ones. Pray, too, for peace as we wait for Him to move.