Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Bethany Bullet - June 4, 2013

We are told of two times in which Jesus was amazed!  Ponder that momentarily will you?  In His entire ministry only on two occasions was the Lord amazed.  That might seem amazing itself; at first.  But need I remind you of whom we speak? Jesus is the incarnate Word of God, the second person of the Triune God, everlasting Son of the eternal Father.  He was present and responsible for the stars when first the lit up the sky, when the mountain stretch up and rose toward the heavens, when the forest bloomed and then teamed with life. The Lord was present and responsible for man being formed from the dust of Eden and Eve being cast from the Rib of Adam. So with that in mind it must indeed be something big to amaze one such as Him don’t you think? 

The first time He was amazed was when the town folk of Nazareth (His own people, His home town crowd) lacked it; faith that is.  The second time is when the Roman (the dreaded occupier of Israel) displayed it; faith that is.  

Read Luke 7:1-10

So, what makes faith great?  

Well the people among whom the centurion lived believed that his demonstration was such to declare him (said centurion) worthy of Jesus’ attention and action.  Their definition of great faith was demonstrable works. 

I suppose at times ours is too. We celebrate with great fanfare those who have served for generations and deserve congratulations perhaps as the “run” comes to an end. It is fitting to give thanks to those who have “done well” as “good and faithful servants!” Recognizing demonstrable works is a way we gage greatness; having said that, the centurion didn’t claim such.  

Notice he didn’t even believe himself worthy enough to look Jesus in the eye or offer him a seat in the living room.  He sent word to Christ to tell him not to bother coming to him directly, for he knew he was unworthy.  And we are told the result was that Jesus was amazed. What makes faith great? Well if we let the text speak for itself, the answer is the one in whom it is placed! The centurion was a man of great faith because he understood the greatness of Christ.  Holy, perfect, pure he believed Christ to be; and he knew he himself, the centurion, was not even worthy to stand in the company of one such as Jesus. 

Strong or weak, mature or fledgling, contagious or cautious, words such as these have been used to describe faith and I suppose they can be accurate in some way. I further suppose each of us has a word in each of those pairs that we’d like to describe our faith; no one wants to be the person of a weak, fledgling and cautious faith! But that which is amazing is that GREAT is the definition of faith that trusts in Christ as the only source of provision and believes that of such provision we are sorely unworthy of and yet humble asks for it anyway; knowing that He is great and good.

-Pastor Kevin Kritzer


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