Today's Word of Encouragement
WHAT MANNER OF FAITH HAVE YOU?
Saturday, March 28, 2020
Read Luke 7:1-50
"I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!" (Luke 7:9).
The 7th chapter of Luke is a study in contrasts. 7:1-10 is the story of a Roman centurion whose servant was dying. He sent Jewish leaders to asked Jesus to come to the centurions house and heal the servant. The servant was healed without the benefit of Jesus even seeing him.
7:11-17 is the story of a poor widow whose son had died. When Jesus encountered them they were in a funeral procession on its way to bury the dead man. The woman asked nothing of Jesus, but Jesus took pity on her and raised her son to life again.
7:18-35 is the story of an imprisoned John the Baptist who had his doubts about Jesus being the long awaited Messiah. He sent 2 of his disciples to Jesus to ask if He indeed was the One God had promised would come. Jesus sent word back to John that He was the Messiah.
7:36-50 is the story of a Pharisee who asked Jesus to his home for a meal. While Jesus was there, a sinful woman, and certainly an uninvited guest, ministered to Jesus by washing His feet with her tears and anointing Him with precious oil. Other Pharisees there criticized Jesus and the woman for their association, but Jesus blessed her with forgiveness.
Four studies in contrast: a Roman centurion and his dying slave, a poor widow and her dead son, a doubting prophet and a confident preacher, a proud Pharisee and a brokenhearted woman. But aside from the fact these stories reveal that Jesus was willing to help each person in their time of need, no matter their status, race, gender, or crisis, there is the matter of how Jesus honored each person and their faith, or lack thereof.
The Roman centurion had a strong faith in Jesus and believed He could heal the sick servant just by saying the word. As far as we know, the widow woman didn’t express any evidence of faith in Jesus, but Jesus understood her hopelessness and gave her faith to believe in Him by restoring her son back to life. John the Baptist’s faith in Jesus had become weak and he doubted if Jesus was the Messiah. Jesus encouraged him by turning his doubts into an ever stronger faith that would lead him to a martyrs death. No one invited to Simon’s dinner party had faith in Jesus. Simon was curious and the other Pharisees were critical. But a sinful woman, who quietly crashed the party, expressed her love for, and faith in Jesus as the Christ who could forgive her of sin, and He did.
A strong faith, no faith, a weak faith, a loving faith. Jesus honored them all and ministered to each one personally. What manner of faith do you have in Jesus? How can Jesus minister to you today according to the faith you have?