Title: I need God to move
Text: Luke 7:1-10
Introduction: “Faith begins where man ends”. This means that when you have exhausted every fiber of your being then and only then would you look outside of yourself for what you desire to happen in your life. In order for you to abandon your pride to look beyond you for help, you must really believe in what you are reaching towards. Our story today shares this same sediment. Our story is about a man in authority with a problem that his power and his stature could not solve. He needed something or someone greater than him to help in his time of need.
Here we have in the text that Jesus is about to enter another city. He has just preached the Sermon on the Mount and the crowd that was with him follows him to his next destination, the city of Capernaum. It was a city under Gentile rule and the center of Jesus’ Galilean ministry. The name translates to mean the “village of comfort”. It was comfortable because it was a port city high in commerce. It was comfortable because of its strong political borders. It was comfortable because of it fertile land. The people who live there were living a life of comfort. God has been so good to us that we have become spoiled and stiff in our comfort. But you can always expect Jesus to show up where people are too comfortable in the way are living because God has more in store. There are too many comfortable Christians. We like to live in status quo. Too many of us are comfortable in our faith, doing the same ol’ thing and getting the same ol’ result. God is trying to take you to another level but like to stay where we are because it is comfortable. This is why He sends trouble our way to shake us up. But Jesus is always there to help us through and take us to that new level. Our story is about this next level of faith.
I. He was a man of compassion
Here we have in the text a man with a problem. His problem is not his personally but someone dear to him. Maybe somebody under the sound of my voice needs some help today. You are stressed out and desperate for some help but it not for you but it is for someone you love and care about. Somebody in here is praying for somebody to get well. Somebody has a loved one who needs to be delivered from drugs. Somebody has a friend that need to get out of an unhealthy relationship! This is the situation with the centurion in this text. His prize servant is sick and about die and he is desperate for some help. But there is spiritual problem here for us as believers. The Centurion is a Roman and not one of chosen people of Israel and does not believe in their God. He is a military man who is a commander of a one hundred soldiers who job is to keep the Jews in check. Romans were polytheistic, Jew haters by nature. They had no dealing with Jews except for giving them orders. But there is something different about this Centurion. He is not the normal Roman Jew hating warlord. We see the difference from text. We see a man of compassion. The text tells us that he valued his servant. The Centurion loved somebody that was supposed to be beneath him. When we look at the relationship between the Centurion and his servant you should see how God loves you. God loves you despite of you. And His love should move you to show the same compassion for those in need. Look at what love caused the Centurion to do.
II. He called for help V.3
The centurion heard Jesus was in town and sent for him. I remember the times when I was in trouble and needed somebody help me. I heard about this man name Jesus. I heard that he had all power in his hand. I heard that he made the blind to see and the lame to walk. I heard that if I just call on him he will show up on my behalf. However, if the truth be told, the only reason anything of us heard the goodness of Jesus was because of the trouble we was in. Before that you were not trying hear about nobody’s Jesus. But heartache and pain will not only make you hear about Jesus but cause you to do something with what you heard about him. So, the Centurion did what he thought was best to get Jesus to help him. The Centurion heard about Jesus and faith came. Rom 10:10. So then faith cometh by hearing,... The Centurion, I believe abandoned all his previous beliefs in order get help for his beloved servant. He sought out the Great physician. Being a man of power and influence, he sent some intermediaries to Jesus on his behalf asking him to come and to heal his servant. His intermediaries told Jesus because the centurion’s character He should come.
IV. He was a man of Character vv. 4-5
The Centurion sends the elders out with a message. They beg Jesus to do this for the Centurion because he was worthy of it. What a testimony on character! A Jew is telling Jesus that his Roman oppressor deserves this request. Are we living lives that people will speak highly of us? Or is every time your name comes up something negative is associated to it? Your character can get you things your power can’t. The Jewish elders tell Jesus that the centurion loves our nation meaning he loves the chosen people and he built us a synagogue, place of worship. This non-believer loves God’s people enough to bless them. This verse is challenging and convicting for church folk. This Gentile, a non-believer loved the church people. It is sad that you will find people outside the church know how to love better than the people inside the church. Secondly, he built a synagogue for the Jews. It is also sad that a non-believer knows how to give to institutions that strengthen God’s people when they are many Spirit filled believers who don’t even give.
The elders request is granted and Jesus goes with them to the Centurion’s house. My beloved, If you want Jesus to go anywhere with you, just ask. The bible tells us in James 4:3 also tells us “yet ye have not, because ye ask not”. Next…
V. He had a confession
Jesus is now on his way to the Centurion’s house and he encounters others sent by him. This time it is not Jewish Elders but somebody more personal. He sends friends with a message of remorse and humility telling Jesus “don’t bother to come because I am not worthy for you to come in my house and I am not worthy to come to you myself”. This is how all of us should feel when it comes to Jesus. The centurion confesses who Jesus is and what he himself is not. This show reverence and humility. He humbled himself to the authority and holiness of Jesus even though he was a man of authority. There is something that always happens when we humble ourselves to the Lord. The Bible says is I Peter 5:6 that when you humble yourself he may exalt you in due time:” God honors a life of humility! Because of humility, the centurion is about to be blessed. Pause. Not only did the Centurion confess who is comparison to Jesus, He was confident in Christ.
VI. He had confidence in Christ V. 7b
The Centurion was confident Jesus did not have come to his house he just had to say the word and his servant will be healed. That is how much power the Centurion believed in Jesus. Just send a word!
Words have intent, and a target. Behind every word is the spirit of the one who is sending it. The power of words is contingent on the source and the recipient of the word. Pause. Words bring things into existence. For example, In Genesis, God spoke a word and there was light. Job 22:28 says “Thou shalt also decree(speak) a thing, and it shall be established”. So when Jesus speaks, life comes forth. Isaiah says “His word shall not return unto me void… it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it”. As believers in Christ, your words have power when their His Word. Just speak His word! Jesus is there when his Word is there. So speak the word in your situation and Jesus will show up! The centurion knew about the power of words because of his authority. In others word he had clout.
VII. He had clout
The centurion in verse 8 gives us an example of the clout/authority we as believers have in Christ. The word for authority in the text is exousia which means the right, the capability or ability to perform a certain action. Authority always has a stronger force backing it up. For example, a policeman’s authority is back up by the law. The law has more power than the policeman (he exercises the law). Amen. The centurion’s authority is backed up by his boss, the king. The king has more power than the Centurion. I got excited when I studied this text. I am a believer and by the power of the Holy Spirit I have authority, the right, capabilities and abilities to command certain actions. Why? Because I have somebody backing me up that is stronger and more powerful than I am. Like the centurion I also have a king who has my back! Not just any old king but the King of Kings! So when I speak it is really not me speaking it is the King. I am here to tell you that you got authority to command things in your life because the King is backing you up!
Jesus heard the faith of the Centurion and turned and spoke to the crowd that was following him. The text said he marveled. In other words, he made Jesus say “wow”! He said he never found so great faith. Great faith is the kind of faith that says, “no matter what Jesus can fix it”! Great faith is seeing the invisible. Great faith has no limits. Great faith is believes that Jesus is anything you need Him to be! Great faith makes Jesus “go wow! I got to do something for my child”. You have to make Jesus go wow because of your faith. Look what he does for the centurion.
Result: His servant is cured
Because of his faith, those who the Centurion sent to Jesus went back to the house and found the servant healed. Somebody here today, God is saying if you got great faith here, I can fix it there! Celebration: The centurion believed that all Jesus had to do is just say a word and his servant was healed. My brother and my sisters, to get God to move on your behalf, you just have to great faith in what comes out the mouth of God that it will help you in times of trouble. Just say word…. But what is the word? That Word is what ever you need. I am so glad that the word Jesus says when you are in need is who He is:
I am bread when you hungry
I am light when you are in darkness
I am the door to your opportunity
I am the good shepherd that guides you
I am your resurrection when you feel like dying
I am the Word you need!
Great faith makes Jesus go Wow!