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Jesus' Encounter With The Centurion

Benjamin Ng
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  • January 15, 2021
    8:15 PM
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Father in heaven thank you so much for this time that we have to come and study your work together thank you for seeing a safely through another week thank you Lord for health and strength Thank you Lord for the power of a sound mind and this evening I pray that you would empower us with your Holy Spirit and quicken our consciences and our minds help us to understand your word help us to know how to use our mind to be able to discern and understand your word and how it will apply to our lives and how you can bless us so that we can be a blessing to other people as well Lord police draw close to us even now grant us and grace us with the Holy Spirit we pray in Jesus' name amen. So we will be looking at Jesus encounter with the century and this evening and for those I don't know we've been going through the different people that Jesus has been countering throughout his ministry on earth and we are now in Luke Chapter 7 starting in verse one look 7 and verse one the Bible says this now when he speaking of Jesus had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people he entered into Capernaum and a certain century and servant who was dear unto him was sick and ready to die and when he heard of Jesus he sent on to him the elders of the Jews besieging him that he would come and heal his servants geezer's he had just finished teaching and as he turned to go in the direction that he had set his face to walk down a century and servant comes. This insurance servant was sick and he sent the elders it says there in verse 3 to ask for healing now this servant must have been dear to this insurance heart it must have been someone that maybe had even brought him up as he was a young boy it was someone that was dear and favorable and lovable to him and must have been like family this person and he hears of Jesus and he sends some of these elders of the Jews to go and speak to Jesus to ask him if he would please come and heal his servants. How did the elders approach Jesus on behalf of the century and notice there it says in verse I believe it is verse 3 that it says that they beseeched him they were begging him on behalf of this century and let's continue verse 4 and when they came to Jesus they were sort him instantly saying that he was worth the for whom he should do this for he loved us our nation and he have built us a synagogue the elders said that this century and was worthy of Jesus' attention. Worthy for Jesus to heal his servant almost as if it would be a privilege for Jesus to go to his house why what was the reason that the elders gave because this man this century and had built them a synagogue and a synagogue was a place of worship it was not the Temple its like to us today it is the church so he had built them a church and this man he was pagan he didn't believe in God yet he was so degenerates to the Jewish nation or at least to that city where he was in to build that town a church so that they could worship God. He must have had some affinity for the Jews otherwise he wouldn't have done such a thing maybe he had come to learn of their religion and accept their teachings maybe he had been listening to Jesus and his heart had been pricked and even though he he he didn't come and talk to Jesus personally the Holy Spirit was probably working upon his heart and he was accepting more of the the religion of the Jews of the Israelites than that of which he grew up in the Roman pagan culture he had not fully converted to the teachings yet but surely the Holy Spirit was making an impression upon his heart and in moved him to go and build a synagogue for the town that he was living in. Now let's continue 1st Luke Chapter 7 verses 6 and 7 Then Jesus went with them and when he was now not far from the House the Senate cheery and sent friends to him saying and see him Lord trouble not the self for I am not worthy that there should enter under my roof wherefore Another thought I myself worthy to come unto thee but say in a word and my servant shall be healed at the appeal of the elders geezer's immediately sets out for the man's house it was urgent the servant was about to perish and Christ he did not need the sort of urging or recommendation that this man was worthy Jesus came for this reason to relieve the earth of sin sick people but also those that were in physical sickness as well he came to be a blessing a fountain of life so he didn't need this sort of appeal all this ensuring man he was worthy That's not the reason why Jesus took off not because he was worthy but because had any appeal come to him from anybody no matter what they had done or what they had not built Jesus would still have gone to try and relieve those that were suffering but on the way there what happens this century and sends some of his friends to come and speak to Jesus to tell them what what did they say. Jesus don't trouble yourself I am not worthy speaking on behalf of this interior I am not worthy for you to come under my house and all will be for you to step foot in my place not because it was messy. But he realized that he himself neither thought I myself even worthy to comment to you now we know in other other stories in the Bible Matthew it says that the censure in himself came but here he says that he didn't even think himself worthy to come and even speak to Jesus himself that's why the beginning he sent the elders and then when he was on the way he changed his mind like no no no I'm not worthy and he sent his friends to say no no no no I'm not worthy for you to come you know at the beginning he asked the elders to ask Jesus for help and what did the elders say this man is worthy why because he built them a church they gave an outward sign of his worthiness he had donated a lot of money he had singlehandedly built a church in that area for them too often we determine a person's worthiness based upon outward appearances outward acts we determine worthiness based upon how much ties a person donates to the church we determine a person's worthiness of what sort of car they drive to church or to drive in general we determine a person's worthiness based upon the sort of clothes they wear sometimes we determine a person's worthiness based on their status and their wealth. Surely God is with them or else God would not bless them like this and we look at the riches we look at the material possessions and we go God is with this man God blessed him with riches surely God He is worthy we think them worthy and men they place a too high estimation of men upon themselves of others and of those around them we think too highly of ourselves we don't think too highly of others and so these elders when they came to Jesus they said this century he is worthy he is worthy why. He built us a synagogue and we got to be so careful friends about esteeming people so highly praising people so highly flattering them with our lips and look at what the Bible says here in James Chapter 2 starting in verse one James Chapter 2 verse one my brother in have not the Faith of Our Lord Jesus Christ the Lord of glory with respect of persons for if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring in goodly apparel and there come in also a poor man in Vali Raymond and you have respect to him that where are the gay clothing and saying to him Sit down here in a good place and say to the poor stand out there or sit here under my footstool are you not partial in yourselves and become judges of evil thoughts hearken my beloved brother and hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he had promised to them that love him but he have despised the poor do not rich men oppress you and draw you before the Judgment Seat do not they bless fim that word the name by which you are called if ye fulfil the royal or according to the scripture that love thy neighbor as thyself you do well but if you have respect to persons you commit sin and are convinced of the law as transgressors friends we have to be so careful in regards to who we respect who we give that respect to too often we give the rich too much respect we say they are worthy and according to James it's a sin it is a sin to respect one class over another the rich over the poor and I'm not saying that the elders were doing this but based upon what they soar of this century and he truly was a rich man he must have been no one can go and just build a whole church by themselves for 4 or another group of people I mean come on you must have spare change this guy was not a Jew he had not accepted the the Jewish teachings that the Word of God yet. But yet you know he went and built that church for them and so too often we determine people's worthy us by what we see in how much they have in their bank account or how much they live we've got to be so careful however the century and Jesus is coming and maybe he hears about it and he sends his friends the century and has a clear estimation of himself he tells Jesus I'm not worthy for you to even step into my house he sent his friends that tell him I'm not worthy not worthy to it's clear you to come to my house not worthy for me to even come to you and speak to you I'm not worthy and he understood Titus chapter 3 verse 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done but according to His mercy He saved us he didn't look to his own works of righteousness he didn't look at the synagogue and say Send for Jesus he didn't do that he didn't look at how much he'd spent on the Jewish nation and Jesus is a Jew The Israelites only a favor No he didn't use his riches to to throw things around and try to get privileges from the country that he had less than the nation that he had blessed know he had a clear estimation to him of himself he didn't look at his works of righteousness even though he could have look it must have been a heart of love that was filling up inside there that he went out and built this church for the Jewish nation of which he was not a part surely God had been working upon his heart a ready but he didn't go Hey you guys only. I build you this now you got to help me he didn't do that he knew he needed help and even though he had all these riches he had come to understand that those riches could not save his servant his beloved servant he was desperate and so he remained humble he didn't let their praise or even his riches Henri's own works get to his head here was the situation that was spread before him his servant was about to die and no amount of money could bring him back from death and so he was desperate but you know what also very interesting notice how the centurion addressed addresses Jesus he calls Him Lord do you know what the word Lord means it means must not even nicotine us the the fairest sea of Farrah's he's the leader of the fairies he's a ruler of the Jews he was rich as well but not even nicotine was called Jesus that he just called them rabbi a teacher but this century and this non-Christian he addresses Jesus as muster as a lord he recognized the authority of Christ he recognized that the position that Christ had he wasn't just any ordinary man just to be commanded by anybody to be bought by riches or not but he understood that he had to be humble he knew his position and he understood where he himself stood in context of Christ the Messiah and remember this century and was a pagan. He was a pagan and yet those in the churches today often have a higher disregard for the ministry of Jesus and even his position you know it's always important friends to remain humble It's always important to remember our position in regard to Jesus Christ look he is the elder brother of our race that's what the Bible says he wants to be in a loving relationship with us he was a friend to Moses and Abraham they spoke face to face but let us never ever ever to forget that he is the sovereign of the universe that he holds the worlds in his hands that he is the Al for and Omega the Beginning and the end he is King of Kings and Lord of lords and though he wants to have a personal relationship with us he still our God and our Savior. You know I've heard people pray before hey God happy Sabbath how are you today to me that just sounds so blasphemous and maybe maybe you might say hey Ben it's because you don't have a relationship with Jesus the way this person does I don't think I could ever get to that point we've got to be so careful we've got to remember opposition and Christ's position he was king of kings and this pagan man this non-Christian called him must the Lord. Look I'm not saying that we should grovel and come to him on our knees or anything but we've got to have a humble view of ourselves and an exalted view of Christ because that is where the century and stood he understood his position but let's continue. How was it that the Century and wanted Jesus to heal his servant Luke Chapter 7 and verse 7 where for neither thought I myself worthy to come unto the but say in a word and my servant shall be healed all this is how Matthew says it in Matthew Chapter 8 in verse 8 the parallel story the Cintron answered and said Lord I am not worthy that I should have come under my roof but speak the word only and my servants shall be healed the century and believed in Jesus so much that all he wanted Jesus to do was just speaking the word only and that was it he didn't believe that he needed to do anything else nothing else Jesus just speak the word only you don't need a common touch him you don't need to come and see them you don't need a lay your hands upon him or or anoint him with anything you don't even need to pray for him in person you just say the word and you'll be healed and he gives a explanation as to the why he arrived at this conclusion as we go back to Luke Chapter 7 we go right now and read verse 8 and this is what the century and says for I also am a man set under authority having under me soldiers and I say to one goal and he goes and to another Come and he cometh into my servant do this and he do it that you know. He gave the context as to why he believed in such a way you know if he had such power as a band to command his army that if he said to one goal and they went and another one come and they came then if Jesus was God then He must have had even more power because he himself wouldn't have to go he could send angels to minister to them and heal the servant like that he understood the authority of the word he understood it and I think sometimes this is where I just want to throw in a bit of parenting in Ok but I think this is where it's really important for parents to help children to understand the authority of your word that you mean what you say you know many times I see parents where they train children is like were you better do this now 123 and you give them chances and they count into it and the child doesn't move and then they get up and you know there's no consequences we got to be careful that we teach children how to understand the authority of our word because when we get old when they get older it makes it easier for them to understand and to believe authority of God's word this century and he just said Speak the word only speak the word only Jesus your word is enough for us we realize how powerful your word is just your word and your word only and that's enough look at what Jesus declares after he hears what the centurion says Look Chapter 7 verses 9 to 10 when Jesus heard these things he marveled at him. And turned him about and said to the people that followed him I say unto you I have not found so great faith no not in Israel and they that were sent returning to the house found the servant a hole that had been sick he declares to the people that were following Jesus of course they were looking they want to see Jesus here on the other man Jesus declares Well this met the centurion has great faith do you know there's only 2 instances 2 times 2 times in all of Jesus' ministry on earth where he declares someone has great faith the 1st is obviously here but the 2nd is found in Matthew 1528 then Jesus answered 7 to her a woman great is though faith be it once a v. as there will now you don't know the background of Matthew 15 but I just want to say it simply like this this woman you go back and read the background later on but this woman she was a non-Christian she was non jewish she was a Gentile. And what's very interesting is both of them were Gentiles non christians it could it be that greater faith exists outside of the church than in the church have we come to the point where we in the church have become skeptics you know what a skeptic is right I don't believe no faith that we're not able to take God at His word what does happen Gentiles having greater faith in Jesus and us that doesn't make sense look we know that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God That's Romans 1017. What has happened to us in the church that a person from outside can be declared to have greater faith than those in the church who are meant to be following Jesus and worshiping Jesus what happened you know in Matthew Chapter 8 verses 10 through 12 look at what Jesus says is that is the same story but look at how it's said here Matthew 8 verse 10 when Jesus heard it he marveled and said to them that followed verily I say unto you I have not found so great faith no not in Israel and I say unto you that many shall come from the east and the West and just sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth do you see that in verse 11 he says there those that come from the east and the West Ok the maybe that surrounding towns but then he says verse 12 but this people that are coming from the east and the West are in contrast to the children of the kingdom that was the Jews Jesus is saying that there will be other people that will come in so this Texas is really important for us to understand because look it's not that we should be going to other religions to learn from them because they have great faith Ok it's not that the Cintron man came to the Jews he came to Christ he accepted the faith of the Jews the Holy Spirit was working upon his heart that's why he built them a synagogue and not the Romans or temple he accepted Christ into his heart it's just that the people in the world seem to have simpler faith than those in the church today they more readily accept the Word of God. Than those that are Christian all their life. The censuring represented those that would come in at the end of time many would come in from the east and the West friends it doesn't matter that you've gone to church all your life it doesn't matter church does not save you look what saves us is our faith and that's why this class that we're studying in this week and next week is is so foundational to our faith because we're studying conversion and righteousness by faith what saves us is our faith in Jesus said to the centurion great is your faith are not found any in Israel is like someone coming in off the street as a man you have great faith more than all these people sitting in church today that's what was happening it's what you choose to do with the blessings that church affords that church gives you it's at church that you can come into contact with the mind of Christ as a preacher stands up to preach as able to sing sing sing hymns and songs that would lead you to thoughts of Jesus listens of prayers and praises of people it's a church that you can grow in faith and yet so many have done and I'm sure that if you went to the pastor today and you said Pastor I don't have a Bible can you please give me a bible so I can read it the pastor would be so happy he would give you one for free I'm sure of that but we aren't doing that we aren't the pastor has is there not on the pulpit to remind people to read their Bibles to come up with creative ways to get people's attention to come to church we're going to come up with games and activities and social gatherings to keep people in the church preaching is not enough Bible study is not enough will respond by saying things like what the Bible again. Sabbath school divine service that's enough for me Sabbath afternoon we should do something else choir practice or go out for a nature walk or do some something else but many of us we get tired of it we get tired of studying the Bible we're expected to be able to compete with the world you know but the problem is the church has gone chasing after the world. We've not realised the precious gift that God has given to us in His Word and in the person of Jesus Christ and many of us because of that when bad things happen like our loved ones pass away or in this case is ensuring his servant it's not even it's not even his relative but maybe it's someone who of course he grew up with all his life but it's a servant that he's so pale in to see who's at the point of death and many in the church they do turn around the blame God God why do you do this to me why didn't you help me instead of realizing that God is using the situation to bring us to our knees and have a deeper devotion with him but so many of us we get angry at God we we turn away our lives in our minds from him because God didn't help us you know but the church we've we've gone chasing after the world we've not realize that precious gift in Jesus Christ our faith is weak we have not been seeking after it we've not been making our 1st our best than our last we've been seeking after the world and it's riches our careers and our money and our status and our degrees we put so much effort into all these things and then we still ask God to bless us even though he's an afterthought he occupies one percent of our time if sometimes it's 0 but the world has taken hold of our lives and. Yet there are people out there in the world who are heathen that are non-Christian and they're sitting in darkness but they are ready to accept the grace that is offered so freely to them when it comes how many of us today who are living in the time the time where the light from the Word of God shines the brightest we're living in this time only to disregard it when it shines into our hearts the day. We're too busy we tell God Later we get distracted. And we we tell others not to make emotional decisions to follow Jesus giving up your studies to work for all your work is frowned upon today you know just to go to a Bible school we tell them you can go later we tell them you've got to get your career ready and stop relying on your parents and then you go and study bible school we tell people such things well meaning because we care about their life you know what I mean we have these well meaning people in the church and when one wants to give up their lives to follow Jesus we ask them Are you sure are you sure we try to discourage them and say ah you can serve God you know as much as a person can serve God as much as a pastor would tell them you can be just as useful or no friends we need more full time workers the day the harvest is ready but the labor is a few and the reason why we have so few Labor is because even at our leadership level our church is lukewarm and a person who wants to go and study the Bible and commit their life to Jesus they're walking that road alone because so many of us who seem like God blesses us that we are worthy we tell those that are wanting to follow Christ wait think about it. Pray about it are you sure and we put doubt into their hearts friends I ask you this evening how many more sermons do you need to hear how many more bible studies do you need to receive how many more visits do you need from the pastor of the Bible worker before you are willing to stand up and be counted in the Lord's work stop getting caught up with the world and let's let's jump on the Gospel train and let's take our faith more seriously today than we ever have you know we're in a 2nd lockdown here in Malaysia and the cases have gone up and up and some of us were more busy with work during this lockdown than we have been when it was lifted before but there are others who are much more free we have more time but either way I think we need to make that time again to spend with Jesus too many of us we've gotten used to being in a lockdown Do you understand that when March came around last year. There were a lot of people watching online my sermons and I think people were just kind of figuring out what what should we do what you would do and some people were panicking and some people were going around and around in circles maybe wondering of this is the end of the hour then you know 10 months later we've gotten use to our new normal and we are not building our faith would reading for a while we tuned in more for a while but then we got comfortable then we got. Used to being in this situation wearing a mask whenever you go out and coming back was no big deal life is going on trying to get back to normal you know a larger as I close here just want to stop and think about it and share about his life for a 2nd you know a larger was larger in the Bible. Alijah was a man that learnt to live by every word of God. When he stood before King a have to tell this wicked king that there would be no rain until he says so it was because the Word of God guided him there and then it was the Word of God that told him to go to the broad Charis and hide himself there not go home and just stay there and keep himself there and be sure that he's safe because of people that will be hunting for his life and then after that when the book dried up it was the Word of God Again that told him to go to the would of 0 for us God guided him every step of the way now let me ask you Have you ever wondered what the larger did while he was living by the book sheriff look there was no rain for 3 and a half years we don't know how long he was with the widow but surely our are probably venture to say that he was probably by that book charity for at least 6 months if not one year maybe even longer we don't know. But have you ever wondered what the larger did all that time he couldn't go home he couldn't run to his parents' place people were hunting for him everywhere he had to stay where God told him to stay and he was right there he didn't even go hunting for food the birds brought him food do you ever wonder what a lighted did while he was just sitting there do you think he was a daydreamer I don't think so I think he was meditating even more upon the Word of God I think even though he had a smaller portion of the Bible than what we have today he spent even more time in it to make sure that God was with him to make sure that in this crisis even though he was the one that told the king because he was so wicked that they would be no rain that God was judging Israel and going to bring revival around eventually he had to make sure that his life was right. And he was walking with Jesus meditating on his word and he didn't get restless he didn't forget the time that he was living and he didn't get upset at God why God did you bring me here and get me to tell you have all these words now my life is in danger no his life had been guided by God up to that time and he had used that time even at the Brook Charis to draw even closer to God God was preparing him for something bigger and I believe that God in this time is preparing each and every one of you for something bigger and maybe you are getting restless already after 4 days of lockdown 3 days pardon me and you want your life to get back to normal you want your business to open up you want to be able to start earning you didn't ask for this lockdown or this pandemic or this disease but look at your friends and there are those whom God is preparing for the end times ahead and even for his 2nd coming are you one of them or is there someone that's going to come in from the east or the West that is going to take your place at the end of time when Jesus comes back for a 2nd time I ask again and I asked this before in Luke Chapter 18 verse 8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily Nevertheless when the son of man cometh shall he find faith on the earth will he find a group of people that are still in love with him that are still seeking his word that are still learning to live by every word of God and that they are learning to exercise all the faith that they have by learning to just ask Jesus speak the word only will he find you faithful look. M. c. o. version while I'm c.e.o. is the lock down here and in k.l. but mc Oh version 2 for us we have to use our time more wisely this is not c m c o conditional this is not our mc or recovery this is the lockdown like what we had back in March the most severe and most of us if not all of us are stuck at home let's use this time more wisely if you frittered away those moments last year here's another opportunity now is the time to spend more time reading again now is the time to spend more time to pray now is the time to spend more time to build your faith. And let's make faith our work in this time that we have I don't know how long we're going to be in a lockdown but surely God has His reasons and I pray that we would redeem the time that we would use this time wisely that even the midst of all that we're going through would take time to pause to build off faith so that we can get to that point one day and speak to Jesus and say God just speak the word only just speak it that's all you need to do just as Peter was at the edge of that boat and he said Jesus of that's really you but me to come on and Jesus said just one word he said Clo and it was another for him to obey maybe God is preparing you for the mission field one day God is surely preparing all of us for something great so that we can be great alights to this world for friends the light of the Gospel is shining down in our time today my question is What are you going to do with it. May God find us faithful today May he give us the faith of Jesus let us pray Father in Heaven Lord thank you for a minding us about the power of your word and this evening you've shaken us awake because you you helped us realize that there are other people there going to come in and take our place that there are people there that have this simple faith that even though we've been going to church for so long a lot we can still miss out Father police help us to build a faith help us to have a simple faith to take you at your word speak the word only Father police may that be our focus as a Christian it's not even about going to church it's about your word and taking lodgment in our hearts Lord please may you help us to surrender our hearts to you that you can shine that light that word into our hearts this evening fill us Lord with your Spirit fill us with I will. Keep us faithful to you until the very end all right in Jesus' name. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermons pleading visit w w w audio verse or.

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