To Respond with Faith
Luke 7:1–10 (CSB) When he had concluded saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. A centurion’s servant, who was highly valued by him, was sick and about to die. When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, requesting him to come and save the life of his servant. When they reached Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy for you to grant this, because he loves our nation and has built us a synagogue.”
Jesus went with them, and when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, since I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. That is why I didn’t even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under my command. I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
Jesus heard this and was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found so great a faith even in Israel.” When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant in good health.
Why do you think that Christ was amazed at the centurion's faith? If God says he will do it, won't he do it?
To Respond with Obedience
Luke 7:11–17 (CSB) Afterward he was on his way to a town called Nain. His disciples and a large crowd were traveling with him. Just as he neared the gate of the town, a dead man was being carried out. He was his mother’s only son, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the town was also with her. When the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said, “Don’t weep.” Then he came up and touched the open coffin, and the pallbearers stopped. And he said, “Young man, I tell you, get up!” The dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Then fear came over everyone, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen among us,” and “God has visited his people.” This report about him went throughout Judea and all the vicinity.
If God doesn't give us a new heart and new life, can we even obey God?
To Respond with Attention
Luke 7:18–30 (CSB) Then John’s disciples told him about all these things. So John summoned two of his disciples and sent them to the Lord, asking, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”
When the men reached him, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to ask you, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’ ”
At that time Jesus healed many people of diseases, afflictions, and evil spirits, and he granted sight to many blind people. He replied to them, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive their sight, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news, and blessed is the one who isn’t offended by me.”
After John’s messengers left, he began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swaying in the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothes? See, those who are splendidly dressed and live in luxury are in royal palaces. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written:
See, I am sending my messenger
ahead of you;
he will prepare your way before you.
I tell you, among those born of women no one is greater than John, but the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
(And when all the people, including the tax collectors, heard this, they acknowledged God’s way of righteousness, because they had been baptized with John’s baptism. But since the Pharisees and experts in the law had not been baptized by him, they rejected the plan of God for themselves.)
How should we respond to prophets? Should we take them at their word or is there a way for us to check what they are saying?
Yet, We Reject Him
Luke 7:29–30 (CSB) (And when all the people, including the tax collectors, heard this, they acknowledged God’s way of righteousness, because they had been baptized with John’s baptism. But since the Pharisees and experts in the law had not been baptized by him, they rejected the plan of God for themselves.)
Why would anybody reject God? Why would you reject God?
Yet, We Accuse Him
Luke 7:31–35 (CSB) “To what then should I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to each other:
We played the flute for you,
but you didn’t dance;
we sang a lament, but you didn’t weep!
For John the Baptist did not come eating bread or drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon!’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”
Is coming to God with an honest heart and feelings the same as accusing him of evil and sin? How does God respond to our cries?
Yet, Our First Response
Luke 7:36–50 (CSB) Then one of the Pharisees invited him to eat with him. He entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. And a woman in the town who was a sinner found out that Jesus was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house. She brought an alabaster jar of perfume and stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to wash his feet with her tears. She wiped his feet with her hair, kissing them and anointing them with the perfume.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “This man, if he were a prophet, would know who and what kind of woman this is who is touching him—she’s a sinner!”
Jesus replied to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”
He said, “Say it, teacher.”
“A creditor had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Since they could not pay it back, he graciously forgave them both. So, which of them will love him more?”
Simon answered, “I suppose the one he forgave more.”
“You have judged correctly,” he told him. Turning to the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she, with her tears, has washed my feet and wiped them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but she hasn’t stopped kissing my feet since I came in. You didn’t anoint my head with olive oil, but she has anointed my feet with perfume. Therefore I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven; that’s why she loved much. But the one who is forgiven little, loves little.” Then he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
Those who were at the table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this man who even forgives sins?”
And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
As believers, what is the first thing we must do?
2 Corinthians 5:21 (CSB) He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.