Great Faith (Luke #26)

Text: Luke 7:1-10

Great faith is God’s opinion (vs 9)

  • We need to address first of all why this man’s attempt at reaching Jesus is important. Let’s deal with this description. God’s opinion of this centurion’s faith is that it is GREAT faith. And that’s God’s opinion.
  • If you think God’s thoughts are valuable, you want to pay attention to this man’s life.
  • Not only was the LORD blessing his faith, but many people benefitted from his faith.

Great faith benefits others (vss 1-3)

  • The centurion is apparently a generous man. He built a synagogue for the Jews as a way to put his faith into practice, so he is generous as a result of his devotion to the God of Israel. Funding the construction of a church is not always a generous endeavor. It can be a proud endeavor, a way to have control or recognition. But that doesn’t seem to be this man’s character. He’s genuinely generous.
  • He is an empathetic man who loves the person that works for him. His faith made him generous has also made him compassionate. His faith has already been a blessing to others in building the synagogue, and now it is directed to someone he is personally acquainted with. This centurion’s servant is ready to die and this man wants to get help to him.
  • Faith in the LORD Jesus Christ should be a blessing to other people in general. In whatever thing you find yourself doing.
  • If your brother is in need and you have it in your power to help, you should. James says that telling them you’re going to pray for them when you can fix the problem is a sin on your part and proves that your faith is worthless.

Great faith of a stranger (vss 4-5)

  • This centurion is not an Israelite, he is a Gentile. Though the Lord Jesus Christ has a ministry first to the house of Israel, BUT he is not going to turn away someone who believes in him.
  • The Jewish elders have good things to say about this centurion because of his generosity toward them and his love for the God of Israel.
    • Jews given much light they didn’t respond to. This Gentile man had less light, but was closer to the Lord.
    • Great faith is not what you know, how you rightly divide, how many Bible stories you’re familiar with, but great faith is exercised faith – it’s put to use.

Great faith is humble (vss 6-8)

  • …I am not worthy… (vs 6)
  • This man has no sense of entitlement. He doesn’t believe he’s owed anything by the LORD. He isn’t “claiming” any promises. He’s asking the LORD for help. And he knows that it is at the discretion of God whether He wants to intervene or not.
  • And this man’s life has already made a pretty good case to move the LORD in his direction.

Great faith in the words of God

  • …but say in a word… (vss 7-8)
  • This centurion understands that the word of God will change his servant’s life.
  • He also understands that God’s words change people’s lives in a demonstrably better way. Not a theoretical way. Not an imaginary way, but a real way.
  • He also understands that when someone who has authority speaks, things happen
    • He’s accustomed to giving commandments, so he recognizes what authority means.
    • This man just believes that Jesus Christ has authority over death itself. Remember his servant was near to death. And Jesus’ power over death is in his words.

Great faith that moves the will of God (vss 9-10)

  • There are a few things that the LORD is shocked by. Sometimes it’s unbelief within the Jewish nation. Other times it’s the belief of heathen people that surprise Jesus.
  • This centurion’s faith was pleasing to the Lord and moved the will of God.
  • They returned and found the servant whole and well!
  • He beseeched the Lord to heal his servant and the Lord responded to the centurion’s request. Effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. The number of prayers isn’t important. It’s the quality of prayer. It takes the effectual fervent prayer of one righteous man to move the hand of God.