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Say the word!
Sometimes when people are given authority over others they become cruel and evil. Power and authority does not always make people cruel and evil! You will be glad to find out in our story today that the most powerful person ever wants to offer us His kindness! He has made it possible for you and me to escape the punishment we deserve from Him; but the choice is up to you!
A Roman centurion's servant who was highly valued "was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to Him, asking Him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus they pleaded earnestly with Him, `This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.'"
Did this centurion think he deserved Jesus' special attention? No! He sent friends to say to Him: `Lord, don't trouble Yourself, for I do not deserve to have You come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me… I say to my servant, `Do this', and he does it.'"
You see, when a candle is flickering in the dark it is important and useful, but when it is in the sunlight it becomes unnoticed and useless. This centurion must have realised his importance was like that of a candle that had come into glorious sunlight! In the presence of Jesus Christ he knew he could claim no importance or worth. Even the greatest people the world has ever known will not be able to boast of any greatness in the presence of Jesus Christ!
In His presence ALL stand condemned and in need of His Salvation.
When Jesus heard the centurion's attitude, "He was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following Him, He said, `I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.'"
Today Jesus is still pleased to find those who have such humility and faith.
His purpose in coming into this world was not just to heal the sick but to offer to save sinners like you and me. However "men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil" and Jesus, the only Saviour, was rejected by most people - and still is today!
Perhaps you think your goodness shines in this dark sinful world much brighter than that of some of those around you. Don't be tempted to think it will be good enough to be seen in God's presence! Instead, His purity and glory will show up all your sinfulness and you will be totally unacceptable to God!
Have you the humility and faith this centurion had? Will you say to Jesus today in faith, "Lord, I am not worthy of your forgiveness, but you have only to say the word and my sins will be forgiven and I will be acceptable to God."
The miracle of your forgiveness will be as sure as the miracle for the centurion's servant. We read, "Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well."
Read this Bible story for yourself in Luke's Gospel, chapter 7, verses 1-10.
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if you have any questions about what I've said.
There will be a different message next week as we continue to browse through Luke's Gospel in the Holy Bible. Why not put Good News Compage on your favourites list?
To read more of Luke's account of the life of Jesus turn to the Gospel of Luke in the Holy Bible.
Bye for now,
John Nixon, Ballincollig, Co.Cork, Ireland.
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Bible quotations from N.I.V.
1 Luke 7:2-6. 2 Luke 7:6-8. 3 Romans 3:9-20. 4 Acts 4:12. 5 Luke 7:9. 6 1st Peter 5:5-7. 7 John 3:16-19. 1:10-13. 8 Isaiah 59:2. 64:6. Romans 3:23. 9 Acts 3:16-26. 10Luke 7:10.