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The Centurion (Matthew 8:5-17)

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Good morning. Go ahead grab your Bibles open up to Matthew chapter eight. Matthew chapter eight as we continue in our series encounters with Jesus. As you’re turning, there was a question we often ask who’s in charge here? The question we ask at key moments, moments of decision sometimes who’s in charge who who has to make his decision or more likely moments of accountability? Who didn’t make the right decision so that we’re in the mess that we’re in? Now? Who’s in charge here? It’s a question most of us ask regularly. And even at the cosmic level, maybe not just who is in charge, but who should be in charge? That’s the question we were asked on Tuesday, at least, who should be in charge, but way more important than just politics? It’s often a deeper question. We say who’s in charge here? We’re asking, Why is this happening? How come nobody’s dealing with this issue? So it’s a question we might ask as refugee walks into a refugee camp with her children, wondering if she’ll ever see her husband? Again, it’s a question we asked as a child begins treatment for leukemia. Or even in a simpler moment, and it’s a question we would ask when we get ghosted after a first date that we thought went pretty well. And maybe we weren’t going to be alone anymore. Might I suggest that we would all like to know that someone is in charge. Wherever you are, in your faith journey, we would like to know that somebody is in charge, we long for an authority somewhere, even if it’s just so that we know where to direct our complaints. Whoever’s running this thing, I don’t know, if you’re doing a great job or not, because even if we didn’t always agree, at least it would make some sense of things we might see that within Christianity even for example, as we experience suffering, we may go I wish this weren’t how it shook out and all of that, but at least I know what God us suffering to arouse a deaf world to sanctify us. And so it’s got some purpose at least, we want to know that someone is in charge. More than that, I think we really want to know that the someone who is in charge is good. That would help us out a ton. As we saw last week, Merritt took us through Jesus’s encounter with the leper, we want to know is God willing, and is God able, since the passage that Kyle read for us earlier this morning, even one thing God has spoken to things I have heard, power belongs to you, God, he is able and with you, Lord, is unfailing love, he’s good. He’s willing, if we can be sure of that, that God is willing and able that he is strong and loving. Well, that would bring us some peace, wouldn’t it? We’d be the kinds of people like Jesus who could fall asleep in the back of a boat in the middle of a storm, a story I think we get to next week. In fact, don’t you want to be the kind of person who can sleep during storms, like metaphysical storms. That’s what we would have here. So here’s the simple truth we’re going to see this morning. And your main idea, someone is in charge, Jesus is King. That’s what this passage is going to show us. And there are three implications to his rule that we’re going to see. So how we’re going to hit this by the way, we’re gonna have the encounter with the Cinterion, first of all, and then Jesus draws a lesson from it. That’ll kind of be our scene too. And then Matthew does some summary work after that, work through a couple of other little moments in Jesus’s ministry. We’ll talk about that kind of our scene three, and then I’m going to wrap up with just some of why it matters that we know and believe this in the depths of who we are. But let’s start with Jesus’s encounter with Cinterion, verses five to 10. When Jesus had entered Copernicus and Tyrion came to him asking for help, Lord, He said, My servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly. Jesus said to him, shall I come and heal him? This interior and replied, Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof, but just say the word my servant will be healed. For I myself, man under authority with soldiers under me. I tell this one go when he goes and that one calm and he comes, I say to my servant, Do this and he does it. When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, it truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel was such great faith. So we see here in this opening scene as King Jesus enjoys the prerogative, he has the authority, so he enters Capernaum now cuppa is a garrison town. So it is no surprise that he would run into a Cinterion. There Cinterion. Maybe you see that word sent in there means he’s over 100 people, roughly. He’s a squadron leader. That’s kind of what he is. His Beloved servant has fallen ill though so that he is paralyzed, somehow, and suffering terribly. We’re not told why we don’t get the diagnosis. We just know the symptoms anyway. And it’s pretty bad. And so he comes to Jesus. Now, it was not unusual in those days, for people to ask rabbis to pray for the sick, some things never change, you ask your pastor to pray for you when you are sick, or to pray for someone you know, when they are sick. And that’s not unusual. But there’s something more at work here. Because when people ask me to pray for the sick, there is no expectation that there will be an immediate, miraculous healing at the conclusion of the prayer. But that is what the Cinterion seems to be asking for. That does seem to be his expectation. Here. He’s got tremendous confidence in Jesus’s power. Perhaps he heard the story that is recorded for us in John chapter four, where a royal official from Capernaum, his son was sick. And so he walked all the way to Cana, to meet with Jesus and to see if Jesus would heal his son. Well, here we are in Capernaum, same kind of thing. And maybe that’s why he’s got this confidence. He knows that Jesus is able, maybe he didn’t hear that story, and he still just believes that Jesus is able. The question, though, much like our leper asked last week, is he willing, especially considering the story, like let’s make sure we’re clear about this, first of all, he’s a Gentile speaking to a Jewish rabbi. And as a Gentile, that means he is unclean. A little bit like the leper, honestly, not only that, he’s a squadron leader for the occupying military force in this country. This is a Russian guy in the eastern part of Ukraine, asking the Ukrainian pastor to pray for him because his soldier is sick. Is he willing? Is he going to be willing? That’s a That’s a good question. Now, of course, we know that Jesus is not concerned about ritual defilement. He just touched the leper last week, after all, so he’s not concerned about meeting with a Gentile we know that. But this interion might not know that. So this is kind of bold, that he actually comes to Jesus and asked him all this, Jesus asks a question, in return, shall I come? And he’ll? This could be a statement, if you’re looking at a different translation, like the ESV or something, maybe it even has it as a statement, I will come and heal him. I don’t think that’s right. I think the syntax and the Greek makes it more likely that it’s a question here. What is he doing? He’s, he’s pushing the Cinterion here, like this kind of thing happens in my house, too. You got kids, you probably have lived this scenario at some point. Oh, I’m so hungry. To which the parent responds. Are you asking if you can have a snack? We have a thing we say a lot. In our household of you’re going to need to turn that declarative into an interrogative if you want something to happen. That’s what Jesus is getting here though. This interion shows up. Oh, my servant is so sick. Shall I come and heal him? Like, what exactly are you doing? Jesus wants to know exactly what is being asked of him. And Jesus often does this because he’s drawing out the incipient faith from within the heart of the person. He wants them to get a little bit bolder to trust him more. And then he gets this absolutely shocking response. Shall I come and heal him? And Cinterion remarkable faith triumphs over all these potential obstacles that I’ve thrown in the way of this. How does he respond? He calls him Lord, first of all, and let’s not get overzealous here. He’s not saying Oh, you’re probably the second member of the Trinity, aren’t you? Like, that’s not what’s being said here. But there’s a lot of honor being accorded to this guy. And then he says, I’m unworthy for you to come under my roof. You know who he sounds like, there. He sounds like John the Baptist. John the Baptist uses the exact same word when he says, I’m not even worthy to untie this guy’s sandals. Like I’m not even worthy to be his slave. And that’s what this guy says to Jesus too. I’m not worthy to have you come over since I’m not worthy. Why don’t you just heal at a distance? And that’s remarkable too. Because how does he know that Jesus can heal at a distance? At least in Matthew’s gospel, we
have no idea evidence that this has happened before. Again, maybe it did maybe that John for story, that’s where he’s getting it from. But we don’t know for sure. He believed that this can happen. His profound faith here is based in his understanding of Roman imperial authority. Note the key phrase and what he says there, I myself a man under authority. That’s not what we expect. In fact, when you read this hurriedly, you would probably misread it, I am a man of authority. And so I get to tell people what to do, I got a bunch of soldiers, I tell them go, they go, I tell them come, they come. That’s not what he says. He says, I am a man under authority. And because he’s under authority, he speaks with that authority. So as a an officer in the Roman military, he speaks with the authority of Caesar himself, the Emperor. That’s why people listen to him when he speaks. Because if one of his foot soldiers says, Listen, cap, that’s a terrible order, okay, you’re gonna get us all killed, I’m not going to do that you’re a moron, I should be in charge. Instead, that foot soldier is not defying a Cinterion, a captain. He’s defying Caesar himself and will be punished accordingly. That’s what he’s saying. He’s like, he’s got the authority of an ambassador speaking on behalf of the very king. And so there’s this mature and this immature phase kind of happening simultaneously, no surprise, he doesn’t know Jesus that well. He the maturity is that he sees Jesus as under God’s authority. So Jesus is a really impressive emissary sent by God. But the mature faith is that he knows that Jesus speaks with God’s authority. And therefore what he says will be done because he’s speaking in God’s name. So his word can heal. He says, I’m, it’s, it’s, it’s incredible to me, he says, Just say the word. Just say the word. And my servant will be he’ll, he’s not expecting magic. He’s not expecting some ritual, and he would just speak and it will be done. This is such remarkable faith that it surprises Jesus even. I assume it takes a lot to surprise you all knowing God. But in his humanity, at least we just did the Creed, the Athanasian Creed, the part about Jesus being fully God and fully human in his humanity, he’s amazed at this guy’s face. And that’s unusual, because Jesus is usually amazed at people’s unbelief. He’s, he’s often amazing. So little faith. And here, it’s the opposite. Not just that this man believes that Jesus can heal at a distance, but that he understands the nature of Jesus’s authority and all that despite being a Gentile, he says, meaning he doesn’t have the benefit of Revelation. He doesn’t have the benefit of having studied the scriptures. All this, by the way, a hints at Jesus’s mission to the Gentiles that we’ll get in this next section. But what have we seen here? Jesus is King, not just an ambassador, not just an emissary. He is king. And as king, he enjoys the prerogative, he possesses all authority. In fact, he’s not just a man under authority, he is a man of authority. That raises the next question for us, then, okay, over whom does he rule then? Let’s keep reading verses 11 to 13, as we’ll see that as King, Jesus gathers His people. Verse 11, I say to you, that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside into the darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then Jesus said to the centurion, go, let it be done to just as you believed it would, and his servant was healed at that moment. This is not necessarily where we expect Jesus to go next. But his amazement at the faith of a Gentile spills over into this lesson that he then shares, now he’s speaking to the Messianic banquet, this feast that will happen at the end of time, when God will gather his people that’s not new imagery. You can read that especially in Isaiah taken from the Old Testament, this is the consummation of the coming Kingdom. And it was a looked for day. The pious Jews were waiting for this day when God would have manifest His authority among the nation’s and exalt Israel, to the place it was intended to have in God’s economy. But now in Jesus is tell Like at this moment, the nations are present at that banquet. They take their places, Jesus says they got assigned seating here, they have places at the table, they’re gonna take their places at the feast with Israel’s patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, men like that. And in this great reversal, some of the subjects of the kingdom are actually gonna get tossed out. Who are the subjects of the kingdom quite clearly, these are the Israelites who assume that they’re in because they’re Israelites. Because Abraham was my great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather, I’m good to go. We can’t assume our place in the kingdom by our racial heritage. That’s not how it works. But we smuggle that thinking in sometimes too, right? And that’s not just a problem. Back in Bible days, well, I grew up in church. My parents are Christians. Heck, I’m from Alabama. We’re all Christian. They’re right. I’m not by the way, but somebody is. So that was really we have that thinking like, I must be good because of my upbringing or something like that. But no, no, no, no, that’s not how it works. Note, by the way, that it’s not an absolute reversal. We know that many Jews do follow Jesus, it’s not like the Jews got kicked out of the kingdom or something like that. Good mentioned a couple of Jewish people you might have heard of in the early church like Jesus, Peter, James, John, Saul of Tarsus, also known as Paul, so of course, that but we we are here moving towards that vision of revelation five, eight, when God will gather men and women from every nation and language, tribe, and people. So what is the key then? That’s the key isn’t your ethnic heritage? What is it the key? Is your relationship to Jesus? Nothing else matters? Do you acknowledge his authority? By faith? That’s a question worth asking. Even as you’re sitting here today, do you call yourself a Christian? And if so, why? are you assuming it by birthright? Because that’s not how it works? Is it because you go to church or even give to the church? None of those are the dividing line. The dividing line is, who is Jesus to you? And that’s a serious question Jesus makes clear here, this is more than life or death, even. Because those who don’t come to Jesus in faith will be cast out where there’s weeping and gnashing of teeth. imagery that we looked at in the last series. I won’t go into it here. But if you got questions about what all that means, go ahead and check out that series on our website. But put in the language of this story, at least what’s happening there, King Jesus will not in the end, have subjects who reject His authority that won’t be welcomed in the coming kingdom. And I think that’s important for us to hear, because it is very easy today, harder than it used to be sure, but still pretty easy today to like Jesus. He said a lot of good things that a lot of people like even still today. And so he can help you on your spiritual quest, which looks a little bit like 678 year olds at a soda fountain. It’s all just sugar and die anyway, right? It doesn’t matter. And so you kind of get this approach, right? Again, helping you on your spiritual quest, but that’s not going to work because either Jesus is King, or you are king. But both can’t be true simultaneously. And as soon as you’re doing this, you’re deciding what goes into your cup, which makes you king. And that’s a dicey place to be because by the way, Jesus actually is king. So it’s just best to admit it, as the Cinterion has. And so Jesus turns back to him at the end of this little teaching section, and holds him up as this example of faith. What does he say to him go? Because I don’t need to come because you understand that already. And that’s awesome to go. And it will be done, as you believed. Now, what does that mean exactly? It’s not because of his faith, or in proportion to his faith, but according to his expectation, what you thought was going to happen, how you thought this was going to shake out that is what’s going to happen. Now what a marvelous lesson for us all. asked the question in our pulse devotional just a couple of weeks back, you know, what would happen if God said yes to every one of your prayer requests this week?
is a great question again, some The LSAT acid I thought it was it was tremendous when wanted to pass it on. Like, would that mean that your finances would be healthier? And you’d get a better parking spot? With the finish the parking lot so you can really get a good parking spot? Or would would the kingdom come? When people come into the kingdom? When people grow in grace? Would you look more like Jesus? It’s kind of a similar question here. What if God did for us according to our expectations, as we have believed? What would happen then? What would your life look like this week? Jesus is King. He enjoys all the prerogatives. He has all authority. And he is gathering a people together from the east and the west from the north and the south, a gathering of people who call him king. Last question we got to ask though, is alright, but how is he going to rule what sort of King is he? Look at verses 14 to 17, we’ll see that as king he heals our pain. When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peters mother in law lying in bed with a fever, he touched her hand and fever left her and she got up and began to wait on Him. When evening came, many who were demon possessed, were brought to him and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken to the prophet Isaiah, he took up our infirmities and bore our diseases. So it says the end of our encounter, this interior runs off the stage now, but it’s not the end of Matthew’s story. We don’t get a time indicator here doesn’t say later that day, the next week or something like that. It’s just when he came into Peters house, Peters mother in law, Peter was married, the lying in bed, that lying in bed, whether the exact same word that’s used at the Cinterion servants. So there’s this connection between the two stories. But what’s different here is that Jesus sees and acts he takes the initiative, he’s not asked to heal her. But like the leper, Jesus reaches out and touches her. That physical connection is so important. Now, back then we don’t know what’s causing this fever. But back then fevers were serious business. You can think of books you read of, you know, olden days kind of thing. Somebody’s got scarlet fever, like they shut the house down. Nobody comes in, nobody comes out kind of things. You don’t know what that is, if it’s going to kill you, but what not what Jesus again, just like the leper, with Jesus, the touch doesn’t define the healer, it heals the defiles. And then what happens? She gets up and she starts serving him. Why? I mean, is this an ordinary pattern for the Christian life? Absolutely. Jesus heals you, you start serving him totally. But the point here is not that the point is that the healing is instantaneous, and complete. This is not like, Oh, I think I am starting to feel better. If I could just like, sleep for 18 hours, I’m gonna wake up tomorrow feeling much, much better. No, she gets up and goes, she’s ready to serve. That’s how complete her healing is. And so word gets around, as it would, and people start bringing their sick and the hurting and the demonized to him. And Matthew, once again, emphasizes Christ’s authority. What does he do? How does He cast out demons? He drove out the spirits with a word, just like verse eight, just what the Cinterion said, You can do this with a word, just say the word with the word. And then he heals all the sick who are brought to him. And then it gets interesting. Look at the kind of comment that makes sermons longer. Because Matthew then says, this was all to fulfill. Isaiah 53 Verse four, which by the way, we covered two weeks ago, totally unplanned but there you go. He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases. Why does this make sermons longer? In part because this phrase right here in Matthew, chapter eight is taken by some by those who proclaim the false health Well, Scott gospel to imply that healing is guaranteed, as part of the Atonement. And in a sense, they are right about that, but only in a sense, Scripture is quite clear that all sickness is a result of sin. Not directly a result of sin necessarily, sometimes, yes, but you don’t get a cancer diagnosis and go. So what’s the hidden sin in your life? It doesn’t work like that. Sickness is the result of sin. This sickness might not be a result of that sin specifically, but they do go together in a sense, in the sense that a broken world produces broken bodies. But Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering. Jesus, the King is establishing a kingdom without sin, and thus without the result Let’s have sin, like sickness and pain and death and mourning. And Christ’s death and resurrection lay the foundation of that future kingdom. He takes up our pain, bears our suffering to Calvary. It takes the punishment on himself death being the punishment on him self. And then what happens, and I think it’s my favorite line of all the songs we sing, death is dead, and Christ is written. That’s how that story goes. And if death is dead, well, the stuff that causes death is dead also. And so your healing is guaranteed. Eventually, that eventually is pretty important. Because we have a whole bunch of promises in Scripture that are for sure in glory, and that we will wait for until then, we are all also promised in the atonement, a resurrection body, we will be like Him. You don’t get that now. You get that after death, you get that at the resurrection, we are promised total sanctification, how many here totally sanctified? Completely holy, just like Jesus. I got one hand in the back now he was joking, I’m sure of it. So there are things we are waiting for this comes eventually. And so eventually, we will have healing, we might have it in this life. You come to me and ask for prayer, and I pray for healing in your life, you got three possible outcomes, right? One of them is the Lord will heal in a what we might call an ordinary way. And that you’re gonna go to the doctor, you’re gonna see a specialist are gonna do some treatment, and you’re gonna get better. And that’s awesome. And thank god, that’s God healing you, or miracles, heavens or open. The power of God comes and you are healed in that moment, or you die. And when you wake up, you’re all better. Our healing is guaranteed. Eventually, Jesus’s healing ministry is a foretaste of that future glory, it is a sneak peek, he pulls back the curtain and says, look what’s coming. And interestingly, of course, his healing ministry we learn here is also the fruit of his death, ironically, and how he puts death to death. So who is this King of glory, who not only possesses all authority, not only gathering a people to be subjects in his kingdom, but establishing a perfect kingdom for those people taking the initiative as he always does, to rescue and redeem and restore us, taking up our pain and burying it away so that we can stand before him not only forgiven and accepted wonder, though, that is but healed, and whole. And on that day, the blind will see His glory and the mute will sing of His glory and the lame will leap for joy in the presence of his glory. We’ve seen quite clearly that Jesus is King, establishing this perfect kingdom, and he is inviting his people to the inauguration to the festival celebration. I’m reminded of a famous quote by Abraham Kuyper, who is a Dutch theologian, he says, There is not a square inch in the whole domain of human existence over which Christ who is sovereign over all does not cry, mine. It’s all his he has all authority, which is why he can heal and save and redeem just with a word. But so often, like those subjects, that kingdom, we lack faith, don’t we can kind of go through the motions of the Christian life, doubt God’s power? And his goodness, is he really strong and loving? So let me ask you this, and this is the question I want to leave you with today. Write this one down, okay? Because you got to do this in your own heart. I’m gonna give you a couple of possible avenues of thought. But you got to do this in your own heart. If you knew with certainty that Jesus is King, that he is willing and able, strong and loving, what would change? If you knew with certainty that Jesus is King, what would change in your life? Think through that. I’m gonna, I’m gonna give you a couple of ideas here for at least that I can think of. What would change first of all, you’d sleep well, most nights. You just sleep better.
Now I’m not talking about like, you know, physical pain or screaming children that will keep you up that are still gonna keep you out. But you know what I’m talking about. We’re talking about that. That mind racing thing that keeps you up at night. Like that is a tremendous indicator for me if I’m not sleeping well, it’s because I’m holding on to something that belongs to God and not me. How The Psalmist said, Psalm four, verse eight in peace, I will lie down and sleep. For you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. If you knew that you were curled up in the lap of your father, who is Almighty God, do you think you could take a nap? Yeah, probably. So we’re sleeping well, because we’re at peace, we can rest because we’ve left our cares with him, you keep in perfect peace, the one whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in You. Like, let me help you out here. If the election results keep you from sleeping. That means you’re trusting and Caesar and not Jesus. If your finances are keeping you from sleeping as because you’re trusting in your bank account and not Jesus, you could just go on and on and on down the line, you’d sleep well, most nights second, if you knew Jesus is King, you’d pray more. He would pray so much more often. Like why not talk to the guy in charge, talking to everybody else who can’t do a thing about it. And not talking to the one who holds all things in his hands is the way HB Charles said it. I love this. He says prayer is arguably the most objective measurement of our dependence upon God. Listen to this, this is key. The things you pray about are the things you trust God to handle. The things you neglect to pray about are the things you trust you can handle on your own. That convict anyone here. What’s keeping you up at night is keeping you up at night because you think that you have to fix it. Instead of handing it off to the one who can and even if you do need to fix it in a sense, how do you fix it, you fix it with the strength that he supplies with grace that He provides. Like, let’s say you got you got conflict with one of your brothers in Christ, like you got to deal with that. Jesus says you shouldn’t even be here right now, you certainly shouldn’t take communion until you deal with that. But you don’t have to deal with that in the flesh. You deal with that as the Spirit empowers you. And it says Grace sustains you. We draw strength, this Cinterion comes to Jesus because he’s got no other options. But we come to Jesus because we know who he is. Which means we don’t need to get to the end of our rope before we ask him for help. We should just delight to seek Him and to talk to him. You ever had a little kid in your life? And you’re like with me? Like I’ve run errands I got one of the kids with me or something like that. They never stopped talking. I don’t even know what they’re saying. Half the time I got my mind can wander. I’m not gonna lie. But you know what? They’re with dad. And so they’re just telling me about their day. Why are we not that way with God? Our Father loves us. He delights to hear from us. We should delight to speak to him. You’d sleep well. You’d pray more third, you take courage. It’s a little bit like living like Jesus is King is a little bit like watching a prequel. When you watch a prequel, you know which characters live who’s watching and or not enough of you. This is shocking. Okay. Wow, that’s really good. I know that andorre lives because he’s in row one. So right there, it’s easy. Okay, we got that and spoil it for anybody here. That’s our lives. We know the screenwriter, even. He’s our dad, the author. He tells us how the story ends. And yet the church lacks courage today. We live such defeatist lives, which is so weird to me, because you all know we’ve got the victory already. Right? So how come we’re living like we’re in danger of being defeated? We lack confidence in God’s Spirit, and in His Word, both of which are powerful. Look at what Jesus did with a word in our story today. And then remember, we have this word right here. We have that same word. And so we will take courage as we mined scripture for God’s promises like dwarfs digging for mithril. Now, there are lots of areas where I think this would be true where we would have that remember or remember what you said, but here’s just one that stands out to me. As I was thinking about it this week would be our sanctification are being made more like Jesus being made holy, we would confidently kill sin because we know the promises of God Merritt gave us one last night as he gave us the benediction last night last week, as he gave us the benediction. May the Lord sanctify you through and through May May your whole spirit soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who called you is faithful and He will do it. Guess what that means? You get sanctified through and through all the way. That’s how the story ends. People will come into pastors offices, pastors share these sorts of stories. Okay, so I heard a couple of these stories recently where somebody will sit down in a pastor’s office and go, I can’t stop sinning. There’s one pastor responded by going, that’s, that’s terrible news. Let me show you how you can become a Christian. And the guy was like, no, no, I am a Christian. Okay, well, then you can stop sinning. You have the Spirit of God living within you. You can stop sinning, we could take courage, you’d sleep well, you pray more you take courage and forth. And finally, you would share the gospel boldly. Look back at verse nine. Listen, Tyrion says because I’m a man under authority, I speak with authority I speak with Caesar’s authority. Now keep that in mind, as I read this to you can be a familiar passage. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. To see the connection. We are men and women under authority, and we have a commission from our commanding officer, and it is to make disciples. I think it is indisputable that fear is the primary reason we don’t evangelize more. Maybe I think there’s a lovelessness that is underneath the fear, because perfect love drives out fear. But I think fear is the reason most of us would give anyway, and it is usually a fear of our own inadequacy. I’m not going to say this right? They’re going to ask a question I can’t answer. But that fear comes from taking on what isn’t ours. The Bible is quite clear apart from Christ, people are dead in their sin. How many of you can raise the dead? Do you think what you need is a clever answer to get the dead to rise? Probably not. How are the dead gonna rise? When God raises them, how are the blind can see when God opens their eyes, Matt Smith has puts it like this. I love this. This is what evangelism is. He says Our job is to walk through the cemetery and speak to caskets. God’s job is to crack them open. That give you some confidence as you share the gospel with a word Jesus healed even at a distance. How does God heal our sin sickness? With the word Romans 10? How will they believe unless they hear how will they hear unless somebody speaks a word to them the word to them? All we do is speak. I mean, yes, we display the message in our lives, of course, is more could say about that. But what we do is speak Jesus died for your sins, the punishment that you deserved was on him. And then he was raised for your salvation, proof of the victory that is coming, therefore, repent and believe. turn from your sin and trust the one who took up your pain and carried it away, because that one is coming to set whole things, right. So there will come a day when there is no more sickness and no more sorrow and no more sin, and no more cemeteries. And by the way, if you’re here today, and you’re still questioning, Christianity, or even openly rejecting Christianity, those words are for you. That is the message for you. Jesus is King. And he’s fairly well proven it by that whole resurrection thing, which we could talk about, if you’re not sure about that. He is king and he is a strong and loving king. He is willing, and he is able. One day he will establish His perfect kingdom. And until then you let him set up a kingdom outpost in your heart. Who was in charge? Jesus, thank God. Let’s pray. Lord, we come before
you acknowledging that you are king. We worship you, not only because you have the authority, but because we are glad you have the authority, because we know who you are, that you are a king, strong and loving, willing and able, wise, gracious, merciful, and compassionate. Just we are grateful that you have the authority and we are grateful Lord, that means we don’t have to have it all in ourselves because we know we don’t. And so Lord help us this Week to live like we believe that you are king what should change in our lives if we believe that Lord by your spirit would you show us even now that we might live to your glory as we live in faith Amen

Amen.

  1. December 1, 2022

    I have not checked in here for some time because I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are good quality so I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

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