In Luke 7, Jesus heals the Centurion’s servant, raises a young man in Nain from the dead, informs John the Baptist that HE indeed is the Christ, affirms John the Baptist’s ministry, and uses the act of the sinful woman washing HIS feet and anointing HIM with perfume to teach about forgiveness and love. The thing that struck me the most as I read this morning was the different way in which the Centurion was viewed. The Centurion, a Gentile, sent some Jewish leaders to Jesus to ask HIM to come and heal his servant who was about to die. The Jewish leaders said that Jesus should come and do so, because “He is worthy for You to grant this to him…” (v. 4). They thought the Centurion’s status and good things he had done for the Jews made him worthy for Jesus to grant his request. However, when Jesus was on the way to see him, the Centurion sent some friends to Jesus saying, “Lord do not trouble Yourself further, for I am not worthy for You to come under my roof…” (v. 6). The Jewish leaders said he was worthy, but the Gentile Centurion said he was not worthy. The Jewish leaders thought the Centurion had earned the right to have Jesus do something for him, but the Centurion knew his own heart and sin and knew he could never earn the right for Jesus to do something for him. Ironically, the Jewish leaders did not understand grace, but the Gentile Centurion did. He understood that he did not deserve nor could he earn/merit Jesus’ favor, because grace is getting something you do not deserve and you cannot earn. Grace can only be received by those who realize they do not deserve nor can they earn God’s favor. Lord, thank You for Your Grace and for opening my eyes to see that I cannot earn not do I deserve Your Grace.
– Bryan McKenzie