Sunday, August 16, 2009

Unexpected Faith

Jesus was surprised when He heard this; He turned around and said to the crowd following Him, "I tell you, I have never found faith like this, not even in Israel." Luke 7:9

No two people were more different. Jesus was an itinerant preacher, poor and without social position...a carpenter with miracles in his hands. The centurion was a Roman army officer who oversaw the work and training of one hundred soldiers. He was one of the Roman conquerors who held Israel in their tight fists.

The centurion was different. Beneath the breastplate of his armor beat the heart of a man who respected the Jews, built a synagogue for them, and cared for his servants, including one who lay sick and dying. Despite his high social rank, he was too humble to approach Jesus to ask for help. He sent others in his place. Jesus saw this as great and unexpected faith.

Someone said, "Faith is not believing that God can, but that God will!" The centurion ran the risk of ridicule from his peers and rejection by Jesus but sent for Christ's help anyway. That's how strong his love for his servant was; that's how great his faith in Christ was.

One of the great hymns is "Trust and Obey" by John Sammis. As the song was being sung in a church, a children sometimes do.... misheard the title and sang the chorus incorrectly as "trust and okay." Maybe he wasn't so far off.

Faith is the application of belief to life. It is not an academic principle; it's a tool for daily living. Like the centurion, you need to trust Christ with your problems and with your life....even if it seems to everyone else an unexpected and unlikely thing for you to do. Whether you're an outsider or an insider, Jesus is the one to turn to. Trust and okay.

One final thought.......Jesus saw a powerful man's request for help as a mighty display of faith. Nothing has changed. The most courageous thing you can do is approach Jesus in faith and belief.

2 Corinthians 5:7 For we live by believing and not by seeing.

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