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Title: The day I made Jesus excited

Theme: Great faith excites Jesus to move on my behalf

Introduction: Everyone has an individual need that especially gets your attention and causes you to respond. I read a book called the Five Love languages by Gary Chapman.  The purpose of this is book is for you and your spouse to establish better communication for getting the desired results in your marriage.  Love languages allow both parties to be understood because you know what each other likes.  You know what works and what doesn’t work in getting your needs met.

       There are five love languages: Words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.  

I like to give my wife gifts hoping she is motivated by me understanding what she likes. Then from there hoping she would respond to my needs.  She likes the gifts but it does not really excite her enough to get her to respond to me and understand my needs the way I need her to.  I offer her acts of service, words of affirmation and give her physical touch.  She likes them all but they don’t really move her. But if I give her quality time, which is her primary loves language, it makes her excited and she will go out of her way to respond to my needs because I am now speaking her language.  It amazes her because I understand her and she then becomes more receptive and open when it comes to meeting my needs. 

Antithesis: If I have to do a certain thing to communicate to my wife that I need her attention, I wonder what would I have to do to get God’s attention so He can see about my needs. Jesus is desiring you to speak his primary love language so he a can respond your their need.

Relevant Question:  How do I get Jesus to in the time fo my trouble?

V. 1 When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum.

Here we have in the text that Jesus is about to enter another city.  He has just preached the Sermon on the Mount and the crowd that was with him follows him to his next destination, the city of Capernaum.  It was a town under Gentile rule and the center of Jesus’ Galilean ministry. The name translates to mean the “village of comfort”.  It was the city of comfort.  It was comfortable because it was a port city high in commerce.  It was comfortable because of its political borders.  It was comfortable because of it fertile land.  It sounds a lot like us today.

Point: You can always expect Jesus to show up where people are comfortable in the way are living. Maybe we just think we got it like that because we are living the lives of our dreams, big houses, two foreign cars, kids in college, money in the bank, going to church on Sunday.  I am comfortable. I got it going on!  Why change?  There are too many comfortable Christians.  God has been so good to us that we have become spoiled, stiff and satisfied.  But Jesus has just entered your city and He about to ruffle some feathers. Too many of us are comfortable in our faith, doing the same ol’ thing and getting the same ol’ result.  Look at you neighbor and tell them don’t get comfortable!

V. 2 There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die.

A man of compassion

Here we have in the text a man with a problem.  His problem is not his personally but someone dear to him.  Maybe somebody under the sound of my voice needs some help today.  You are stressed out and desperate for some help but it not for you but it is for someone you love and you don’t want them to see them die in the state their in.  Somebody in here is praying for somebody to get well.  Somebody has a loved one who needs to be delivered from a controlled substance.  Somebody has a friend in a relationship that is making them sick spiritually and if they don’t get out of it they are going to die!  This is the situation with the centurion in this text.  His prize servant is sick and about die. He is desperate for some help for his beloved servant.  But there is problem. The Centurion is a Roman not one of chosen people of Israel and does not believe in their God. He is a military man who is a commander of a one hundred soldiers who job is to keep the Jews in check. Romans were polytheistic, Jew haters by nature. They had no dealing with Jews except for giving them orders.  But there is something different about this Centurion.  He is not the normal Roman Jew hating warlord.  We see something different in text.  We see a man of compassion.  The text tells us that he valued his servant.  This tells me that their relationship crossed cultural, political, economic and religious barriers.  The Centurion loved somebody that was supposed to be beneath him.  This tells that love transcends all barriers. When we look at the relationship between the Centurion and his servant you should see how God loves you.  God loves me beyond any barriers. And His love should move you to show compassion for those in need.

Transition: Look at what love caused the Centurion to do.

V.3 The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant.

He called for help

I remember the times when I was in trouble and needed somebody help me.  I heard about this man name Jesus.  I heard that he had all power in his hand.  I heard that he made the blind to see and the lame to walk.  I heard that if I just call on him he will show up on my behalf.  Pause

But if the truth be told, the only reason anything of us heard the goodness of Jesus was because of the trouble we was in. Before them I was not trying hear about nobody’s Jesus.  But heartache and pain will not only make hear about Jesus but cause you to do something with what you heard about him.  So, The Centurion did what he thought was best to get Jesus to help him.

The Centurion heard about Jesus and faith came. Rom 10:10. So then faith cometh by hearing,... The Centurion, I believe abandoned all his previous beliefs in order get help for his beloved servant. He sought out the Great physician.  Being a man of power and influence, he sent some intermediaries to Jesus on his behalf asking him to come and to heal his servant.  When you seek God he is sure to respond.  David tells in Ps. 34:4 I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. Pull on your neighbor and tell them if you seek Him, he will help you!

V. 4 When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, V. 5 “ because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” 

He was a man of Character

The Centurion sends the elders out with a message.  They beg Jesus to do this for the Centurion because he deserves it.  What a testimony on character!  A Jew is telling Jesus that his Roman oppressor deserves this request.  Are we living lives that people will speak highly of us? Or is every time your name comes up something negative is associated to it? Your character can get you things your power can’t.  The Jewish elders tell Jesus that he loves our nation meaning he loves the chosen people and he built us a synagogue, place of worship.  This non-believer loves God’s people enough to bless them.  This verse is challenging and convicting for church folk.  This Gentile, a non-believer loved the church people.  Point: It is sad that you will find people outside the church know how to love better than the people inside the church.  Secondly, he built a synagogue for the Jews.  Point: It is also sad that a non-believer knows how to give to institutions that strengthen God’s people when they are many Spirit filled believers who don’t even give.

The elders request is granted and Jesus goes with them to the Centurions house.  Point of emphasis: If you want Jesus to go anywhere with you, just ask. The bible tells us in James 4:3 also tells us “yet ye have not, because ye ask not”.  John 14:14 says “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it”.  Look at your neighbor and tell them to ask.

Transition: Look what happens in the text, the Centurion wants to make sure Jesus gets his request so he uses his influence again.

V. 6 So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. V. 7a That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you.

He confessed who he was and who Christ is

Jesus is now on his way to the Centurion’s house and he encounters others sent by the Centurion.  This time it is not Jewish Elders but somebody more personal. He sends friends with a message of remorse and humility telling Jesus don’t bother to come because I am not worthy for you to come in my house and I am not worthy to come to you myself.  This is how all of us should feel when it comes to Jesus. But I thank God for the blood that allows me to come close to his heart.  The text gives us another character reference of the Centurion. He confesses who is and who Jesus is.  It gives us an excellent example of humility.  He humbled himself to the authority and holiness of Jesus.  There is something that always happens when we humble ourselves to the Lord.  The Bible says is I Peter 5:5-6 that “he giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:” God honors a life of humility!

Let take a pause here:

Twice the Centurion sent intermediaries to seek out Jesus for some help.  But how do you seek Jesus today? You seek Him in prayer.  If we look at this text metaphorically, we see the power of intercessory prayer.  Intercessory prayer is praying on behalf of others.  It is doing what Jesus does for us daily.  The Centurion sent two group of people to Jesus 1) Jewish elders 2) his friends.  Here we see two levels of prayer. The Jews represent the legality of prayer, the do’s and don’t.  He sent them because he could because he was legal authority.  Then he sends friends.  They represent intimacy need in prayer. He had a personal relationship with them. Check the movement. He moves from the ritualistic to a relational aspect in seeking out the Lord.  What I am I saying when you are desperate for help, you have to move from the legality in prayer to intimacy to get God to see about your needs. Amen

When you have a relationship with Jesus you can be confident in his Word!  Look at the Centurions confidence in Jesus Word.

V. 7b But say the word, and my servant will be healed.

He had confidence in Christ

Ps 107:20 says He sent his word, and healed them. Jesus did not have come to his house he just had to say the word and his servant will be healed.  That is how much power the Centurion believed in Jesus’ words.  Words have intent, and a target. Behind every word is the spirit of the one who is sending it.  The power of words is contingent on the source and the recipient of the word.  Pause. Words bring things into existence. For example, In Genesis, God spoke a word and there was light.  Job 22:28 says “Thou shalt also decree(speak) a thing, and it shall be established”.  So when Jesus with all his power and authority speaks, life comes forth.  When he speaks Isaiah says “the word shall not return unto me void… it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it”.  Point: God is saying you that your words have power when you speak his Word.  Things will manifest. I have to believe that when I need some money that “my God shall supply all my needs according to his riches in glory. I have to believe that when I getting attacked that “no weapon from against me shall prosper. Just speak His word!

I can speak a word because authority!  Look at the example of the Centurions authority.

V. 8 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

The centurion in this verse gives us an example of the authority we as believers have in Christ.  The word for authority in the text is exousia which means the right, the capability or ability to perform a certain action.  Authority always has a stronger force backing it up.  For example a policeman’s authority is back up by the law.  The law has more power than the policeman. Amen.  The centurion’s authority is backed up by his boss, the king.  The king has more power than the Centurion.  I got excited when I studied this text.  I am a believer and by the power of the Holy Spirit I have authority, the right, capabilities and abilities to command certain actions.  Why?  Because I have somebody backing me up that is stronger and more powerful than I am.  Like the centurion I also have a king who has my back! Not just any old king but the King of Glory! So when I speak it is really not me speaking it is the King of Kings!  Point: I am here to tell you that you got authority to command things in your life because you have the authority of the King!  But it is connected to your faith in Christ.

 

V. 9 When Jesus heard this, 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.”

Jesus heard the faith of the Centurion and turned and spoke to the crowd that was following him. He said he never heard such a thing in Israel!  In other words, nobody in Israel had the type of faith that the Centurion had.

          What is so great about the Centurion faith? Great faith is to know that no matter what Jesus can fix it! Great faith is seeing the invisible. Great faith believes God with limited information.  Great faith is believing that he is anything you need Him to be and He will reward you because you decided to seek Him!  Great faith is the love language that Jesus responds to. It was by Great faith that Abraham inherited the promise.  It was by Great faith Sarah conceived at old age.  It was by Great faith that the walls of Jericho came down.  It is by Great faith I will have victory!

 

V. 10 And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.

Result: A Cure

Because of his faith, those who the Centurion sent to Jesus went back to the house and found the servant healed.  The Centurion faith pleased Jesus and his servant was healed. Somebody here today, God is saying because of your great faith that situation in your house, that loved will be fixed because your faith!

Celebration:  By Faith

The centurion’s faith made Jesus so excited.  I want to be like the centurion. I want Jesus to honor my faith and meet my needs. Therefore, I have to have great faith!  The Centurion had faith in the power of Jesus’ word to heal his beloved servant.  But me as a believer, I have to have more faith than that.  I have to believe by faith that Jesus does not have to send a word because I believe that he is Omnipresence, He is already there where I need him to be.  Healing is already there! I have to believe by faith that He knows what is best for me and my situation because he is Omniscience, an all knowing God that knows my end from my beginning.  I have to believe by faith that what I need God to do that He is the only one who can do it because he is Omnipotent!  He is all-powerful and everything is going to all right!  This is what my faith says about Jesus!  So when Jesus responds to my I an now obligated to respond back.  My response is my praise.  I will praise in with Great Faith and make him excited and want to bless me!

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