Bible Reading: Luke 7:1-30
The miracles that Jesus performed served two purposes. One, they met human needs. God truly does love us and desires to help us. But, there is a second, and even more important purpose. The miracles of Jesus identified Who He was and Who He represented. Jesus did things that no one else could do…because He had authority that on one else had. The miracles were the sign that His authority came directly from God. It is this authority that we base our faith on. The miracles that Jesus performed are God’s sign to us that He sent Him to us.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
Read the following stories and then tell me what each of these following people have in common: the men with the badges, the man driving the car with the blue lights, the man with the stars…
- Several years ago, we were diving for lobster in the Florida Keys. That afternoon we were cleaning up the boat at the Marina. There were several other boats that had just come in and were being unloaded. Two men walked up wearing shorts, shirts, and sandals (the dress code for the Keys). They started talking to a man who was unloading one of the boats. “Did you have any luck? Get any lobster?” “Oh, yeah, we had a great day. We limited out.” When he said that, both men reached into the collars of their shirts, pulled out badges and said, “Great, let’s just check them to make sure they’re all of legal size.”
- I’m driving down the highway (under the speed limit, of course) when a grey car passes me at a high rate of speed. The car gets about a quarter of a mile ahead of me and pulls in behind another car. Suddenly, some blue lights that are mounted on top of the grey car start flashing. The car in front of the grey car pulls over to the side of the road with the grey car with the flashing blue lights right behind it.
- A friend of mine is a Captain in the Air Force. On day we were at the Base talking when another soldier with three Stars on his shoulder walked up. The man with the Stars told my friend to do something. My friend saluted the man with the Stars and said, “Yes, Sir. I’ll take care of it immediately, Sir.” Then he looked at me and said, “Gotta’ go.”
What did those people have in common? They were all people in positions of authority. The two guys in the Keys were Officers from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The guy in the grey car was a Florida Highway Patrolman. And, the man with the three Stars was a Lieutenant General in the Air Force. Why did they have authority? What made them different from any other person? The organization that they represented. When they showed their badges, flashed their lights, or wore their stars…it was a sign that they were the official agents of the organization that they represented. It was the sign that they had the authority of the organization that they represented.
During Jesus’ life, the nation of Israel was under the rule of the Roman government. It was common to see Roman soldiers wherever you went. Those soldiers represented the Roman government and its authority. Just like our military, the Roman military had different ranks. One of them was the rank of Centurion. A Centurion was an officer in the army who was over 100 soldiers. You could identify that a soldier was a Centurion because he wore a special helmet, had an ornate harness on his breastplate, and carried a wooden staff in his hand. Those things were the sign that the soldier was a Centurion and was an official representative of the Roman government and had the authority of the Roman government behind him.
One day, a Centurion who lived in Capernaum, sent a messenger to Jesus to tell Him that his slave was so sick that he was about to die and to ask Jesus to heal him. Jesus immediately started toward the Centurion’s home. But, before He got there, another messenger showed up. The Centurion had sent him to tell Jesus that it was not necessary for Him to come all the way to his home to heal his slave. He believed that Jesus had the authority to heal the slave from right where He was. Jesus was amazed at the Centurion’s faith. When the second messenger got back to the Centurion’s home…the slave had already been healed.
What was it about the Centurion’s faith that amazed Jesus? It was his understanding of authority. The Centurion commanded his slave to tell Jesus that because he had authority over his soldier’s and slaves…they did what he told them to do. And he believed that it was the same way with Jesus. Jesus had authority over sickness and could heal people…and it didn’t matter where He was when He did it. The Centurion knew where his authority came from. It came from the Roman government. And, the Centurion knew where Jesus’ authority came from. It came from God, His Father. Jesus was living in Capernaum with Peter and his family. It could be that the Centurion had seen Jesus heal people before…or, people had told him about it. Because he was a man under authority…he knew it when he saw it. And he saw the authority of God in Jesus. Every time that Jesus performed a miracle it was a sign of God’s authority in Him. So, the Centurion believed that since Jesus had performed a miracle through God’s authority one time…He could perform a miracle through God’s authority another time. It was just that simple.
That is what faith is. It is trusting in the authority of Jesus. And the miracles that Jesus performed were the sign of His authority. The men in the Keys, the man in the grey car, and the soldier all had signs of their authority. We knew the organization that they represented by their signs…their badges, their blue lights, and their silver stars. We recognize the authority of Jesus by the miracles that He performed. They were the sign that He had the authority of God. It’s just that simple.
You can trust in Jesus because He performed miracles that are a sign, proof, evidence…that He came from God. The Centurion believed in Jesus because of these signs of His authority. Now, you can too.
Love you more than bunches and bunches,