Jesus closes His Sermon and Heals Many – Matt 7-8

Verse 1 of chapter 7 is one of the few verses that many people who know little else about the Bible are familiar with; and it is wrongly used both as self-justification and to rebuke criticism of wrong-doing. The verse denounces compassion-less condemnation and hypocritical judgment of others – not any judgment at all. In fact, verse 6 requires judgment on our part, and if we could not judge at all, how could we ever determine what was right or wrong? The problem also comes into play when people want to put us on the spot, asking if we believe one person or even a group of people will go to heaven. Thank the Lord that such judgment is not our responsibility! It sometimes takes tremendous courage to speak up to someone who is doing wrong. You run the risk of hurting their feelings or more likely, making them angry – and even alienating yourself from people you care about. But if you believe that someone is living in a way in which they risk losing their soul and you say nothing, is that not terribly wrong of you?

In chapter 8, Jesus heals many, calms a storm, and cast out demons. The event with the Centurion is certainly remarkable. Here was a Roman officer, whose servant was sick came to Jesus with the hope of having that servant healed. But he demonstrated his faith by his belief that Jesus could do so without even physically going where his servant was at the time. Jesus said he had not found such faith in anyone in Israel.

/Bob’s boy

Bible Reading Schedule for this month
Click links below to read or listen to audio of one of this week’s chapters in Colossians and Luke

Matt 6, Matt 7, Matt 8, Matt 9, Matt 10

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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

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All of my comments in this blog are solely my responsibility. When reading any commentary, you should always refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word.

 

 

 

 

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Such Faith – (Luke 7)

After He finished the “Sermon on the Plain,” Jesus went back into Capernaum and was met by Jewish elders. They had been asked to come by a Roman Centurion. Originally, a Centurion commanded 80 men, but some estimates are that their command – a centuria or “century,” could contain up to 1000 soldiers. That number would likely be closer to the makeup of a “cohort,” which would be under the command of a senior Centurion. The average Roman soldier during this time earned about 225 denarii per year.  But the cost of the soldier’s food and his arms were both deducted from his pay!

English: Centurion (Roman army) historical ree...

English: Centurion (Roman army) historical reenactment Boulogne sur mer (France). Français : Centurion (armée Romaine) Reconstitution historique à Boulogne sur Mer en France. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On the other hand, estimates are that the most junior of Centurions was paid about 3,700 denarii per year, while a senior Centurion could earn as much as 15,000! This wide disparity meant that these officers would be considered quite wealthy by most Jews, among whom the Centurions lived. The reason for the Centurion sending the Jewish elders to Jesus was because he had heard of Jesus’ healings, and he had a “highly valued” servant that was dying from some illness. The elders pleaded with Jesus to help this Gentile soldier in this matter because he had built their synagogue, confirming that this Centurion was indeed wealthy.

But as Jesus and the elders approached their destination, they were met by people with a message from the Centurion, saying both that he was not worthy and that it was not necessary for Jesus to actually come to his home. Instead, he expressed his belief that Jesus could heal his servant just by saying that it was so – without even seeing his servant. And of course, he was right about that. Jesus’ statement that “even in Israel” he had not seen such faith serves as one more example that indicates the intentions the Lord had of including the Gentiles in His plan of salvation.

(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here

/Bob’s boy
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  

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