He Is Not Safe, But He Is Good

Luke 7:1 After he had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2 Now a centurion had a servant [1] who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him. 3 When the centurion [2] heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4 And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, 5 for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.” 6 And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. 7 Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. 8 For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 9 When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” 10 And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well.

As I read this passage, this morning, I was once again reminded of Kevin DeYoung’s message at Next. The incredible power of God is once again on display. Christ’s astonishing display of compassion and mercy is once again clearly shown. How can the two mix? Jesus power over His creation and His compassion over His creatures. What an amazing God! I’m having difficulty putting into words the awe that this passage puts in my heart. God is so awesome! A couple of things stood out to me…

1. The humility of the centurion. He doesn’t come himself. He sends men that will have more influence than he, a lowly centurion. He doesn’t come to meet Jesus. He doesn’t want Jesus to come into his home. He is a Roman. He is in command of 100 men. He is probably wealthy and influential (he built the local synagogue). Because of the Roman occupation, he could have commanded Jesus to heal his servant. Yet, he asks.

2. The faith of the centurion. He is aware that Jesus is very powerful. He is aware that anything Jesus commands will happen. There is no need for Jesus to see or touch the servant. One word would heal him. The centurion knew that Jesus was in command of all. The ESV Study Bible comments on this: “The centurion responds, in effect, ‘I too do things because of the authority given me, so how much more can You!’

3. The power and kindness of God. It always boggles my mind. God is so powerful. He is in command and control of everything. He doesn’t have to care. He doesn’t have to show love, mercy, and compassion. Yet, He chooses to pour out His love onto His unlovely creatures. (Which proves that He is completely OTHER than me.) Jesus commanded the servant to be healed from a distance. This blows me away. It shows just how in control of health and the universe Jesus is. No sight or touch is found in this passage. The Creator healed the creature. End of story. Nothing human or physical is needed. This fills me with awe. When you begin contemplating the power of God, you get a little scared. He’s not the safe, loving God we as Americans have created. This reminds me of Narnia:

“Aslan a man!” said Mr. Beaver sternly.  “Certainly not.  I tell you he is the King of the wood and the son of the great Emperor-beyond-the-Sea.  Don’t you know who is the King of Beasts?  Aslan is a lion – the Lion, the great Lion.”

“Ooh!” said Susan, “I’d thought he was a man. Is he – quite safe?  I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion.”

“That you will, dearie, and no mistake,” said Mrs. Beaver; “if there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.”

“Then he isn’t safe?” said Lucy.

“Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you?  Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe.  But he’s good.  He’s the King I tell you.”

- C.S. Lewis, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

God isn’t safe, but He (the King over all) is so good! Not only is He my Creator, Lord,  and King; but He is my Savior and Father. What a privilege, what an honor. I have an ongoing, personal relationship with the Creator, with my Lord and King, with the Savior of my soul, and with my Father. All power combined with unending mercy. Why do I ever doubt?


Rescued from the Deep said...

Thank you for this!!!

YellerDaisies said...

Glad you were encouraged!