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May 8, 2022 12:01 am
Such is the power of Jesus' divine authority, that by a mere word He raises the dead to life and makes the broken whole. Today, R.C. Sproul continues his series in the gospel of Luke to tell the remarkable story of Christ's healing a centurion's servant.
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Today on Renewing Your Mind.
How is it possible for Jesus to heal somebody simply by word well were talking here about the one who is God incarnate, the one who had the authority over heaven and earth to pursue. Jesus is summoned to the servant of the women Centurion and the miracle took place in as we continue our study of the gospel of Luke Dr. RC Sproul reminds us that we to have the opportunity to serve the God of miracles in these worthy of our faith, trust and praise this morning were going to start on chapter 7 of the gospel according to St. Luke. I'll be reading from verse one through verse 10 nobody concluded all his sayings in the hearing of the people he entered Capernaum and a certain centurion's servant, who was dear to him was sick and ready to die. So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, pleading with them to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus. They begged him earnestly saying that the one for whom he should do. This was deserving, for he loves our nation and has built us a synagogue.
Then Jesus went with them and money was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him saying to him, Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy that you should enter my roof. Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to you but say the word and my servant will be healed for. I also remember man placed under authority, having soldiers under me and I say to one guy when he goes into another comment he comes into my servant, do this, and he does it when Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him and turned around and said to the crowd that followed him, I say to you, I've not found such great faith, not even in Israel and those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick the remarkable incidents during the earthly ministry of Jesus in Luke's record of it comes to us under the inspiration of God, the Holy Spirit, again carrying the full weight of God's authority and his truths.
So I urge you to receive it as such. Let us pray our father and our God again we come to your holy word this morning that we who hear it's are not holy say for that consecration that you have made of us by your spirit, and so we asked that the full power of this word may dwell in us richly in this hour, for we ask it in Jesus name, amen. I really like this follow this centurion who sentences sermons to Christ pleading that Jesus would commonly heal his servant, who was sick to the very point of death. The man was a centurion, a man of some status in the nation of Rome being a commander of 100 or more troops and he was loved by the Jew's as we read here because she had been very generously was obviously a man of wealth that he had spent his money to build a synagogue for the Jewish people there and Capernaum and so the Jews come to Jesus and I say help this man because he is worthy, another couple of things I want us to look at in the time that we have this morning the first thing is the remarkable concern and care that this powerful and wealthy man had for us lay for his servant, who had no social standing in the community. And yet this man was so exercised about the well-being of his slave that he sent the message to Jesus pleading and begging for Jesus to come and to heal his servant back in the days were I ministered in Western Pennsylvania was involved in a an organization that was called the value of the person that ministered in the arena of labor and management relationships and one of the things that we were concerned with in organizations that hired many people was how they were treated by their bosses, how they were treated by management. And you know one of the problems that the management of any organization faces inevitably is the necessity from time to time to terminate employees and that's never a happy occasion. Sometimes employees must be terminated because of immorality or illegal activities.
Sometimes they need to be terminated simply because they are not able to make the responsibilities that they have in a competent manner. Many times terminations come because of economic downturns that they require that the organizations trimming their staff and so people are laid off, not for any fault of their all. But there is one type of termination that is often missed and yet is very important.
One that I learned working closely with people in that arena of labor and management than there was this that in every organization. Inevitably there will be managers who are kind and considerate and bright to their bosses but are rule and uncaring to their subordinates. I'm sure that all of you have been in situations where that goes on and I've tried to urge people in management in various organizations to make sure that if you have managers in those positions that are tyrannized thing their subordinates.
They must be removed when the wolf comes into the sheepfold. It is the duty of the shepherd to protect the sheep. But this was not such an employer.
This man cared deeply about those who were under his command all the way down to the slave that was working for him in his house and to demonstrate and manifest that concern. He sent the message to Jesus by getting for Jesus, help, and we read the story that's Jesus went with these messengers and what he was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him saying to him, Lord, do not trouble yourself or I'm not worthy that you should enter under my roof. This is the second thing I love about this centurion.
Everybody else was telling Jesus.
You've got to go and help this man got to heal his servant. Because here's a man who deserves your help.
Here's a man who is eminently worthy. He's been trying to watch the Jew's. In fact he's even built for us a synagogue and we don't expect that from Roman centurion. So Jesus power busy, you may be. Whatever else is on your agenda. You gotta make an exception and come and help this man, but the man sends a completely different message.
As much as he wants Jesus helpfully says to him through the messengers. You don't have to come to my house. I'm not worthy that you would come under my roof.
Maybe these excited Jewish friends of mine have exaggerated my worth to you, but I'm not asking you to come to me because I did servant.
I'm not asking to come to me because I'm worthy this man understood grace they understood it in a way that very few people in Israel understood they understood grace in a manner that very few people understand it, even in the church today and listen what he says is you can come just say the word. That's remarkable. So I'm left with this question this morning as we read at the end of the story that the servant was healed and obviously all Jesus had to do to heal him was to say the word are two things I want to consider about that. How is it possible for Jesus to heal somebody simply by word well were talking here about the one who is God incarnate, the one who had the authority over heaven and earth and the centurion recognize that he says I understand authority, manners under authority. I'm a man who has authority over others like they go they go, they come to this and they do it and I understand Christ that you have authority you have authority over life you have authority over desks. You don't have to be here just say the word and you see the difference between bad attitudes and the attitude of Mary and Martha when their brother died, Lazarus and when Jesus came four days too late to keep him from dying and they were distress and they said, Lord, had you been here, our brother would not have die they didn't understand Jesus didn't have to be there to save Lazarus. He could have done it from a distance and when he did come how that he raised Lazarus from the dead, he stands before the tomb and he opens his mouth and utters a command saying Lazarus come out of their and the one who would been dead for four days began to breeze. His heart began to beat brain waves rushing through his head and he emerged from his room alive and well, by the power of the word of Christ may have told the story before but when I was in college try started out as a history major and then changed to a Bible major in my sophomore year I was required to take a social science, and I elected to take a course in philosophy, which I soon regretted immensely. The professor was dry dust that he lectured the first day on David Hume. I didn't know what world he was talking about and then on Immanuel Kant and all these philosophers and I was so bored that I sat in the back row of the classroom with my notebook open, concealing the printed sermons of Billy Graham that I was reading instead of listening to these dry lectures in philosophy and then shortly into the term.
The professor gave a lecture on St. Augustine and on Augustine's concept of the creation of the universe and I started to listen put down my notebook.
I heard him tell how Augustine said that the Lord God Almighty created the whole universe ask me hello out of nothing. Just say and form some preexistent matter, but out of nothing. He creates the entire universe and how does he do it. The professor says, but through what he called the divine fiat fiat, but that was a little Italian car.
Instead, it was the imperative form of the verb to be. He said God called the universe into being by the power of his voice giving a divine imperative saying, let there be light and the lights came on and I can believe it. It was like I had a second conversion. Conversion to God the father through his transcendent majesty and power. I left the classroom that day. I went downstairs. The registrar's office would change my major to philosophy with some people profoundly regret, but I don't because my eyes were opened to the power of God who could create the whole world by the sound of his voice. That's all it took for Jesus who was God incarnate to heal this centurion's servant. He didn't have to be there just had to say the word and by his word, the man was now, when we look at Christ and the mystery of the incarnation we see the perfect union of the divine and the human and in the mystery of the incarnation we understand that when God took upon himself like human nature, and united himself with the human Jesus, that the divine nature didn't stop being divine, nor did the human nature stop being human. There was not a comp closet being there was a deified humanity you are human eyes deity. Two distinct natures divine and human and you notice that when they want the Jesus they said please come here and throughout the New Testament we see Jesus moving from place to place. We read here at the very beginning of the text that after he finished his sermon on the Mount.
He went to Capernaum course, the Bible here is discussing Jesus in his human nature because of divine nature was already in Capernaum when Jesus went from Capernaum to Jerusalem, the human nature had to make the trip they had to travel the distance between those two points. But when Jesus touching his humanity was leaving Capernaum on the way to Jerusalem by nature was already there. How do we know that because in the incarnation, all of the divine being retained its divine attributes, one of which was on the presence or what we call the attribute of ubiquity not iniquity but ubiquity and that word comes from the Latin movie which means where and Pequot, which means equal and so equal awareness, where is God, he's there, he's there, he's there equally here. He's equally that he's equally over there again when we understand the incarnation.
When the divine nature united with the human nature, the divine nature was not can paying with in the human nature. Again we have a grand theological principle you've all heard it before and you'll never forget it again for me to an on-call box infinity to the finite cannot contain the infinite. Some of you think this is Diet Coke it's really single malt scotch. I just lied, but this glass has a finite volume and I can fill it to the top, but if I keep filling yet the keep pouring the access is just going to go over the side and on the floor in spoil everything around it, God indwelt the human nature of Jesus Christ.
It wasn't that he poured his divine nature into this human and that now the divine nature was contained within the human dimensions of Jesus. No, the divine nature was still on the present human nature wasn't that human nature go to be at one place at the same time can be in Capernaum Jerusalem at the same time, but touching the divine nature. He could be everywhere. That's why we say in our confessions and then our creeds touching his human nature. Jesus is no longer with us as he told his disciples he was going away and they would come again touching his human nature. He's in heaven at the right hand of God and yet touching his divine nature is never absent from us and were averred the divine nature is he the person's and those of human nature be here human nature is united with the divine nature that can be here here and here and why is that important because he's here not is human nature. But we communicate with the human nature, even when the human nature isn't here. Why human nature is in heaven. The human nature is still united to the divine nature and when Christ is present here with us. He is really and truly present in his personhood, and when I come you with them. I don't just commune with the divine nature. I commune with the whole Christ and essentially lifts our souls to heaven, but because his body is in Pittsburgh, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, at the same time though this person is really and truly in this one who healed the centurion's servant by his word feels us through the part of his word. The part of his word and through his sacraments, and today the sacrament of the Lord's supper is ours to commune with who is here to meet us and you through the power of God's word, the miracle of salvation takes place in our lives. New life is breathed into our dead souls and we are reconciled to God. I hope our study from Luke's gospel today is reminded you of God's sovereign care of his people. Thanks for listening to Renewing Your Mind on the Sunday Dr. RC Sproul is taking us.
Verse by verse through Luke each weekend, as we've just begun. Chapter 7 today. You know that that we still have quite a way to go, which is a good thing because our resource offer today will be a great help to you as we continue our study when you contact us with a donation of any amount we will provide you with a digital download of RC's commentary on Luke's gospel. Our offices are closed on this Lord's day, but you can give your gift and make a request and Renewing Your Mind God work.
We hear about Jesus healing the sick, it can cause us to wonder if those kinds of miracles still happen today or it might raise a question about God's goodness were sovereignty questions like these. Let me encourage you to take advantage of our online chat service. Ask Ligon here. You can interact in real time with one of our well-trained team members and receive answers to your biblical and theological questions are standing by ready to provide trustworthy answers 24 hours a day, Monday through Saturday.
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Simply go to ask.millionaire.org and click on the green chat icon at the bottom right-hand corner of your screen in Old Testament Israel women relied on their husbands for all their needs food, clothing, housing, next week will learn about a woman whose husband had died in her only son died as well. She was in desperate need. And Jesus met her need far more abundantly than she could've imagined. I hope you will join us for that encounter with our Savior next week here on Renewing Your Mind