Resurgence Leadership #007: Matt Chandler & Crawford Loritts Q&A with Pastor Mark Driscoll
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by Mark Driscoll
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Healed by His Word
"Now a centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him. When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant." - Luke 7:2-3
The centurion, who had cared for the religious welfare of the people and built them a synagogue, also had a heart of compassion for the sick. It is well when public generosity is sustained by domestic kindness. This servant was his boy and perhaps his slave, but he was dear to him. A good master makes a good servant.
It is well when all ranks are united in sympathy—captain and page are here united in affection. The master showed his affection by seeking help. Heart and hand should go together. Let us not love in word only.
Signs and wonders are temporary, but both faith and the Word of the Lord are matters for all time.
Reflect Jesus when You Help Others
Followers of Jesus should be ready to help anyone who is sick and healing should be still associated with prayer to Jesus. Notice the increasing manifest faith of the centurion and the growing manifestation of Jesus.
- The centurion sends elders with the request to "come and heal"
- Jesus then goes to heal
- The centurion then comes asking for just "a word"
- Jesus gives the word, and the boy is healed (Luke 7:4-10)
We see in this passage a miracle in the physical world and are therefore taught what our Lord Jesus can do in the spiritual world. Let us imitate the centurion in seeking Jesus about others. We can learn a few things from the narrative:
Jesus Was Perfectly Ready
- He did not debate with the elders of the Jews, and show the weakness of their plea: "He was worthy" (Luke 7: 4-5).
- He cheerfully granted their request, although it was needless for him to come. "Then Jesus went with them" (Luke 7:6).
- He did not raise a question about the change which the centurion proposed, although he was already on the road (Luke 7:6).
- He did not suspect the good man's motive, as some might have done. He read his heart and saw his true humility.
- He did not object to the comparison of himself to a petty officer. Our Lord is never captious; but takes our meaning.
- He promptly accepted the prayer and the faith of the centurion and gave the blessing as desired.
Our Lord's love to sinners, his forgetfulness of self, his willingness to please us, and his eagerness to fulfill his own mission should encourage us in prayer to him for ourselves and others.
Heart and hand should go together. Let us not love in word only.
- He is not puzzled with the case. It was unusual for the servant to be at once paralyzed and tormented, but whatever the disease may be, the Lord says "I will come and heal him."
- He is not put in doubt by the extreme danger of the servant. No, he will come to him, though he hears that he is stricken down and utterly prostrate.
- He speaks of healing as the logical outcome. His coming will ensure the cure: "come and heal."
- He treats the method of procedure as of no consequence. If he comes or not, he will "say in a word" and the result will be the same.
- He wonders more at the centurion's faith than at the cure.
Omnipotent grace moves with majestic ease. We are worried and fretted, but the Lord is not. Let us therefore be encouraged to hope.
By His Word
He is accustomed to heal by his "Word through faith." Signs and wonders are temporary, but both faith and the Word of the Lord are matters for all time. Jesus did not put in a personal appearance, but spoke, and it was done. He can do this in our own day.
- This is coming back to the original form of God speaking creation into existence. It is apparently a greater miracle than working by visible presence; at any rate, the means are less seen.
- This method suits true humility. We do not demand signs and wonders; the Word is enough for us (Luke 7:7).
- This pleases great faith for the Word is faith's chosen manifestation of God. It rejoices more in the Word than in all things visible (Psalm 119:162).
- This is perfectly reasonable. Should not a word of command from God be enough? Notice the centurion's reasoning (Luke 7:8).
- This is sure to succeed. Who can resist the divine command? In our own case, all we need is a word from the Lord.
Therefore, let us go forward in his name, relying upon his Word!
There needs no footing to remove mountains, or devils, but a word. Do but say the word, O Savior, my sin shall be remitted, my soul shall be healed, my body shall be raised from dust, and both soul and body shall be glorified. - Bishop Hatt.
Marvels dazzle, but the Word Enlightens
Our Lord can cure either by coming or by speaking. Let us not dictate to him the way in which he shall bless us. If we were permitted a choice, we should not select that method which makes the most show, but the one in which there is least to be seen and heard, yet most to be admired. Comparatively, signs and wonders show less of him than his bare Word, which he has magnified above all his name. Marvels dazzle, but the Word enlightens. Faith which sees least sees most, and that which has no eyes at all for the visible has a thousand eyes for the invisible. Lord, come in thy glory and bless me if that's your will, but if you stay where you are and bless me only through your will and Word, I will be as well content, and even more so if this method the more honors you! - C.H. Spurgeon
For more on this passage, watch Pastor Mark's sermon on the text