Bible In One Year-Day 36 (Wednesday, February 05, 2014)
Commentary: Luke 7-9. The centurion sent respected elders of the Jews to Jesus because he felt inferior to come in contact with Jesus; what a humble heart. He did this probably because of his nefarious political life or for his attitude towards religious meetings. He scanned himself and realized his unworthiness when compared with the righteousness of Jesus. But he believed in Jesus and in His miracles. When you look at the trends of criticism in Jesus’ time, you will realized that those who doubted Jesus’ ministry and works were the learned in the scripture; unfortunately, they lacked the understanding of it. But those who were not versed in it had their faith built through the miracles of Jesus, i.e. the power of God. A faith can be in the wisdom of man which is the works of the flesh, but that which is built on the power of God honors Jesus the most and Jesus also honors such faith just as He did for the centurion’s faith. Do you believe the power in His word can settle you? On the other hand, the elders begged Jesus earnestly on behalf of the centurion and not on behalf of the servant just because of his patriotism and the love he has for the nation or the Jews. His attitude and patriotic works showed that he feared God. This is a message for us. What is your contribution to your nation? Are you killing the nation through little foxes? The book of Luke gave detailed account of what happened but Matthew shortened it. Just as the centurion showed that he owed a lot to God, the woman with the alabaster flask showed that she owed a lot to God too. Unlike the Pharisee who put himself in a place to judge who a sinner is or is not.
Luke 7:39 “Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spoke within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.”
The Pharisee is a sinner just as the woman is a sinner but the Pharisee did not realize his position before God and never knew he owed a lot to Jesus. His friends even judged Jesus for saying a sin is forgiven. Religion is dangerous and pride kills. Religion does not take us anywhere but deprives us of the benefits in Jesus Christ. The food the Pharisee brought for Jesus to eat was to justify himself and bribe his conscience; we could see that his friends were those he thought were righteous, so the sitting was supposed to be for the ‘righteous’. A lot of Christian meetings are so religious that Jesus Himself is not having a seat to Himself. They judge the appearance of those who come in and tag such as sinners not worthy to be in their midst. Jesus came for the sinners and if these sinners are not allowed into where they would hear the word of life that would change them, the gathering has become the seat of the Pharisees and so Jesus is shut off also. The Pharisee showed his own side of fellowshipping with Jesus and the woman also showed hers, but Jesus marked the woman’s appreciation. Where the Pharisees are seated, you could see those who conform but not transformed. The analysis of this is in the parable of the Sower (Lk8). The centurion and the alabaster woman are examples of a good ground as narrated in Lk8:15 (noble and good heart with patience). God does the final marking. 1 Corinthians 4:5 “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.”
The flesh can do ‘good’ just as it could be wicked; however, both the good and evil done in the flesh, none is accepted before God, Rom8:8.
Romans 8:8 “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”
Your natural gift is different from your spiritual gift. The natural gift is good but it is carried out in the flesh. The spiritual gift on the other hand is equally good but activated by the Holy Spirit and also under His control. One is man’s inborn nature while the other is God’s grant on receiving Jesus as the Lord and Savior by the Holy Spirit. We can’t please God with our natural gift. The action of the woman touched the heart of Jesus. The motive behind your service to God and your giving is what God marks. Jesus’ families are those who hear and do the word of God (not those who are over familiar with Him). They are known by their faith in the word of God. Through faith you could draw tremendous power from Jesus’ word to solve your problems. Jesus Christ is alive forever more, AMEN!!! Prayer: Lord Jesus, help my faith. Next mile on the trip is Lk10-12. Spread the gospel of Jesus!!!