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About-Him.Com Devotional 06-28-03

The life of Christ, from His baptism to His ascension, following the Harmony of the Gospels.

81: In Capernaum - Mt. 8:1-5; Lu. 7:1

  When Jesus finished the Sermon on the Mount, He returned to Capernaum and great multitudes followed Him.  While some followed Him for the loaves and fishes, I believe that many were captivated with the words that proceeded from His mouth. He spoke as one having authority and not as the scribes (Matthew 7:29). Jesus, the living Word made flesh, spoke as the author of the written word.  It is the Word which quickens us to faith, which brings repentance and the resulting new birth.  

Doctrine is important, but it does not save by itself. Likewise, good works, church attendance, adherence to standards, giving, and anything else we may use to try and gain God's favor, cannot compare to the quickening power of the Word.  

We, like the crowds that followed Him to Capernaum, hunger for every word that He speaks (Luke 4:4).  

82: The Centurion's Servant Healed - Mt. 8:5-13; Lu. 7:2-10  

Matthew 8:5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
6  And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
7  And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.

As Jesus reentered Capernaum, He was sought out by a Roman centurion whose slave was tormented by palsy. Luke tells us that  he first sent a delegation of Jewish elders  who felt that he was a worthy gentile because he had built their synagogue. It is interesting that archaeologists have unearthed an early synagogue at Capernaum which may very well be the one mentioned in this text.  

Luke tells us that as Jesus neared the house the centurion sent a delegation to express his feeling of unworthiness. The Matthew account has the centurion expressing these feeling to Jesus directly.  Perhaps, after first sending friends, he came to Jesus himself and asked Him to simply speak the word and his servant would be healed.  

Jesus marveled at the faith of this gentile and stated that it was superior to any that he had found in Israel. He told him that his servant would be healed, just as he had believed.  

In verses 10-13 Jesus rebukes the Jewish nation because of their arrogance.  

Matthew 8:10  When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
11  And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
12  But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
13  And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.

They believed that when the kingdom of God arrived that their would be a great supper hosted by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and that every Jew was guaranteed a seat at the table. No Jew could go to hell because father Abraham sat at the gates of Gehenna to retrieve any  who had been  assigned there by error.  

Contrasting with this, Jesus taught that entrance into the kingdom was on the basis of faith alone. This believing gentile who was considered unclean would set down with father Abraham while the unbelieving heirs of the kingdom would be cast into hell.  

Some denominations revel in their perceived superior revelations of God's word  and consign those with whom they differ to hell. We should study the above text very carefully. What a pity to have a greater revelation of God's word and miss heaven.  We, while weeping and gnashing our teeth,  would behold those whom we considered unclean enjoying the marriage supper of the Lamb.  


  Next Week:  At Nain

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A six-year-old ran up and down the supermarket aisles shouting frantically, "Marian, Marian!"

  Finally reunited with his mother, he was chided by her, "You shouldn't call me 'Marian.' I'm your mother, you know."  

  "I know," said the child, "but the store is full of mothers. "  

Boast not thyself of tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth - King Solomon

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Don & Marie Spooner
About Him! Ministries
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