Sunday School Material 4-3-16: Amazing Faith

(Luke 7:1-10; 4/3/16)

Introduction: A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that Jesus heals a man’s servant long distance. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to trust God to do what is best for His people.

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Read Luke 7:1-8

I. Faith That Asks. Jesus had finishing talking with a crowd of people around Him in our Sunday School material. A request came to Him to heal a centurion’s servant.

The centurion had a reputation for being kind to the Jewish religious customs. The centurion sent word for Jesus to just speak the word of healing for his servant.

Applications –

- Teaching, learning, and obeying. Notice in vs. 1 that Jesus was teaching those who were listening. First, the church of Jesus Christ should be known for teaching people how to live by God’s word.

Second, disciples of Christ should be known for being in the teaching sessions with a mind to learn and obey God’s will. Let’s work on being a church known for teaching, learning, and obeying God’s will.

- Sickness. Notice in vs. 2 of our Sunday School material that the servant was sick. First, we should strive to be wise stewards of our health. This includes having a mindset to eat a healthy diet and exercise.

Second, no matter how we try, these bodies are subject to get sick. When they do get sick, we would do well to seek treatment, instead of simply suffering unnecessarily. Third, no matter how well the treatment works this time, at some point, death will catch up with us.

We should make sure that we have our death affairs in order and most importantly that we are right with God through our faith in Jesus Christ. Let’s do what we can to stay healthy and make sure we have our business fixed for when death comes our way.

- Letting our request be known. Notice in vs. 6 that Jesus was approached because there was the possibility that He would have grace. Jesus’ primary mission was to the Jews.  However, He was known to show grace on even the Gentiles.

Because of this, we should always try prayer, because we don’t know what God will do because of His grace. It is better to ask the Lord and He say “no” than for us to refrain from asking Him, when He may have said “yes.”

Let’s learn to ask God for what is on our hearts and trust Him to do what is best for His people.

- Kind, humble, and faith-filled. Notice in vss. 4, 6-7 that the centurion was known for his kindness to the Jews, humility, and faith. First, how deserving or worthy the centurion was of receiving a miracle is questionable.

But we should give him credit for being kind to the people of God. We should also be known for our kind deeds.

Second, as much as the centurion had going for him, from a human perspective, he was humble before God. In like manner, we should approach the Lord and His representatives with humility. Even when we out rank one another, we are still lowly in comparison to God.

Third, the centurion had great faith. In like manner, we should prayerfully study God’s word with a mind to obey and with the support of disciples, so we can be people of faith also. Let’s work on being kind, humble, and people of faith.

- Being faithful. Notice in vs. 8 of our Sunday School material that the centurion was under authority and in authority. First, perhaps it was his being under authority that equipped him to be in authority. Those who cannot follow normally make terrible leaders.

Second, the centurion had men under him who went when sent and came when called. It is so sad to see how few Christian soldiers there are in the church who match this description.

There are too many who are unsendable and consequently, our churches are so limited in their impact. Let’s work on being faithful in whatever position God has placed us (i.e., leader or follower), especially in light of the spiritual warfare that we find ourselves in.

Read Luke 7:9-10

II. Faith That Receives. In our Sunday School material Jesus comments to the crowd about the centurion’s great faith. In fact, such faith was not seen even in Israel. The servant was healed, by the time the messengers got back to him.

Applications –

- Trusting God’s ability. Notice in vss. 9-10 that the centurion’s faith was commended and his servant was healed. First, we should work on our faith, as noted above.

Second, it is at least interesting to an African American mindset that Jesus appears to heal the servant without impacting his status as a servant.

In like manner, God can work in our lives in “phases.” For example, He can heal your body, while you are still in a bad marriage. He can heal your bad marriage, while you are still unemployed. And the list could go on.

Third, just as God healed long distance in the text, God is able to do the same and more today. Trusting God is more important than having people to actually come to your bed side with prayer. Let’s work on trusting God, even when He blesses us in phases and long distance.

Conclusion: Let’s work on trusting the Lord to do what is best for His people. God has much for those who obey His will.

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