Summer 2014, #1
Grow Deep And Reach High
The Real Question To Ask
You might wonder if God plays favorites with people on earth. Does He favor the nation of Israel more? What about the U.S. since our constitution has some foundations in the Bible? But we’re asking the wrong questions. The real question is – Who did Jesus really die for? Jesus gives us a clue just after the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 8:1-13. Click here to read the passage.
You will notice two stories here. First, in verses 1-4 Jesus cleanses and heals the leper who came to Him, knelt at his feet and asked to be made clean. Jesus did the unthinkable according to the Jewish law – He stretched out his hand, touched him and healed him.
Leprosy left its victims in a state of being castaways, helpless, hopeless, and in complete despair. The leper had no options. But this leper had one option. That was an encounter with the Messiah who could cure all diseases and illnesses (vs. 17). When Jesus touched the leper, He brought healing and wholeness. This is what Jesus did for us on the cross. He took our sin upon Himself and brought redemption to the world.
In the second event, a centurion, a commanding Roman officer with 100 soldiers under his command, approached Jesus. This officer was also a Gentile. The Jews, because of their terrible treatment, despised roman soldiers. At the centurion’s request to heal his servant who was paralyzed and suffering greatly, Jesus said “I will come and heal him.” As an amazing act of faith, that Jesus marveled at, the centurion said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed.”
Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” The servant was healed at that very moment. Jesus sent the message early in His ministry that healing and forgiveness is for all men – Jews and Gentiles. In verse 12 Jesus said that even some of the Jews would not enter heaven if they do not place their faith in Him.
Who did Jesus die for? All mankind. Whoever would call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. Did you notice the common theme and actions between the leper and the Roman centurion? They came to Jesus in total humility, acknowledged their need, and asked Jesus for help. Who do you know today that seems far from God and the situation seems hopeless? What might God do if they truly came to Him like the leper and the centurion? That is the real question to ask.
Talk to you next week,
Ben with Cru