What does a great faith look like? Maybe you’re thinking of people who have been tortured in a war or someone who has lost everything. All of those are reasons to doubt faith. Those aren’t reasons to give up on God, of course. I think most of us have been touched by sorry in this veil of tears, but I bet we can all see someone who has had it worse. God doesn’t make life a contest for his saints to see who has suffered the most to determine who has the greatest faith.
The example from Luke 7 is a great one because the person that Jesus holds us doesn’t check many of the boxes we might expect when it comes to a great faith. He was an Old Testament Christian, but he wasn’t one of God’s ethnic people. Jesus was not his birth rite. He wasn’t raised a Christian – we can’t say for certain, but the fact that he was a centurion probably meant that he was a Roman and then most likely a pagan. What is more puzzling to the people in our text is that he doesn’t do anything. There is no great suffering or action. No mountain is climbed. All he offered God is a confession. What is more he doesn’t even come to Jesus in person! In his humility he sends others to Jesus with his confession.
The text is a little underwhelming, frankly, compared to other chunks of Scripture what involve heroes of faith. There is a miracle, but it’s not dramatic at all. If it sounds like I’m downplaying this “great” faith, I’m not. What I’m doing to trying to knock down stereotypes, preconceived notions about what a great faith is and what a great faith does.
Anytime we look at the best of anything – whether it be Jesus flexing his almighty power or living a perfect life for us, we need to stop and remember that we are not perfect. God is well aware of our failings. He forgives, in Jesus, for those sins. And he gives us faith. Is it great?! Faith in Jesus as your Savior is great enough to wash your sins away and bring you safely to heaven’s room.
Want to hear more? Watch this Sunday’s message taken from Luke 7.
Speaker(s): Fred Guldberg