Dear Child of the King of Glory,
Whatever your situation in life is or may have been, I want you to know that when you hurt, I care! You see, I don't notice the faith just of the religious insiders, but also the faith of the religious outsiders. I don't recognize the pain just of the powerful and influential, but also of the forgotten who feel abandoned and alone in life.
When you see the Centurion's faith (in the events you will read about below), you have to join Me in admiration for his faith. Few have expressed it so well! He was humble. He didn't need Me to come to his house to know that the miracle he desperately wanted would happen. He understood authority because he was in a position of authority in the Roman military, and he knew that I had ultimate authority. As you read My story in the gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — you will notice how rare this kind of faith truly is!
Then you see the next story that the good doctor Luke shares from My ministry: a woman who is left all alone when her son dies. Widows without family were in a very desperate situation in this time. As God in human flesh, I wanted to show the promise of the Old Testament is true:
The True God Who inhabits sacred space
is a father to the fatherless, a defender of widows.
He makes a home for those who are alone.
I also want you to know that I AM touched with compassion at the heartbreak of widows and of parents who lose a child to death.
What a joy it was when I "presented"
the woman's formerly dead son back to her alive again! Jubilation and praise came from the crowd, but I assure you, the same thing was going on among the angels of heaven. There will be even more joy when I bring the full reunion with My return in glory!
The point of all this, My dear follower, is simple: I bring grace for everyone seeking the help of God — for people who are opposite in every way, and for all those who are in between. When I AM present, God is present caring for His people: all people, of all races, of all genders, of all social classes, of all political affiliations, and of all financial positions. I care about your worry, grief, and loss. That's why I came to defeat death and bring immortality and life to light!
In the following stories, you will notice two people who are opposite in every way, yet joined by these key truths: life is fragile and when those we love are sick, dying, or dead, our hearts are broken. Please know, however, that broken hearts matter to your God!
When He [Jesus] was finished, He went into the town of Capernaum. There, a Centurion had a slave he loved dearly. The slave was sick — about to die — so when the Centurion heard about Jesus, he contacted some Jewish elders. He sent them to ask Jesus to come and heal his dear slave. With great emotion and respect, the elders presented their request to Jesus.
This man is worthy of Your help. It's true that he's a Centurion, but he loves our nation. In fact, he paid for our synagogue to be built.So Jesus accompanied them. When they approached the Centurion's home, the Centurion sent out some friends to bring a message to Jesus.
Message of the Centurion:
Lord, don't go to the trouble of coming inside. I am not worthy to have You come under my roof. That's why I sent others with my request. Just say the word, and that will be enough to heal my servant. I understand how authority works, being under authority myself and having soldiers under my authority. I command to one, "Go," and he goes. I say to another, "Come," and he comes. I say to my slave, "Do this," and he obeys me.Jesus was deeply impressed when He heard this. He turned to the crowd that followed Him.
Listen, everyone. This outsider, this Roman, has more faith than I have found even among our own Jewish people.The friends of the Centurion returned home, and they found the slave was completely healed.
It wasn't long after this when Jesus entered a city called Nain. Again all of His disciples accompanied Him, along with a huge crowd. He was coming near the gate of the city as a corpse was being carried out. This man was the only child and support of his widowed mother, and she was accompanied by a large funeral crowd.
As soon as the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her.
Don't weep!Then He came to the stretcher, and those carrying it stood still.
Young man, listen! Get up!The dead man immediately sat up and began talking. Jesus presented him to his mother, and everyone was both shocked and jubilant. They praised God.
A tremendous prophet has arisen in our midst! God has visited His people.(Luke 7:1-16)
O Father in heaven, the King of Glory, I believe, but help my unbelief! When I face worry and grief, I sometimes struggle to trust that my hurt matters to you. I sometimes wonder why the miracle I pray for never comes. Send your Holy Spirit to comfort, strengthen, and revive my flagging hope. I know You love me, but I need help in the storms of my life to hang on to that confidence. I ask this in the name of Jesus, Your demonstration of authority, compassion, and grace. Amen.