[The message from the Roman officer to Jesus included,]
"I am not even worthy to come and meet you. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed..." When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to the crowd that was following him, he said, "I tell you, I haven't seen faith like this in all Israel!"
— Luke 7:7, 9 NLT
Jesus loved to shock those who heard him into listening and sometimes did so by making outsiders the heroes of his stories and actions. Like the stories of the "Good Samaritan" (Luke 10:30-37), Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10), the widow of Zarephath (Luke 4:24-26), and Naaman the Syrian (Luke 4:27-30), the Roman soldier is the hero in these events. Jesus wants the people to see the importance of faith that trusts in his authority to act redemptively and bring salvation. For those of us who have been Christians awhile, new Christians — especially those who have come from outside our social circle and our range of experience — have much to teach us about the joy of salvation. The freshness of their faith, the new-found joy of knowing Jesus, and the challenges they face in living for Jesus can renew our faith and expand our joy as we try to encourage them in their walk with the Lord. Rather than trying to find problems in their new walk with Jesus, let's look for ways they are positive examples for other believers.
Father, thank you for your children who are new in your spiritual family and who display that new and fresh joy of being your child. Please use those who have been Christians longer to encourage these newer Christians in their walk with Jesus, and use the newer Christians as powerful examples of faith and trust for those who have been Christians longer than they have. Help each of us to see our deep need to love and appreciate each other. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Luke 7:1-10
- Luke 19:5-10
- Luke 4:24-30
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.