Friday, June 07, 2013

Such Great Faith

Many Christians want to have "great faith."  So when we hear that Jesus marveled at the great faith of the centurion in last Sunday's story (3-yr series: Luke 7), we wonder what that is.   And we wonder how we can have great faith.  Do people notice our prayers, our good works, our level of holiness?    Surely that would show great faith, right?

Notice the difference between the Jews and this Gentile.  So often the Jews would come to Jesus on the basis of their own merit.  "We have Abraham for our father."  "All these commandments I have kept from my youth."  "Lord, I thank you that I am not like this tax collector.  I fast.  I tithe...."  Even when the Jews came to Jesus on behalf of the centurion, they said he deserved help because he'd done so many good things for them. 

But what did the Gentile say?  "Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof." 

And when Jesus praised the great faith of the Canaanite woman, it was when she'd just agreed that she was an unworthy little dog.

(I'm still pondering what "little faith" is.  It always seems to be in the context of "God, You don't care about us" or "Eeeeks -- bad stuff is happening to us."  Do you suppose it too has something to do with whether I'm "worthy" enough that Bad Stuff shouldn't happen to me?  And if Bad Stuff does happen, then it must somehow be up to me to resolve it?)

Great faith =                              I have no standing
but Jesus saves me anyway
and lifts me up to be His brother

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