Today’s post was written by my dear friend Robin Bryce, a fellow pastor’s wife, speaker, author, and founder of iGetitLife ministries.
Luke 7:1 – 10 When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” So Jesus went with them.
He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.
I can hear my momma’s voice in my head, to this day. She always said, “Take it outside!” when we’d get to roughhousing or wrestling indoors. For that reason, outside is the place to go when I’m wrestling with something. When I have an issue to deal with, I can hear her saying, “Take it outside.”
Well, friends, we’ve got a problem. I think it’s about time we stepped outside to take care of this.
It’s a huge crisis and we’ve got to get to the bottom of it. It’s about believers who don’t believe. About those that don’t follow through with what they know is true. It’s about me and about you. We’ve gotten ourselves in a big predicament!
Come on. Take a hike with me outside the church and into humanity. As far as the world can see, do you believe? Really believe? Would others see evidence of our belief? Let’s not compare ourselves to each other, but rather to what Jesus saw.
Jesus took a walk down a dusty road amongst the multitudes and found something amazing. He encountered messengers of an influential and kind man. Yet, this man was outside religion’s walls. He was a centurion – a rough, tough soldier. He was not one of us, not a part of God’s church.
Jesus’ interchange with this man was eye opening. Verse nine states Jesus “was amazed.” (Wow, how cool to have Jesus say that he was amazed with me! A good kind of amazement; not the shock he probably feels most often when he looks at me . . .) Jesus said, “I tell you, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!”
Ouch. I’m part of the religious people, God’s chosen. But could it be true? Could people outside of religion’s pedigree have a belief in God that outshines ours and amazes our Lord? The closest twelve, the disciples, were numbered within “all Israel” as Jesus “rebuked them for their stubborn unbelief” (Mark 16:14). The scripture further records about religious people, “And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their unbelief” (Mark 6:5-6).
Depressing. If Jesus is astounded with our unbelief we’ve got a problem. It’s not the kind of response we want him to have, is it? I don’t pretend to know how to fix this dilemma, but I want to. Daily I cry out like a desperate father did a little later in the book of Mark, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24). Then, I must accessorize my cry for help with action.
Come along with me. Let’s take a step outside, walk on a dusty road as Jesus did and look for that amazing faith of the unbelievers. And when we find them, let’s lead them in love to the truth and a personal relationship with Jesus. Talk about God doing miracles among us, there’s nothing quite as refreshing as watching him work as we personally take it outside!
Matthew 28:19 – 20 “Go and make disciples of all nations . . . teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
Dear Father, Please help me to take my faith outside the church walls. Help me to learn from the faith of this one who wasn’t one of the spiritual elite.
Thank you, Robin! What an important message – that just because we are “churched” people doesn’t mean we are pleasing God with our actions or our faith.
Thanks for this thought-provoking post, Robin!
Great post, Robin! People-Christ followers or not-should be able to see our faith by our actions. It’s hard to be doers of the Great Commission if we never leave the building!
Yes, let’s be doers of God’s mission to tell others of his love!