- Jesus comes down from the mountains and immediately is met by a crowd. His first act was to grant a request from a man with leprosy to heal him. Jesus charged him to tell no-one but the religious leaders at the Temple as he followed Moses command for giving an offering if healed from leprosy.
- Next a centurion, also an outsider in Jewish culture, asks Jesus to heal his servant who was paralyzed. Jesus agreed to go and heal the servant. The centurion understands that Jesus doesn’t need to be there but can simply proclaim it and by his authority it will be done.
- Jesus is impressed at this man’s faith who understood that Jesus wasn’t a magician or a healer, but a spiritual man with DIVINE authority. He commended the man for his faith and then declares to the Jewish audience that many people will come from unreligious, unexpected places and will enter into the kingdom along with their Jewish patriarchs. While many of the Jews will be left outside of the kingdom.
- Jesus then declares the servant healed and he was
- Jesus continues to show his unique divine power by healing Peter’s mother in law, and then many who were either sick or demon possessed. The author points out he can do this as the prophet Isaiah said the Messiah would.
- Note: All these are outsiders in the Jewish culture: a Leopard, a Gentile, a woman, the possessed, and even the sick.
- Jesus begins to cross over and to people come and say that they will be his disciples. Jesus points out the cost of following him. To follow Jesus isn’t just to learn from him, but to make him the most important thing in life. Following him trumps our basic needs and our most fundamental relationships.
- Next we see Jesus authority over nature. As he calms a storm. The disciples still don’t understand and are amazed at his authority over nature.
- Lastly, a more detailed account of Jesus' authority in the demonic realm is seen. Jesus meets two demon-possessed men. The influence of the demons on these men was obvious for they were wild, violent men, forced out of the city and living in the tombs. The demons' two questions implied they knew who Jesus is - the Son of God - and also that His coming would ultimately mean their doom. However, people still miss who Jesus is and the town folk ask him to leave.
The main idea here is that following Jesus isn’t just a matter of belief or church attendance. Ultimately, it is about recognizing and yielding to his absolute authority. He is powerful and all authority in heaven and earth has been given to him. The question for me is “will I wholeheartedly follow him and yield to his absolute authority?”
Jesus, I don’t want to be one of the religious folks left out of the kingdom because I gave lip service to God, but never really yielded my life to you. Help me follow you and show the faith of the centurion. I want to believe and obey you as Lord, not as just a good religious figure. Please continue to do that work in me. In your name and for your glory I pray, AMEN.
Posted on Fri, August 28, 2015
by Brian Landers