LIFE OF CHRIST

 

Luke 7:1-10

PRAYER LESSONS FROM A SOLDIER

Life of Christ #20

 

Since the earliest days of the world’s history, there have been soldiers.

There have been good soldiers and there have been bad soldiers.

There have soldiers who were upright and moral, and those who were not.

There have been those who have been loyal and those who have not.

There have those who trusted God and those who have not.

There have been those who have prayed, and those who have not

 

As we continue our series on the Life of Christ, we find an event that happened shortly after Jesus chose the 12 Apostles.

 

This story involves a centurion, who was an officer in the Roman military, the equivalent of a captain today.

The centurion in our Scripture reading this morning was a good man. And although he was not praying, in the strictest sense, because Jesus was literally walking around on earth, his example gives us some lessons about prayer.

 

TAKE YOUR BURDEN TO THE BURDEN BEARER

 

Vss. 1-2 – During much of Jesus’ ministry Capernaum was his headquarters.

In Capernaum there was a soldier.

The soldier had a servant that was evidently like a son to Him.

The servant was very sick and about ready to die.

The Man had a burden.   

 

Life is full of burdens.  Some burdens are bigger than others, but we all have burdens. 

 

What do we normally do with these burdens?

There are various ways of handling burdens.

 

Some will sit, and stew, and pout, not saying a word.

Some will talk and talk and talk to others about their problems.

Some will worry themselves sick over problems.

Some will become grouchy and irritable over their problems.

Some will become withdrawn over their problems.

Some will develop ulcers.

Some will do what this centurion did.

 

HE TOOK HIS BURDEN TO THE BURDEN BEARER   

 

Vs. 3 – Why did the centurion come to Jesus?

He knew that Jesus had healed others.

Perhaps he had believed on Him as his Savior, or as the Messiah.

Whatever the other reasons, the centurion knew that Jesus was capable of bearing this burden of his servant’s sickness, and that Jesus was capable of healing his servant.

 

My friend, God is a burden bearer. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are burden bearers.

 

If you are one who is saved this morning, one who knows that your sins are forgiven, and that you are going to Heaven, it is because Jesus bore the burden of your sin. 1 Peter 3:18

 

Now Christian, if Jesus as your burden bearer, has taken care of your greatest burden, sin, won’t he take care of all your other burdens too?   

   

Shouldn’t we bring every burden to Him?

 

Psalm 55:22 - Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

 

1 Peter 5:7 - Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

 

HUMBLE YOURSELF BEFORE THE HUMBLE ONE

 

Vss. 4-5 – The Jewish leaders who had been sent by the centurion assured Jesus that this man, though a Gentile by birth, was a worthy man. He loved the nation, Israel, and had even built them a Synagogue.  Believe me this was high praise coming from the Jews concerning a Gentile!

 

Vss. 6-7 – Jesus went, I feel, not because the man loved Israel or built a synagogue, but because Jesus is the “burden bearer”.

 

And the ironic thing is that the centurion sent and said, “I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, or for me to come to you myself.”

He knew that he was not as good as the Lord Jesus.

He knew that he was a sinner.

He knew that he did not deserve anything from the Lord Jesus, especially his presence.

 

The Centurion was humbling himself before the humble one, who left the splendor of Heaven to come to earth for us, and who would eventually humble himself to the point of death for our sins. Philippians 2:5-8

 

This same humble mind of Christ is to be in his followers.

And although we are invited to come boldly before the “Throne of Grace”, we are also to come humbly before God.

 

We need to be humble enough to confess any know sin.

We need to be humble enough to admit that we can’t bear the burden ourselves.

We need to be humble enough to realize that we have no merit in ourselves. But can only ask in the name of Christ. James 4:6, John 14:13-14

 

It is possible to try to be bossy with God.

It is possible to think God owes us something.

It is possible to pray without the Lord Jesus’ stamp of approval.

This is all pride!

 

TRUST THE ONE WHO CAN BE TRUSTED   

 

Vs. 7 – The Centurion is saying, “You don’t have to see my servant. You don’t have to come to my servant. You don’t have to touch my servant. I trust that you word is sufficient to get the job done.”

 

That is faith.

 

Vs. 8 – The Centurion recognized that Jesus was under God’s authority.

He also realized that Jesus had authority.

Just as the Centurion was under authority and had authority, and could make commands, so it was with Jesus.

Jesus had to say the Word and the servant would be healed.

 

The Centurion is showing us that faith is essential to prayer. Mark 11:22-24

 

Vss. 9-10 – Jesus had never seen greater faith in Israel.

The servant was healed.

 

Beloved, have you trusted Jesus with you soul?

You have trusted Jesus with you soul, if you have trusted Him as you Savior. Romans 10:9-10

 

Beloved if you have trusted Jesus with you soul, can’t you trust Him with your problems too?

Can’t Jesus be trusted with every burden that you have?

Of course He can!

 

Who is it that should be showing great faith today?

It is you and I who as God’s children should be boldly coming before the Throne of Grace, getting God’s work accomplished on our knees!

 

PRAYER LESSONS FROM A SOLDIER:

TAKE YOUR BURDEN TO THE BURDEN BEARER

HUMBLE YOURSELF BEFORE THE HUMBLE ONE

TRUST THE ONE WHO CAN BE TRUSTED   

 

 

 

 

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