I think every parent, teacher or leader wants to impart their insights, knowledge and experience to someone who will learn and grow. I know I do. There is something magical about witnessing the ‘aha! moment’ in someone else’s life for me. It’s as if what I said really did make a difference and now someone is living differently. Maybe I was part of a break through in their faith and they understand God’s love more fully. Or someone took a challenge I gave to heart and the outcome was a personal healing. Some people doubt what I say until they do their own research, find out what I told them was true and come back to tell me what I told them helped change their mind about something.
I’m astonished when I get the credit for something I didn’t do or say. People have thanked me for things I know I didn’t do or say because there is a catch in my heart or a twinge in my spirit. Initially, I argued with them or tried to set them straight. It never worked. Their joy was overflowing. A transformational moment in someone’s life is a sacred occasion. During the last thirty years, I discovered that I needed to celebrate with them not correct them. I’ve honored transformation and savored the significance. It’s been incredibly faith-building for me because most of the time I wonder if I am doing any good at all.
You might be familiar with the only sermon Jesus is credited with preaching. His sermon is included in chapters 5-7 in Matthew’s gospel. Most Christians know it as The Sermon on the Mount. Luke’s gospel includes a shorten and condensed version scholars call The Sermon on the Plain probably because Luke 6:17 says, “He went down with them and stood on a level place.” There are many similarities in these passages. It’s worth your time to read each passage, compare them and gain some very important insights to what Jesus believed to be the core of his teaching and the basis for the foundation of the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth.
Luke chapter 7 describes that after preaching his sermon to the crowd, Jesus went to Capernaum. There, a Roman military leader was having trouble within his home. A servant whom the officer valued highly was sick and about to die. The Roman Centurion sent some elders of the Jews to Jesus. They implored Jesus to come and heal his servant. “This man deserves to have you do this,” was their rationale. So Jesus went with them.
Jesus was not far from the house when the Centurion sent friends with a message: just say the word and my servant will be healed.
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him.
Was that event an “aha! moment’ for Jesus? Someone actually believed!
The Roman Centurion put his faith into action. Military people understand action. They follow commands, receive orders and get the job done. The success of a military structure lives within the hearts and minds of the soldiers. They have faith in the system. They believe in the cause. They understand authority. Those in positions of authority rise in rank because they are rewarded for their dedication to the overall mission. This transformational moment was certainly an occasion to celebrate. The Roman Centurion got it! He applied Jesus’ teaching as he would any command he received. He got the job done and his servant who was highly valued was restored! For some, it is easy to stand at attention and say, “Yes, sir!” We accept the command, receive the order, get the job done. For others, it’s much harder to believe. Still others, wonder if we’re doing any good at all.
Sunday we continue with the Believe series. Wheatland, we do a lot of good. I am boldly asking God for many ‘aha! moments.’ I pray we get it! I implore you to put your faith into action. I want to celebrate your transformational moment with you. Together, we will witness restoration and we will be known for having a faith that amazes Jesus.
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.” Luke 7:9 NIV