They Glorified God

Today’s Scripture: Luke 7:1-17; SOAP / Luke 7:16

 Fear seized them all, and they began to glorify God, saying, “A great prophet has appeared among us!” and “God has come to help his people!”

Luke 7:16

There were two miracles in today’s passage. The first emphasizes the faith of a Centurion, the second the compassion of Jesus for a widow whose only son had died. While our focus verse is on the second miracle I can’t help but pause a minute to shine light on the first one as well. It excites and amazes me every time I read it. First of all that Jesus said of the Centurion, who was not a Jew (from the people of God) but a gentile, “… not even in Israel have I found such faith!” Second of all, that without even going to the home of the Centurion or being near his servant, Jesus healed him, not because of what a good man the people told Jesus the servant was – but because of the Centurion’s great faith.

“I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith!”

Luke 7:9

The focus verse is equally exciting and amazing, as we see Jesus raise a dead man to life. not because of any words of faith but from what appears to be Jesus’ compassion for a widowed mother whose only son had died. Unlike the other miracles we have seen, this isn’t about a someone seeking out Jesus and asking Him to heal or help. Instead , this one paints a picture of God’s sovereignty and perfect timing, as Jesus enters a town right when people are carrying the dead man out of town for the burial. Jesus stops the procession, tells the mother’s son to “get up! So the dead man sat up and began to speak, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.” A man raised to life out of compassion, a miracle witnessed both by the crowd with Jesus and by the crowd accompanying the mother in the funeral procession. That’s pretty exciting stuff, right? Yet, it is what happens next that must not be missed. I mean it isn’t uncommon for fear to be aroused by this miracle – considering no one had ever seen someone raised from death to life – but this “fear” seems to provoke an awe at what Jesus had done, which led to the people “glorifying God,” as they realized Jesus must be “a” (inferring one of many) “great prophet,” not The Messiah, God had promised – but admittedly, “one” whom, “God had come to help.”

A Response to God’s Word

Father, may we let the acts You do – big or small, significant or seemingly insignificant – move us to glorify You. May we stop and stand in awe of You. May we also, like Jesus, stop and show compassion for those who are hurting or struggling around us – and this that – You, like in the story we read today, might be glorified for who You are!

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