Luke 7:1-16 He still Moves stones

 

Intro: I like what Max Lucado writes on the back of his book He still Moves stones -

  1. Referring to some of the encounters that Jesus had w/ People during His

earthly ministry Lucado writes

These are not just Sunday school stories - they are not romantic fables or somewhere over the rainbow illusions. They are Historic moments in which a Real God met real people who were in Real Pain. In these stories we are reminded that the God who spoke still speaks. The God who came still comes. He comes into your world. He comes to do what you canít. He comes to move stones that you canít budge. He still moves stones !

  1. In Luke Ch. 7 we see several of these types of scenes - where Jesus comes to people who are in pain & perplexed . Confused & concerned
    1. What is interesting is that each of these people were in different places in regards to their faith in the Lord.
  1. Perplexed Centurion / who is Noted for his great faith / Grieving Widow

from the city of Nain - Lost her Faith

    1. There is a perplexed Prophet in a prison cell . Who was confused in

his faith

  1. There were the hard hearted religious leaders who had No Faith at all !!!!

1) There is a repentant sinner who is given saving faith.

  1. I think it is safe to say that each person in this Sanctuary This morning is

represented by one or more of these people.

As we begin to look at these first two stories -scenes - we see Jesus reaching out to People in need / showing compassion / caring

A) Reminded that He cares for us as well. / Meet our need as well. V.1-16

In this 1st scene we see a perplexed Centurion :

  1. A Centurion was a Roman soldier in Charge of at least a 100 men/ they were the prototype Roman solider .

  1. They were men of strength & Stature / Manís kind of Man- Poster boys for the Roman Army!

  1. When it comes to emotions they were men of steal - influenced by the stoic philosophy of the day. NO EMOTIONS

b) I am a ROCK I am an ISLAND - I touch no one & no one touches me.

  1. Mode of operation Donít reach out to anyone - donít get attached / or involved - we are here to do a job /

1) We are here to represent the Roman Empire.

 

BUT THIS CENTERION WAS DIFF.

A) This Centurion was a man w/ a great need! His servant was sick

His reaction was unusual

B) The servants in the Roman empire really had no rights what so ever.

  1. there was a Roman writer who said that every year a man should take

stock of his possessions,

    1. and should hold on to that which is still producing, and beneficial,

and should get rid of that which was no longer productive.

  1. Slaves were Included in that getting rid of that which was no longer

productive, /

    1. a slave who was no longer capable of putting out a days work. Was of no value
  1. And so when he got to that place, he would just be put out, and left to die.
  2. In fact because a slave was only considered a piece of property you could

put a slave to death & not face any charges for it !

1) After all, you're just destroying your own property./

 

But this Centurion was diff. From that - from some reason he had a special attachment to this servant

  1. And the thought of losing him grieved his heart so in DESPERATION he sent the Elders of the city to Jesus for help !

B) We are told in v. 3& 4 Elders come to Jesus - Pleading & begging

Now the JEWS testified that this Roman soldier Was a WORTHY MAN!

1) He had BUILT THEM a synagogue He LOVES the Nation of Israel

C) Jesus responds by going w/ them !!!!!!

D) But when this Centurion hears that Jesus is on His way to the house - he responds in a way that gives us some insight into his great faith V.6

And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, "Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof.

7 "Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed.

8 "For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."

 

1st He had a right View of Himself / 2nd He had a right View of the Lord

  1. Concerning himself - he said - I am not worthy - to go to you / or for you

to come to my house

  1. That word worthy means/ deserving / sufficient or Able -He was saying
  2. I am not deserving or sufficient or Able to host you or approach you

  3. It is interesting that the Elders used this same word - in seeking to

persuade Jesus to come - Lord He is worthy . He is deserving

  1. Built us a synagogue .

  1. Interesting to note that he wasnít just a man of great Power & Position / He was a man of great prosperity - He built us a temple!!

  1. Implication - He funded the whole thing !!!!

  1. Yet this man of great Power / Position / Prosperity - saw himself as

nothing in light of Jesus.

  1. Tells us that part of his great faith was his humility

Worth noting that this is the very thing that keeps Jesus from being able to work in some peoples life - ( They are so full of themselves )

 

He had a right view of himself /& he also had a right view of the Lord.

His faith was based in the Person/ Position & Power of Jesus!!!

  1. 1st notice in v. 6 He addressed Jesus as Lord./ LORD Donít trouble yourself in coming here . I am not worthy of such a visit .

  1. In seeing Jesus as Lord / and seeing himself in true humility / he realized that he was in no place t demand anything from Jesus.

  1. Yet he was humbly asking that Jesus was extend him mercy

  1. 2nd He recognized Jesusí Authority over sickness !!!! SICKNESS WAS IN SUBMISSION TO HIM!!!!

  1. Just as he had authority over soldiers / He knew that Jesus had authority

over Disease & Sickness!!!!!

 

3rd HE UNDERSTOOD THE MAGNITUDE OF JESUSí POWER

A) Lord Just say the word - you donít need to come here. Just speak

  1. This Centurion knew that there was power in the word of Jesus !

1) Do we ? Think about that for a moment !

  1. We are told He spoke the world into existence / And Heb. 1 declares that He upholds all things by the word of His Power/

1) thereís power in His word

D) In Hebrews 4:12 we are told that HIS WORD the is living and powerful, & sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul & spirit, & of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts & intents of the heart.

13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

Do we Believe that about His written word ? Do we approach His word in that way ?

  1. Understanding that this book that we hold in our hands is the WORD OF GOD. And that it is Living & Powerful / /

B) Understanding that it has the Power to transform my life if I just put it into practice !!!!!

Paul declared in Rom. 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes,

  1. Do we believe that ? The message of the gospel is so powerful - that it isnít contingent upon my ability to share it

  1. The message itself has power to transform the life of everyone who believes ! Do we share it w/ such conviction!!!!!

  1. Because of his view of who Jesus was & the Authority that he possessed

and the power of his word - the centurion was able to say w/ confidence

1) Donít trouble yourself in coming JUST SAY THE WORD !!!!!

Jesus marveled / He was blown away at this guys faith v.9

9 When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, "I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!"

10 And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick.

It is interesting to note that we are told ONLY TWICE in scripture that Jesus MARVELLED this was one - Centurions faith / other?

A) Mark 6:6 When Jesus was in His own country - own city of Naz. & the people rejected Him it says He marveled at their unbelief.

  1. The indication there is that of all people they should have believed

  1. They watched Jesus grow up - they knew His heart / His integrity / - yet

they failed to believe He MARVELED AT THEIR UNBELIEF!!!!

 

GUYS AS JESUS LOOKS AT US TODAY AT CCV/ - WHAT IS HE MARVELING AT ? GREAT FAITH / OR UNBELIF

  1. Dan. 11:32 the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out

great exploits./

KNOWING GOD results in STRENGTH & GREAT EXPLOITS

B) Interesting question to ponder - WHAT IS JESUS MARVELING AT?

  1. I was praying about some things Friday - God spoke to my heart said

DONíT LIMIT ME !!!!

  1. sometimes that is my tendency - It has to make sense / God says no it

doesnít - donít limit me !!!! Just be led by me!!!!

  1. Chuck Swindol tells the story of meeting w/ a man on Walt Disney's advisory board .

He said that Walt would occasionally present some unbelievable, extensive dream he was entertaining. Almost without exception, the members of his board would gulp, blink, and stare back at him in disbelief, resisting even the thought of such a thing.

Now here is what is interesting - unless every member resisted the idea, Disney usually didn't pursue it.

He felt that The challenge wasn't big enough to merit his time and creative energy unless they were unanimously in disagreement!

WHAT ABOUT US WHO SERVE THE LIVING GOD ?

  1. Why do we limit him ! -

  1. He who is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we ask or

think - & yet we limit him/ put restraints on Him !!!!

1) Contrast the Walt Disney story w/ this one.

  1. There was an old lady Miss Jones who lived in a small Midwestern community.

  1. She had the notoriety of being the oldest resident of the town.

  1. One day she died and the editor of the local newspaper wanted to print a little caption commemorating Miss Jones' death.

  1. But he couldnít find out anything about her - those who knew her said that she mainly just kept to her self - seemed like a nice person.

  1. Frustrated by this the editor went back to the office to put one of his reporters on this story Only reporter there was the sports reporter. Assigned

  1. See if you can find out something about this lady. We will do a little

article & put something nice on her tombstone .

  1. Here is what the guy came up w/ ( On her tombstone )

Here lies the bones of Nancy Jones,

For her life held no terrors.

She lived an old maid. She died an old maid.

No hits, no runs, no errors.

  1. Guys I would rather make some mistakes in trying to serve God - than to

not do anything for fear of doing something wrong - or lacking faith.

 

So 1st we see the Centurion a man of great faith - Next a grieving Widow from Nain - woman who had lost her faith & Hope

11 Now it happened, the day after, that He went into a city called Nain; and many of His disciples went with Him, and a large crowd.

12 And when He came near the gate of the city, behold, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother; and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the city was with her.

Here is the reason why her faith was Gone.

  1. At one point she may have had faith - a hope - that when her husband was

ill that he would recover - perhaps she prayed - but he died

  1. Her hope & faith was wounded

B) But she still had her Son - but then he took ill or was somehow injured - didnít look good - perhaps she prayed again.

  1. But he too died - and when he did so did her hope - gone destroyed

She was crushed .

  1. On the day of the funeral - probably had some type of service - afterwards

they were heading from the Church to the cemetery / when Jesus shows up

 

CATCH THE SCENE HERE - 2 GROUPS / ONE IS HEADING INTO TOWN - THE OTHER IS GOING OUT! GREAT CONTRAST

  1. At the center of the group coming into the city is Jesus. / This crowd was

fresh off the events in the previous verses

1) Their faces no doubt were marked by joy

B) In their hearts and minds there was no doubt an air of expectancy

and excitement and ANTICIPATION/

C) What would he do next ????

  1. They had seen the works of Jesus and they were excited about being

w/ Him and about the POSSIBILITIES of what might happen

D) And so it is for those who follow Jesus/ Great ADVENTURE !!!!!!

 

BUT In the center of the second crowd is a corpse/ Death is the thing that set the tone and mood of that crowd

A)It was a SOMBER and DOWNCAST group of people/ WEEPING &

WAILING

  1. The WHOLE scene is nothing but sadness and misery/ And so it is with

the world outside of Jesus

  1. NOTE: All of the misery of THIS story and all of the misery of the world

is the result of sin

1) When God created the world He said that it was "very good"

D) When Adam fell Rom. 5:12 sin entered into the world, and death by sin

Since then, the history of the world has been one long funeral

  1. We must NEVER forget this reality

E) The world around us is full of sickness, pain, poverty, and troubles

  1. From one end of the world to the other the history of mankind is full of

weeping and sorrow The SOURCE of all of this is sin

  1. And There would NEVER have been tears, sickness, nor death if there had

been no sin

And We can NOT alter the state of things at all /(That is what man is trying to do on his own)

  1. We can only thank God that there is a personal and an ultimate remedy for

sin in the Gospel

B) But seeing what sin does ought to make us hate sin!!!!

  1. Instead of excusing it or flirting with it we ought to hate it with a deadly

hatred ( PA. Fish biting - No but worms are - Riverside )

  1. Realizing that Sin is THE great murderer/ great destroyer of lives / marriages, families, friendships & Churches

  1. we must make NO peace with it. INSTEAD We MUST constantly

wage war against it

Two crowds meeting? Which crowd are YOU in?

A) The one was excited with life because Jesus was at the center of it

"I am the way and the truth and the life"..... "He that has the son has life"..... "I am come that you might have LIFEÖÖ"

  1. The other was in a cloud of sadness and mourning because DEATH was at

the center

  1. It is interesting to see what happens when eternal life meets death

C) Notice Jesusí response 13 When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her and said to her, "Do not weep."

 

Guys picture this scene - on their way to the cemetery carrying casket

Jesus shows up - and says - Donít cry -

  1. Modern day - The line of cars have left the Church & our headed for the cemetery - the Hearst is in front / in it is a Weeping Widow.

  1. Stop light Jesus is in the cross walk - stops goes to car - opens door - says to the lady - donít cry - and then goes to the back door opens it - ARISE

  1. That is what is going on here. Jesus sees this crowd - He sees the casket the tears the Mother who is crying & His heart goes out to her.

1) HE HAS COMPASSION ON HER!!!!

  1. Guys we need to understand this about our Lord! He was immediately drawn to the one W/ the greatest need !

1) That is His Heart - We must understand this about Jesus,

E)Many so often see the Lord in the opposite light

  1. We think - He can't be interested in me because I am so needy / no value / nothing to offer

F) That is So WRONG - This woman was the MOST needy in the crowd

Her source of COMFORT and SUPPORT was gone

 

Jesus was MOVED with compassion Wiersbe Your pain In my heart! -

  1. The Greek word comes from the word intestine. Lit. Definition: to have the bowels yearn

  1. Think about this / God, who became man, was so moved by the state of

man's need that His inward parts were MOVED

1) That is the meaning of the word compassion

  1. Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, & forever.

D) So Today Jesus sees YOUR needs and He is MOVED with compassion

Something interesting

Did you know that in all 3 cases where Jesus raised the dead that He spoke to the dead people as though they were alive

  1. In a few more studies we will see Jesus raise the daughter of Jairus from

the dead He spoke to her and said

B) Mark 5:41 Talitha cumi; In the Aramaic it means: Little lamb, arise

  1. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead He told Mary and Martha to roll

back the stone covering the tomb

1) He called out loud: Lazarus, come forth

  1. And here too, Jesus speaks to the young man as though he were alive

WHY? Because their spirits are alive

    1. It is only the body that has ceased to live

  1. The spirit which is the real you does NOT die / this body is a tent that

houses your spirit - Death is NOT termination/ It is SEPARATION

    1. It is moving out of this tent into eternity & Your spirit will spend eternity in one of 2 places Heaven or Hell

 

HELL IS TO LIVE FOREVER SEPERATED FROM GOD

A) See the bible says that a man who doesnít know Christ is dead - even while he lives - because spiritually he is separated from God because of sin!!!

  1. If he dies in that state - eternally separated - place of weeping wailing &

gnashing of teeth!!!!!

  1. And Sin affects us in people in the same way that death does to those who have lost a loved one.

  1. Death produces Pain, emptiness & loneliness over the loss

  1. Sometimes in death people experience guilt in thinking I could have done more

  1. Sin is the same results in Pain/ emptiness canít be satisfied / loneliness /

that canít be filled in any earthly relationship

  1. Made for the Lord - Void - He fills / Loneliness He meets

Guilt He removes !!!!!

  1. In the same way that Jesus has the power to raise the physical dead - He

can raise the spiritual dead . Give life

    1. He came for that reason to seek & to save the Lost

 

Quickly Note a couple more things & then we will be done !!!! v.16,17

16 Then fear came upon all, and they glorified God, saying, "A great prophet has risen up among us"; and, "God has visited His people."

17 And this report about Him went throughout all Judea and all the surrounding region.

A) Fear = Amazement - absolute amazement - I guess so !!!!

May we never be found bored at the saving work of Jesus !!!!!!

B) Glorified God - Exalted God - 2 groups became one !!!!

They said GOD HAS VISITED US !!!!! Jn. 1 In the Beg. Was the wordÖ. / w/ God Word was God . Became flesh DWELT ÖÖ

C) Why did He do it ? To save You - free / cleanse / Give life / Hope

D) You today if donít know Him !!!! DEAD - COME TO LIFE !!!!!

Lastly THEY SHARED THE GOODNEWS - REPORTED

REPORT went everywhere !!!! Good news God has visited us !!!

 

 

 

 

In our day & age of mass evangelism & Crusade type events many people have grown skeptical .

    1. Because they know that only 25% of those who come forward at a Harvest Crusade will go on to really walk w/ the Lord.

So if 3,000 come forward - that is only 750 who actually continue on !!!

But hey that is 750 new souls in the kingdom / New Bros/ & Sisters / one weekend !!!

  1. and another 2500 pp. Who were touched by the Lord in a deep way that might result in them - coming to a place of truly giving their life to Christ

Great message lets share it / Great Lord - who can raise the dead - Physically & Spiritually - lets bring the dead to Him - HEAR THE WORD !!