Not Worthy Of Attention

Jesus has gone to Capernaum. We can find the reason for His going there in Luke 7:1-3   When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, He entered Capernaum. There a Centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The Centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to Him, asking Him to come and heal his servant.

(Centurion) “I am a Roman soldier and I live in a town called Capernaum. Life is good here. I have made many friends among the Jewish people even though I am not Jewish. However, I am very concerned about my servant for he is very ill and the doctors have not been able to make him well. But I have just heard that this Man Jesus has come to our town. And I have heard that He heals people and delivers people from demonic spirits. I am sure He can heal my servant. The problem is that I am not Jewish and His ministry is among Jewish people so I cannot ask him to come to my home and see my servant. What am I to do? I know, I will ask some of my Jewish friends to speak to Jesus on my behalf. Perhaps they can plead my case before Him. And Jesus does not even have to come to my home for I am not worthy for him to enter my home. Let me go to my friends now and speak with them. They know that my servant is very ill and I believe they will speak to Jesus on my behalf (Luke 7:4-5)”.

And his friends did speak with Jesus, as we know from Luke 7:4-5                                      When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.

(Centurion)" I did ask my friends to speak to Jesus to heal my servant. And they did (Luke 7:6a). And Jesus actually started to come to my home but when He got close to my home, I once again had some friends speak to Him to say to Him that I was not worthy for Him to enter my home (Luke 7:6b) but if He could just speak a word of healing for my servant, my servant would be well (Luke 7:7) since I know that, just as I only need to speak a word to the soldiers under my authority. Jesus. likewise, only need to speak a word of healing over my servant in order for him to be well (Luke 7:8).And my friends did ask Jesus to speak a word of healing over my servant and He has done so. As a result my servant is well. Praise God (Luke 7:9-10)."

Likewise, you too can ask the Lord to meet your needs even though you may not feel you are worthy of His attention. All Jesus asks is that you step out in faith, believing in His willingness to listen to your request, and to answer in accordance with His perfect will, as you can read in Philippians 4:6-7                                                                                                                        Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Now, Jesus does not stay in Capernaum, because there are other people He has to minister to. Let’s read Luke 7:11                                                                                                          Soon afterwards, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and His disciples and a large crowd went along with Him.

Please understand that Jesus does not find Himself near Nain by accident for He has not lost His way as some of us may do at times. No, He is definitely in the right place at the right time as we will soon learn. Let’s read Luke 7:12                                                                                  As He approached the town gate, a dead person was being carried out – the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a large crowd from the town was with her.

(Widow) “I am a widow and I live in a town called Nain with my only son.Today has been the most amazing day of my life… And that is all because of a Man named Jesus. The day did not start off well for I had to bury my son, my only son. And I am a widow with no other male relatives to take care of me. It should have been me that they had to bury but it was my son, my only son who got ill and then died…. And this morning I had to walk behind his coffin (Luke 7:12)….I did not know how I could carry on living… But then while we were on our way to the burial place, we were stopped by this Man Jesus (Luke 7:11) and He told me to stop crying (Luke 7:13). I looked at Him and wanted to say to Him, “How can you possibly tell me to stop crying? Do you know my circumstances? Do you know that I am a widow and the body in this coffin is my son, my only son? Who is going to take care of me now? I don’t think you are going to take care of me since you do now know who I am?” But, there was something in His voice that made me stop crying. I then saw Him go up  to the coffin of my son, my only son and speak to dead body of my only son, and I can assure you, he was dead.Yet He spoke to his dead body and he said something, I will never forget,  for he said to the dead body of my only son, “Young man, I say to you, get up” (Luke 7:14) I wanted to say to Jesus, “Jesus, excuse me, what are You saying? Don’t you realise that my son, my only son, is really dead? I know for I was there when he died. But You were not there at that moment when he breathed his last breath. I held him at that moment and everything in me wanted him to come back to life. But I knew that was not going to happen for he had really gone…. And now You are telling him to get up?...I really wanted to say to Jesus, please don’t do that to me, my heart is already broken because of his death….don’t make me suffer even more….. But I did not say anything for I did not have the energy…. I just watched… What happened next is something beyond anything I could every hope for because my son, my only son  who was dead,, sat up in his coffin and not only did he sit up,,, he began to talk….(Luke 7:15a) That could only mean one thing: he had come back to life; my son, my only son had come back to life!! However, I still found it hard to believe and Jesus knowing that did what only He could do, He brought my son, my only son, back to me so I could touch him, so I could feel him and be sure he was alive and well Luke 7:15b). Now, do you understand that today was the most amazing day in my life. My son, my only son, who died has come back to life and I am no longer alone. More than that I now know that God has come to us to help His people (Luke 7:16).”

Just as Jesus ministered to this widow’s need by giving her back her son, so He wants to minister to your needs by giving you back what you may have lost. Perhaps you have lost your joy or your peace because of life’s challenges. However, Jesus promises His Peace in the midst of your difficulties, as you can read in John 14:27                                                             Peace I leave with you; My Peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Therefore, ask the Lord for His Joy, His Peace just as He brought joy and peace to the widow when He gave her back her son.

Sometime later, Jesus is once again on His way to a specific destination because there is someone He is supposed to meet, as we can read in Luke 18:35                                               As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging.

Jesus is on His way to Jericho. He is not going there because His disciples have told Him about the wonderful food you can eat there. No, He is going there because His heavenly Father has directed Him to go there to meet someone. Who is that someone going to be? Yes, the story mentions there is a blind man sitting by the roadside begging but surely he is not the one chosen by God to receive the ministry of Jesus that day or is he....?

Let’s read Luke 18:36-37 to find out                                                                                      When he (the blind man) heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”

(The blind man) “Have you ever been blind? No, I did not think so. I have been blind so I know what it means to be blind. But I am no longer blind…. And what a miracle that is. Every day when I wake up, I thank God for the fact that I can now see….It has completely changed my life for I can now have  a proper job and am now respected in the community which was not the case when I was blind. When I was blind I was completely dependent on others to help me and the only job I could have was that of a beggar, which is not a real job, of course, but it was the only way I could earn a little bit of money. And people would sometimes give me some money or food out of pity for me. But then one day, as I was sitting at the roadside near Jericho), where I live (Luke 18:35), I heard a lot of noise, not knowing what was happening (Luke 18:36), I asked the people near me, what is going on and they told me that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by (Luke 18:37)…. Jesus of Nazareth was coming to Jericho….I had heard stories about Him that He had healed people and had delivered people from demonic spirits…. I just knew my moment had come…. So I began to cry out, “Jesus Son of David, have mercy on me”(Luke 18:38). Everybody around me told me to be quiet (Luke 18:39a). But how could they ask me to be quiet. They did not know what it was to be blind….So I shouted even louder, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me” (Luke 18:39b). And Jesus heard my cries and He stopped and spoke with me (Luke 18:40). He then asked me, “What do you want Me to do for you?” (Luke18:41a) I did not need to think what I wanted Him to do for me, I told him straight away that I wanted to see (Luke 18:41b). The next words of Jesus were the sweetest words I ever heard anyone say to me for He said, “Receive your sight, your faith has healed you” (Luke 18:42). That very moment I could see (Luke 18:43a)…. All I could do was praise God for he had answered the longings of my heart (Luke 18:43b)….And I still praise Him every day for my sight.”

Perhaps, like this man, you too are blind but your blindness is a spiritual blindness. And people have tried to help you by being kind to you but their help has not been sufficient because you still feel desperate for something beyond what they can give you. Like the blind man, you too need Jesus to minister to you so you can receive your spiritual sight by believing that Jesus died on the Cross for your sins so you can become a child of God. And, just as the blind man began to praise God once he could see, so you too will begin to praise the Lord when you receive His forgiveness.

The healing of the blind man takes place while Jesus is still on His way to Jericho, He has not yet reached Jericho. Once He enters Jericho, God has someone else for Him to minister to, as we can read in Luke 19:1-4                                                                                                      Jesus entered Jericho, and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was but, being a short man, he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see Him, since Jesus was coming that way.

(Zaccheus) My name is Zaccheus. I live in a town called Jericho and am a tax collector by profession. My profession has made me a very wealthy man and I live, therefore, in a very comfortable home. But I am a very lonely man, despite my wealth, for no one wants to be my friend and, to be honest, I can understand that since I have been cheating people all these years by charging them too much money (Luke 19:1-2)…. But today I had an encounter with someone and my life has completely changed because of this encounter. It happened earlier today. I was out and about when I heard people say that this Man Jesus had entered Jericho. I had heard of Him and I decided I would like to see this Man so I went to the road He was on. However, there were so many people crowding around Jesus making it impossible for me to see him, especially because I am very short. So I decided to climb a sycamore-tree on that road for I would then be able to see Jesus when He passed by that tree (Luke 19:3-4). And He did come to that tree. The amazing thing was that once he came to the tree, He stopped…. He looked up and He spoke to me…. Calling me by my name, He said words I will never forget for He said, “Zaccheus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today” (Luke 19:5) I could not believe my ears when I heard this Man Jesus tell me to come down from the tree because He wanted to stay at my home…. Jesus wanted to stay at my home. Did he not know I was a tax collector who cheated people of their money? I sensed He did and, yet, I sensed He loved me and wanted to spend time with me, despite my wrong doing. I did not hesitate for a moment but came down that tree right away and took him to my home where I had a very special meal prepared for Him (Luke 19:6)…. I know that the people in the town were very surprised that Jesus wanted to stay at my home since they considered me a “sinner” (Luke 19:7). But I hope to show them very soon that I have become a changed man for I have promised Jesus that I will give half of my possessions, and they are many, to the poor and I  will pay back four times any amount that I have cheated anyone of (Luke 19:8) and I intent to keep my word.

The reason for Jesus’ visit to Jericho is to touch the heart and life of this one man, as we can read in Luke 19:9-10                                                                                                                      Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save what was lost.”

The reason Jesus has come to earth is to save lives, including the life of Zacchaeus, as we can read in John 3:16                                                                                                               For God so loved the world that he gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Jesus’ visit to Zacchaeus’ home caused him to become a transformed man. And his transformation was so real that he became a blessing to his community. Perhaps, you can identify with Zacchaeus in that you feel you too do not measure up to the standard of other believers for you know you have committed sins that have separated you from God. But Jesus wants you to know that He sees the longing in your heart to be made right with Him. And He wants to spend time with you, as you can read in Revelation 3:20 where Jesus says         “Here I am! I stand at the door. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.”

Therefore, be like Zacchaeus and allow Jesus access into all the areas of your life. And He will transform your life so you will become a blessing to others. Of course, Jesus cannot visit you physically as He was able to do with Zacchaeus. But you can spend time with Him when you pray to Him and read His Word.

As we have seen from the stories we have looked at, Jesus loved all kinds of people and touched the lives of all kinds of people, be they rich or poor, young or old, and whatever their particular problem. Nothing was too hard for Him to take care of and no one was too sinful to be changed by Him. And He wants to touch your life too and bring healing to your life, be it physical, emotional, mental or spiritual. Your status in this life does not matter, as far as heaven is concerned, for God cares about you and sent His Son to die for you regardless of your status in life, your background, your age, or your gender. None of these things matter to Him. All He asks of you is that you cry out to Him and ask Him to touch you, to help you and He will.

Next, we will look at the story of one brother and two sisters.

A Favoured Home