Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm19980204.htm
LUKE: GOSPEL OF CERTIFYING THE CHRISTIAN FAITH
Part XXIII: Certifying The Divine Authority Of Jesus According To His OWN View
Lesson: Jesus accepted a humanly superior centurion's estimation that He was ABOVE the centurion so that the centurion could not justly qualify to entertain Jesus or even bother Jesus by appearing in person. Thus, Jesus viewed His own authority as that of the Son of God on the Father's mission.
- The writers of the New Testament treated Jesus as the Son of God, a title of deity, who had come to do the will of His heavenly Father, God the Father, cf. 1 John 4:14.
- However, the question has been raised by detractors of the Christian faith: "Did Jesus consider Himself to be co-equal with God the Father, come in the Father's authority, or was this idea all a creation of others?!"
- Luke 7:1-10 demonstrates for us just exactly what the early A.D. Palestinian Jesus thought of His identity in relation to the Creator in a way that strikes a clear piece of evidence to that end as follows:
- Certifying The Divine Authority Of Jesus Christ According To His OWN View, Luke 7:1-10.
- When a Roman centurion sent some subordinates for Jesus' help, he admitted that he was unworthy, 7:1-6.
- This did not mean that he was a typically cruel, wicked or godless centurion as is evidenced by the text:
- Not typical of the Roman centurions of that day and location, this centurion loved and cared for subordinates who were under his care, Luke 7:1-5 (Ryr. St. Bib., KJV, ftn. Lk. 7:2):
- First, not typical of other centurions, this centurion loved his servant who was near death, Lk. 7:1-2.
- Second, not typical of other centurions, this centurion loved and cared for the Jewish people: (a) he had built them a synagogue probably with his own income and laborers under his command, Lk. 7:5b; (b) his love for the Jewish nation was strong enough to be recognized by the Jews, very unlike the case with other centurions, Lk. 7:5a; (c) there was enough admiration of his kindness to Israel that the elders of the synagogue came to Jesus as his representatives to ask Jesus for help, Lk. 7:3-5.
- Also, the word translated "worthy" in Luke 7:6b is hikanos, meaning "qualified", does not indicate one as a bad person, but one lacking the status to entertain Jesus in his home, cf. Arndt & Gingrich, Greek-Eng. Lex., p. 374-375; G. Campbell Morgan, Luke, p. 93.
- Additionally, the other word, translated "worthy" in verse 7 is not the same as in verse 6, but is eksousian, meaning "authority," Ibid., Arndt & Gingrich, p. 277-278.
- Accordingly, not being of the status of Jesus so as being unable to entertain Jesus in his home, neither did the centurion feel he had the authority to come and expect Jesus to submit to his request for help, 7.
- Well, this statement by the centurion was explained in his own words to show he viewed Jesus as under the Father's authority, and that He bore the Father's authority that was far superior to his as a centurion:
- The centurion explained his use of the different words for "worthy" in our English Bible:
- He explained that he himself was under authority, the authority of officers and the emperor, 7:8a.
- He also stated that he had men under his authority as well, Luke 7:8b.
- He prefaced this explanation with the expression "also," meaning he was comparing himself to Jesus, 8a.
- In other words, this centurion was aware that Jesus had the Father's authority, and was under the Father's authority as the centurion knew from his own experience. Yet, Jesus worked with greater authority than did this centurion, so he refused to entertain Jesus or to bother Christ by his presence.
- Jesus' response is very revealing regarding Jesus' view of His own authority:
- Were Jesus to have viewed Himself as a mere Jewish man, He would not have accepted the centurion's elevation of His authority over a centurion of Rome; after all, the Jews were subjects of Rome.
- However, Jesus told the people following that this centurion's faith was the greatest He had seen in Israel, and then healed the centurion's servant as per his request, Lk. 7:9-10.
- Accordingly, Jesus showed that He accepted the centurion's view that He was working for the Father with the Father's authority that far superseded that of Rome. Thus, Jesus felt His authority was divine!
Application: (1) Believe that Jesus viewed Himself as the Creator-God come to do the Father's will. (2) Like the centurion, we should submit to His will and authority as our God and Savior, Phil. 3:20.