At a Word From Jesus

At a Word From Jesus

At a Word From Jesus

“[B]ut say the word, and let my servant be healed.”

—Luke 7:7b

When the Roman centurion said this to Jesus, Jesus was amazed. Many people misunderstood and underestimated Jesus. Some had already openly opposed him. And yet this outsider recognized something about Jesus that should ring with divine familiarity… “Say the word, Jesus, and let my servant be healed.” Clearly he was right—Jesus has this kind of power, just this sort of authority.

But in the context of the Bible, what kind of power and authority is this? It’s the same kind on astonishing display on the first page of Genesis:

“Let there be light—” and there was light.
“Let the dry land appear—” and it was so.
“Let us make man in our image—” so God created man in his own image.

“Let my servant be healed—” and they found the servant well.

We are invited to exercise this kind of faith in this particular Jesus: the one who, as Hebrews 1:3 tells us, “upholds the universe by the word of his power.” When we pray to our Savior, we pray to the God-man whose power is immense and whose authority ultimate. At a word from Jesus, it is so.

Though our faith may be weak, let it be in this Jesus.

“Say the word, Jesus, and let my sins be forgiven.”
“Say the word, Jesus, and give me your Holy Spirit.”
“Say the word, Jesus, and deliver us from evil.”
“Say the word, Jesus, and increase our faith.”
“Say the word, Jesus, and purify my heart and life.”
“Say the word, Jesus, and help this brother or this sister.”
“Say the word, Jesus, and lead me through this valley of death’s shadow.”
“Say the word, Jesus, and help me trust you to meet my needs.”
“Say the word, Jesus, and let your kingdom come.”

There is no question that Jesus posseses the power and authority to grant these requests. But is
he willing to? He whose word created the galaxies, whose command grants life to the dead—has also said:

“[W]hoever comes to me I will never cast out” (John 6:37b).

Let us come in worshipful faith to this Jesus, humble yet confident: he need merely say the word, and it will be so.

Merciful Father

Merciful Father

Merciful Father

Luke 6:35 “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great…”

Why should I love my enemies?

Here’s one major reason we weren’t able to delve into fully in this past Sunday’s sermon on Luke 6:27–36:

Because you should want to look like your Father.

Look at the rest of v. 35: “and you will be sons of the Most High.”

If you love your enemies, you will be sons of God. Think about that. About all the implications!

Now, Jesus is not saying this is how you earn your right into the family. (v. 36, God is already your Father!) Jesus is saying this is how you show you’re in the family. It’s like he’s saying “You will be sons of the Most High indeed”—like when my son does something that looks a lot like me, my sister might say “Oh my goodness, that is definitely YOUR son.” Loving your enemies is how you demonstrate the family resemblance.

Do you see this as the kind of love God has called you to grow up into as a Christian? If you love your Father in heaven, you should want people to say you look like him—that you love like him. And he, in loving mercy, wants and works for the good—even of those who are dead-set against him.

Think about his kindness to the ungrateful and evil; think about his mercy:

35b: You will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

This is why Christians are commanded to be kind to the wicked—because God is kind to the ungrateful and evil.

Consider how he’s kind to the ungrateful and evil:

Every day, for thousands of years, God has filled the world with beauty and let people who ignore him have it. He has filled the world with wonders, and let people who hate him enjoy them.

The people who vilified the Son of God and secured his crucifixion went back to warm homes and enjoyed roast lamb and laughed with their children and looked up at the stars and breathed in deep, refreshing air—all gifts from the God whose Son just died by asphyxiation.

All over the planet, since the dawn of time, rebels against the Creator run and eat and joke; enjoy married love and dawdle at the seaside and play soccer and feel the satisfaction of a job well-done and the thrill of romance and the joy of family and the ecstasy of adventure and the simple pleasures of coffee and donuts and music and dance—and the breath-taking beauty of the sunrise—

And every single one of these things are from the hand of the God we’ve hated and His Son whom we killed. He is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.

And you, Christian…will you choose not to be? No—Christ does not leave that open to us:

v. 36 “Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.”

Mercy. O, what mercy he calls us to show: rather than treating people as they deserve to be treated—we treat them…how? Here we come to the is deepest rationale for loving our enemies, brothers and sisters: We are called to treat them…as we have been treated by God. We are to show them mercy, as our Father is merciful…Because the fact that Jesus would call God our Father—and the price he paid to secure such an adoption—is the highest mercy of all.

Romans 5:8 “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:10: “while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son”




Two Sundays ago, the message at BHOF was directed specifically toward young people:

“Remember your creator in the days of your youth” (Ecclesiastes 12:1).

The preacher in Ecclesiastes doesn’t call God “creator” anywhere else in the book.

One reason, I argued, that the preacher uses the term creator here is to send us back to Genesis 1:26-31 with this reminder: when we cultivate capacities we have uniquely as image-bearers of God, we reflect the God who said “Let us make man in our own image,” and he gets glory.

It’s this point I want to pick up on in this little post. What does Genesis 1 itself emphasize about God? Because what is emphasized about God in Genesis 1 is likely to be part of what’s being emphasized about us when it says we’re like him, made in his image—made to reflect him.

The Maker and His Reflection

So what things stand out most about God in this passage, showing us ways in which we are (to be) like him?

Here’s one: He’s a maker. He makes useful and beautiful things. He organizes his world in a way that makes life flourish. He plants and tends to a beautiful place in Eden. He makes humanity’s home. He is, if you will, a homemaker.

Well, maybe you already see my point. Young people, old people, in-between-people, I want to turn your attention to those who every day reflect God among us in an often underappreciated or unnoticed way: our homemakers.

These are the women who may not have the leisure to cultivate interests and capacities and delights that many of the rest of us do, because they are committed to working not at home, necessarily, but on the home.

Our broader culture doesn’t value this kind of work. A woman’s significance and identity is often presented as what she enjoys or accomplishes for herself and outside the home. But if Ecclesiastes and Genesis and Proverbs 31 (and the rest of the Bible) are right, homemaking is a noble and glorious calling.

Making It Home

So I want to send this shoutout to those among us who get God glory by embracing the difficult calling of homemaking: those who make useful and beautiful things like meals and grocery lists and kids’ routines. Who organize their family’s small world in a way that makes life flourish. Who tend to the weeds of laundry and dirty dishes, fending off chaos and maintaining order. Who make houses or apartments into warm, welcoming homes.

Don’t think I have a particular kind of home in mind. Maybe your house is messy. Maybe it’s bare. Maybe you need to fight against idolizing it or against being ashamed of it.

Maybe the edges of your routine are frayed or maybe it’s spiraling out of control.

Certainly you need Jesus’ help, and its obvious to everyone who knows you well. Welcome to the club.

But what I’m trying to say is more basic, more true-no-matter-what: if you, in a desire to honor God and bless your family, are serving as a homemaker, you are cultivating the capacity to reflect God as a maker. You may have had to give up on a dozen other aspirations and abilities in order to do it. And what I’m saying is, it’s not a waste. You reflect God among us in a way no one else does. You image the homemaking God of Genesis 1 in a unique and valuable way.

Thank you.

Glory be to God.