Sermon Transcript – Precious To Him

Series C – Second Sunday After Pentecost – Sunday, May 29, 2016 | Pr. Chris Rosebrough

Welcome to the Teaching Ministry of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church. Kongsvinger is a beacon for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and is located on the plains of Northwestern Minnesota.
We proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and salvation by grace through faith alone, and now, here’s a message from Pastor Chris Rosebrough:
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0:29the holy Gospel According to Saint Luke
0:31chapter 7 verses 1 through 10.
0:35after he had finished all his sayings in
0:37the hearing of the people he entered
0:40now a centurion had a servant who was
0:43sick at the point of death who was
0:45highly valued by him when the Centurion
0:47heard about Jesus he sent to him Elders
0:50of the Jews asking him to come and heal
0:52his servant and when they came to Jesus
0:56they pleaded with him earnestly saying
0:58he is worthy to have you do this for him
1:02for he loves our nation and he is the
1:05one who built us our synagogue and Jesus
1:08went with them
1:09when he was not far from the house the
1:11Centurion sent friends saying to him
1:13Lord do not trouble yourself
1:16for I am not worthy to have you come
1:18under my roof therefore I do not presume
1:20to come to you but say the word and let
1:23my servant be healed for I too am a man
1:26said under Authority with soldiers under
1:28me and I say to one go and he goes I say
1:31to another come he comes and to my
1:35servant do this and he does it when
1:38Jesus heard these things he marveled at
1:39him and turning to the crowd that
1:41followed him said I tell you not even in
1:43Israel have I found such faith and when
1:46those who had been sent returned to the
1:48house they found the servant well
1:52in the name of Jesus
1:54all right today we begin to walk our way
1:57through a large swath of the Gospel of
1:59Luke and for those of you who are really
2:01fans of paraments and the color green
2:03Green’s going to be here for a long time
2:07just want to point that out I think it
2:09goes all the way to Advent Navin isn’t
2:10until when
2:12all right we’ll see if we can mix it up
2:14a little bit as we go with maybe some
2:16good feast days or something like that
2:17we have an excuse to pull out our red
2:19now because of the way the lectionary
2:23Works we’re beginning our walk through
2:25the Gospel of Luke in chapter seven yeah
2:28so I encourage you strongly go back and
2:31read chapters one through six especially
2:34six in that chapter is Luke’s version of
2:36The Sermon on the Mount and it’s
2:38absolutely magnificent so for our
2:40context today simply keep in mind that
2:43this is early in Jesus’s Ministry Jesus
2:46has been born circumcised he went
2:49missing for three days at the age of 12.
2:52poor Mary and Joseph they lost the Son
2:55of God had to be stressful right
2:58he was baptized by John the Baptist he
3:01healed a paralytic forgave his sins to
3:04healed a man with a withered hand on the
3:06Sabbath great story and he’s chosen his
3:09disciples and he’s preached The Sermon
3:12on the Mount that where we are right now
3:14in our text so with that we’re going to
3:16return to Our Gospel text and for
3:18today’s sermon
3:19I’m going to be reading from my
3:21translation of this text now the reason
3:23for that is not because my translation
3:24is superior instead the reason is
3:27because I’m going to give you a literal
3:29reading I’m not going to polish up the
3:32translation there are several steps when
3:33you’re translating first is kind of like
3:35the first block through where everything
3:38gets kind of stiff and wooden and it
3:39doesn’t make good English sense we’re
3:41going to go with that one we’re gonna go
3:43with that one I haven’t polished this up
3:45and there’s a reason for that because I
3:47think that the idioms are going to help
3:49draw a few things out that you wouldn’t
3:51see in a well-polished translation like
3:53the ESV so think of this as that If This
3:55Were a painting project you know the
3:57translation we’re at the primer stage
4:00okay we haven’t put all the fancy stuff
4:02on it in our translation so with that
4:04let’s return to Our Gospel text Luke
4:07chapter 7 verse 1. here’s what it says
4:09after he completed all of his words in
4:11the hearing of the people he entered
4:13into Capernaum and a certain centurion’s
4:16slave who was
4:19now in the ESV it says valuable
4:22that’s what it says it says valuable
4:24all right the Greek word there is a
4:26little stronger than that it means
4:29something of considerable worth
4:31considerable I would push that and make
4:35it just a little stronger and say a
4:37centurion whose slave was precious to
4:41being ill was about to come to an end
4:44the Greek says so in this text we’re
4:46confronted with a desperate situation
4:49time is running out for a slave of a
4:54and by the way centurions are not
4:56exactly known to be the good friends of
4:59the Jews remember they’re occupying
5:01soldiers have you heard of the zealots
5:03yeah all right think about think about
5:07um our experience as Americans and our
5:09soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan they
5:11are considered to be well occupying
5:14soldiers and what happens to occupying
5:16soldiers well if they’re not careful
5:18they’re going to find themselves dead
5:20right and nowadays the terrorists the
5:22way they work they hide IEDs improvised
5:25explosive devices in order to take out
5:27enemy troops right well they didn’t have
5:29IEDs back then and the Jews of Jesus’s
5:32day there was a whole group of them
5:34called zealots who made it their mission
5:37in life to make life miserable for Roman
5:39soldiers and if you read the disciples
5:41list really quick you know go back and
5:43look at Jesus’s disciples there’s one
5:46Simon the Zealot among Jesus’s disciples
5:50you can translate that as Simon the
5:52terrorist or maybe Simon the former
5:54terrorist right so here we’ve got this
5:57guy who’s a Roman soldier and a
6:00centurion to boot I’ll explain that in a
6:02minute time is running out for his
6:05precious slave but having heard about
6:07Jesus he’s heard about Jesus he sent
6:11Elders of the Jews to him asking him so
6:15that having come he might
6:18I know your translation says heal
6:20so he might heal his slave
6:23not the best translation
6:25this is where I want you to learn a
6:27Greek word today all right so here’s our
6:29Greek word you can write this down for
6:31further use then the word is Dia sodzo
6:37diasodzo I won’t spell it because it’s
6:39like Delta Yoda Alpha it doesn’t work
6:42that way right okay dsodzo and here’s
6:45what it literally means to rescue
6:47to deliver from a hazard or a danger or
6:50to bring someone safely through
6:53it’s not really talking about healing
6:55here it’s come and rescue my slave he’s
6:58in dire danger he’s about to die bring
7:02him safely through that’s what this word
7:04is about keep that word in mind I’m
7:06going to refer back to it later in the
7:09sermon so having heard about Jesus he
7:11sends Elders of the Jews come rescue his
7:14slave they say
7:16so the ones having come to Jesus were
7:19appealing to him earnestly saying he for
7:22whom you will grant this is worthy he’s
7:25deserving he loves our nation he built
7:29the synagogue for us
7:31now note here’s something here
7:33the Centurion doesn’t come meet Jesus
7:35face to face he sends others
7:38think of this as a prayer
7:42right how many of you have seen Jesus
7:44face to face anybody no me either I
7:46haven’t seen him face to face every time
7:48I invite him to Starbucks for a Bible
7:50study he never shows up
7:53so I haven’t seen him so when we’re in
7:55need or dire danger or we have something
7:58that has come up in our life that
7:59requires prayer we pray to Jesus but we
8:03also have others pray on our behalf
8:05right so think of this as a prayer it’s
8:07kind of like that but this wasn’t a very
8:10good prayer
8:11some problems with this prayer
8:16what do you pray when you are in need
8:19I’ll just kind of throw that out as a
8:21question in the middle of the sermon
8:22here so this is a prayer what do you
8:24pray when you’re in need all right so
8:25Lord Jesus I’m having trouble with my
8:28my relationships are a mess I’m having
8:31difficulty with my body I’m not healthy
8:34there’s pain or maybe finances are not
8:37going so well or the farm is
8:39experiencing difficulty what do you pray
8:42in a situation like that now these are
8:44common areas where things go badly in
8:46our lives all of this is a consequence
8:48of our sin and this is where the
8:51televangelists and the parasite
8:53preachers teach us to make ourselves
8:55worthy of a miracle and deserving of
8:57God’s blessings by sending in our best
9:00seed offerings right send in your best
9:03seed offering and God will heal you
9:06he’ll repair your marriage he’ll bring
9:09peace to your finances he’ll make you
9:10healthy wealthy and wise and all of this
9:13is blasphemy and you know this right
9:16God’s gifts and His blessings are not
9:19purchased with American currency
9:22or any other currency for that matter no
9:26God does not
9:28and will not
9:30help you financially or in your marriage
9:33or other ways because you’ve sent him
9:35money or put money in the plate
9:37and a little bit of a side note God does
9:40not will for you to send your money to a
9:43televangelist either
9:45they’re false teachers we do not support
9:47them all right so many of you know this
9:51but even if you’re not tempted to send
9:53your money to a TV huckster you actually
9:56are still tempted to think this way
9:59about God
10:00God I’m in need
10:02but I haven’t missed Church in almost
10:04six months
10:05right I’ve been faithful to put my tithe
10:08in the plate on every payday therefore
10:11Jesus I’m worthy to have you solve my
10:18I’m guilty of doing this
10:21we all are
10:23this is not how God operates
10:27let’s go back to our text
10:30so he’s worthy he’s deserving he loves
10:32our nation he built the synagogue for us
10:36a little bit of a note here
10:38it’s an interesting statement
10:40the fact that they note that this
10:42Centurion has built their synagogue for
10:44them well this means the Centurion has
10:47heard the law of Moses
10:50he has he has more than a cursory
10:52introduction to the word of God
10:55and by the way God’s word never returns
10:59to him void
11:00keep that in mind
11:02so the text then says this now Jesus was
11:04proceeding with them and he already
11:06being not far distant from the house the
11:09Centurion sent friends saying to him
11:11notice now these are not Elders of the
11:13Jews these are the friends of the
11:15Centurion and here’s what they say
11:20don’t be troubling yourself
11:22for I am not worthy that you should come
11:25under my roof
11:27for this reason I did not even consider
11:29myself worthy to come to you
11:32ah so now
11:34the truth comes out he’s heard the law
11:37of Moses he knows he’s not worthy being
11:40kind to the Jews and building their
11:42synagogue does not tip the scales in his
11:45favor regarding his sinful Condition
11:47it’s not enough
11:49it’s not sufficient
11:51it does not put God in his debt
11:56by the way your good works your money
12:00your good behavior cannot and does not
12:04earn God’s favor
12:06doesn’t earn his blessings either and if
12:08you think they do then it’s time for you
12:11to say this prayer along with the
12:13Centurion repeat after him
12:16I am not worthy
12:21I am not
12:24and then the centurion’s prayer now
12:26changed says this
12:29but Lord speak in a word
12:31and let my servant be healed
12:35so with no bargaining power no chips to
12:37cash in no special favors that he can
12:40call in he ends up throwing himself
12:42completely on the mercy of Christ
12:46and this is where it gets interesting
12:47because remember he’s built their
12:48synagogue for them that means he’s heard
12:50the law of Moses let me remind you of
12:53what was said in our Old Testament text
12:54all right at the tail end of it here’s
12:58what it says in sec in First Kings
13:00chapter 8 41-43 likewise when a
13:04foreigner who is not of your People
13:06Israel comes from a far country for your
13:08name’s sake for they shall hear of your
13:10great name and your Mighty hand and of
13:13your outstretched armed when he comes
13:15and prays toward this house here in
13:18heaven your dwelling place and do
13:20according to all for which The Foreigner
13:22calls to you
13:23in order that all the peoples of the
13:25earth may know your name and fear you as
13:28do your People Israel that they may know
13:31that this house that I have built is
13:33called by your name
13:36Solomon at the dedication of the temple
13:38prays for the Nations and those who
13:41would come to Israel and hear the great
13:43name of God and here this Roman
13:48he’s not only heard the law of Moses
13:50surely in his dealings with the Jews
13:53he’s somewhere heard about how great
13:57Yahweh of Israel is he must have heard
14:01that Yahweh is merciful and gracious
14:04slow to anger and abounding and
14:07steadfast love he truly must have heard
14:10that he will not always chide nor will
14:12he keep his anger forever
14:15he also must have heard that Yahweh does
14:17not deal with us according to our sins
14:19nor repay us according to our iniquities
14:23surely he must have heard for as high as
14:25the heavens are above the Earth so great
14:27is God’s steadfast love towards those
14:30who fear Him as far as the East is from
14:33the West so far does God remove our
14:36transgressions from us
14:39that’s psalm 103.
14:41surely he must have heard that if the
14:44Lord should keep or Mark iniquities no
14:48one could stand but with Yahweh there is
14:50forgiveness therefore he is feared
14:53psalm 130.
14:56so the Centurion now confessing his
14:59unworthiness throws himself completely
15:01on the mercy of Christ
15:04this unworthy sinful Centurion
15:08is now praying a totally different kind
15:11of Prayer
15:13and here’s what he says
15:15but speak it in a word
15:17and let my servant be healed
15:19for I also am a man being placed under
15:22Authority having soldiers under myself
15:24and I say to this one go and he goes
15:27into another come and he comes into my
15:29slave do this and he does it
15:32here’s what the Centurion is praying
15:36I believe that you have authority to
15:38heal my precious servant I believe that
15:41you have authority from God
15:44my faith is in you is not misplaced and
15:48I know that all you have to do is say
15:51the word and my precious servant will be
15:55please Lord Jesus
15:57say the word
15:59I’m not worthy to have you do this I’m
16:02not even worthy to see your face but I
16:04have heard of the god of Israel and his
16:06mercy and his kindness and his great
16:08love and his grace so please have mercy
16:11on me Lord Jesus
16:13and say the word
16:16it’s a good way to paraphrase his prayer
16:19one has to wonder
16:21at this point what the Jewish Elders
16:23must have thought
16:25about the centurion’s confession of
16:28being unworthy
16:30they were there bargaining with Jesus
16:32based upon this man’s worthiness to
16:34receive this miracle and now the
16:36Centurion has just cut the legs out from
16:38the negotiation
16:40they have no chips to bargain with he
16:42has to wonder what they must have
16:44thought of that
16:47having heard these things
16:49Jesus marveled at him
16:52and having turned to the crowd following
16:54him he said I say to you not even in
16:57Israel did I find so great of faith
17:01and then having returned to the house
17:03the ones having been sent found the
17:06being healthy
17:12we are not saved by our worthiness
17:16our prayers are not answered by God
17:19because of our worthiness
17:21we as the scripture say are saved by
17:23God’s grace through faith it is not the
17:26result of our works and here we see in
17:28graphic and Vivid detail what that
17:30Doctrine looks like in action
17:33what must the Pharisees have thought of
17:35Jesus marveling and praising the
17:38centurion’s faith they were very
17:43but in all of Jesus is dealing with the
17:45Pharisees and those who were taught
17:47their brand of self-righteousness all
17:49throughout Israel Jesus had never found
17:53such faith
17:56and without faith it’s impossible to
17:58please God Hebrews 11 6 says
18:01the Jews had to have been stunned by
18:03this outcome stunned by Jesus’s High
18:06Praise for the faith of this Gentile
18:08Centurion yeah sure he built their
18:11synagogue but he’s still a gentile
18:14he still eats bacon
18:18oh don’t get me started on bacon
18:25so he’s still a gentile
18:27and they had to also be stinging
18:29from Jesus’s tacit rebuke of their
18:32belief that their Works make them worthy
18:35of God’s gifts and Grace
18:39Jesus didn’t say it explicitly but he
18:42did say it
18:44so now the story comes full circle for
18:48in the beginning of this account we are
18:50told about a slave who was precious to
18:53his master a master who was one who was
18:56put in authority over others in this
18:59case the one in Authority is a centurion
19:01and they are men put in authority over
19:03100 Roman soldiers hence the word
19:07the original prayer of the Centurion was
19:10that Jesus might
19:14rescue deliver
19:16safely through his precious servant now
19:20if we stop to think about this very
19:22carefully then we as Christians will
19:25find ourselves in a very similar
19:28situation consider this passage from
19:30Ephesians chapter 1 verses 11 through
19:3214. Paul writes he says in him we were
19:36chosen having been predestined according
19:40to the plan of him who works out
19:42everything in Conformity with the
19:45purpose of his will in order that we who
19:48were the first to Hope in Christ might
19:50be for the praise of his glory
19:53and you also were included in Christ
19:55when you heard the word of Truth The
19:57Gospel of your salvation having believed
20:00you were marked in him with a seal the
20:03promised Holy Spirit who was a deposit
20:05guaranteeing our inheritance until the
20:08Redemption of those who are
20:10God’s possession
20:14I revealed
20:15to the praise of his glory
20:18scripture says we
20:20Christians are God’s possession
20:24Peter says this in First Peter 2 9-10
20:27you are a chosen race Christians you are
20:30a royal priesthood you are a holy nation
20:33you are a people for his own possession
20:37so that you may proclaim the
20:38excellencies of him who called you out
20:41of Darkness Into His Marvelous Light
20:43once you were not a people but now you
20:46are God’s people once you had not
20:48received Mercy but now you have
20:51receive Mercy beloved we belong to
20:55Christ he has purchased us with his holy
20:58and Precious Blood and Christ is not
21:01merely a man with authority over a
21:03hundred soldiers he is the king of kings
21:06and he is the Lord of lords or as it
21:09says in Hebrew he is Yahweh savayoth
21:13the Lord of armies
21:16yep Jesus
21:19is not like that Centurion
21:22and unlike that Centurion Jesus is
21:27keep that in mind he is
21:29and the scripture reveals that he is
21:31worthy for us
21:33Revelation chapter 5 reads thus
21:36John writing then I saw in the right
21:39hand of him who was Seated on the throne
21:41a scroll written within and on the back
21:44sealed with Seven Seals and I saw a
21:47mighty Angel Proclaim with a loud voice
21:50who is worthy to open the scroll and to
21:53break its seals
21:55no one in heaven or on Earth or under
21:57the Earth was able to open the scroll or
22:00to look into it and I began to weep
22:02loudly because no one was found worthy
22:05to open the scroll or to look into it
22:08and one of the elders said to me weep no
22:12Behold The Lang the lion of the tribe of
22:15Judah the root of David he has conquered
22:17so that he can open the scroll
22:20and its Seven Seals
22:22and between the throne and the four
22:24living creatures and among the elders I
22:26saw a lamb standing as though it had
22:28been slain with seven horns and seven
22:31eyes which are the seven spirits of God
22:33sent out into all the Earth and he went
22:36and took the scroll from the right hand
22:38of him who was Seated on the throne and
22:40when he had taken the scroll the four
22:42living creatures and the 24 Elders fell
22:45down before the lamb
22:47each holding a harp and golden bowls
22:49full of incense which are the prayers of
22:51the Saints and they sang a new song and
22:54listened to their song worthy are you to
22:58take the scroll and to open its seals
23:00for you were slain and by your blood you
23:03ransomed people for God from every tribe
23:07and language and people and nation and
23:11you have made them a kingdom and Priests
23:13to our God and they shall reign
23:17on the Earth
23:21unlike this Roman Centurion Christ is
23:27the praise continues in heaven Worthy is
23:30the Lamb who was slain to receive power
23:33and wealth and wisdom and might and
23:36honor and glory and blessing
23:40Worthy is Jesus
23:43beloved you are Christ’s precious
23:49his blood-bought slave is what you are
23:53and all authority in heaven and on Earth
23:55and under the Earth has been given to
23:58and he knows that you are sick to the
24:01point of death because of your sin he
24:04knows that unless he speaks the word
24:06you’re not going to make it through
24:09your sin is too great your debt is way
24:13too massive to be able to pay
24:16but he like that Centurion is not about
24:19to let you die without desperately
24:22springing into action in order to rescue
24:26and so he did
24:28Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary for
24:31you he suffered under Pontius Pilate for
24:35you he was crucified for you
24:40he died
24:41for you
24:43he was buried for you he rose again from
24:47the grave for you
24:50because of this here is our prayer
24:55Lord Jesus we are unworthy
25:00and we are sick with sin
25:02and nearing death
25:05but you Lord are the one to whom all
25:07authority has been given therefore speak
25:10the word Lord and we will be diasodzo
25:14we will be rescued and brought safely
25:18this is our prayer
25:21how do you think Jesus will answer this
25:23prayer of faith
25:26will he turn you away
25:28be gone with you you unworthy slave
25:33our worthy Jesus now answers this prayer
25:37he speaks the word and here it is are
25:40you ready for his word here it is
25:46you are forgiven
25:49you are made clean
25:51today you leave this house healed
25:55and rescued your Jesus has brought you
25:58safely through
26:01so do you have faith to believe these
26:06that same kind of great faith that Jesus
26:10praised in the Centurion
26:12or are you still trying to scrape
26:14together a list of good deeds that
26:16you’ve done in order that you can
26:17present them to Jesus to try to prove to
26:20him that you’re worthy of his
26:22forgiveness his Mercy his grace
26:26and his miracles
26:31I’ll let you think about that
26:34in the name of Jesus
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