Summary: Don’t let your doubts keep you from asking God to help you.
Have you ever noticed a child can help you realize how dirty a place is? My youngest daughter Ashley is a human vacuum. No matter how clean we have the house she can discover the tiniest things. I suppose what I should do is get down on all fours and crawl around the house to get close to the things I want to get clean.
This morning I want us to get close. Not to the carpet but to the Word. We are only familiar with it and often satisfied with a light touch of it. What we need is a deep examination and focus to see and hear what God wants to say.
What do these men in Matthew 8:1-13 have in common?
The leper was asking for himself...the centurion was asking for another. (Bishop Hall, writer and theologian, points out that many people came to Christ, for sons, daughters, themselves...but only this centurion came for a slave.)
a. The leper’s desperation came from two sources:
i. His physical condition
ii. The social ramifications (the Bible never states that leprosy is cured or healed but rather “cleansed”).
b. The centurion’s desperation was for several things:
i. The loss of a valuable servant (slave)
ii. The suffering of someone he genuinely cared about (Luke’s Gospel record of this event emphasizes this relationship trait)
iii. Luke’s account tells us the servant was about to die.
2. Confidence in the ability of Jesus to heal
a. James C. Dobson >>>> When I think of parents today, I’m reminded of a photograph of an elegantly dressed woman who is holding a cup of coffee. Her little finger is cocked ever so daintily to the side, and her face reveals utter self-confidence. Unfortunately, this woman does not yet know that her slip has collapsed around her feet. The caption reads, "Confidence is what you have before you understand the situation."
b. Someone has said, “God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth perfume... it is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.”
c. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:17
4. They were outcasts/outsiders
Don’t let your doubts keep you from asking!
1. Doubts that say, “I’m not fit” or “I’m unworthy”. John the Baptist said this to Jesus and Jesus reassured him that it was alright to baptize Him even though He was the Son of God.
2. The leper had doubts that arose from the way he had been treated and he displaced those things upon Jesus, although unintentionally. We are profoundly affected in our thinking about God by the way we are treated in this world. This is why it is so crucial that we understand God clearly from His Word and the actions of truly loving Christians.
3. The centurion understood his own moral inferiority to Jesus but he asked anyway. His confidence was founded in who Jesus was—not in any dependence upon himself.