Blake Coffee and Tony Diamond taught on Sunday, December 8. The videos and listening guides from that lesson, followed by the scripture, are below.
Core Lesson (Tony Diamond)
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Centurions were powerful. They reigned over soldiers. They enforced laws and maintained peace. They were the “law of the land” with incredible authority from power granted from Rome. How do people of great power use their authority?
The Centurion exhibited abject humility. First by his care for a slave he held as dear; second as he reached out to Jesus. Humility is expected by Christ, but is it different when it’s from a most unexpected person?
Imagine the scenario. Widow. Her son is all that stands between her and being destitute. A dead person was being carried out. What is common among all people when life becomes unbearable?
A gentile Centurion who cared so much for a slave that he used his authority and connections to save him. The son of God who feels the sorrow of a widow and gives her dead son back to her. How does compassion change our motivation?
Love is not an emotion. It’s not good thoughts. It’s not well wishes. Amazing love takes action.
How do you show love through doing? Remember, Love Does.
Recommended reading: Love Does by Bob Goff
Venture Lesson (Blake Coffee)
God Loves Whom We Love
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We want a relationship with God. The brokenness of this world makes it necessary. Jesus makes it personal.
How dare we ask the Creator of the universe to heal our sick friend? What makes us worthy? Only the faith that He will hear and respond.
Whether they have a relationship with Him or not, Jesus demonstrates that God cares about the people we care about.
Desperation and hopelessness seem to attract God’s attention. Self-reliance and entitlement seem to repel it.
When God really makes His manifest presence felt, people’s initial response is never celebration…it is absolute fear.
Luke 7:1-17 (New International Version)
7 When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. 2 There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3 The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4 When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, 5 because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” 6 So Jesus went with them.
He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof.7 That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
9 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.”10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.
11 Soon afterward, Jesus went to a town called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd went along with him. 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. 13 When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, “Don’t cry.”
14 Then he went up and touched the bier they were carrying him on, and the bearers stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” 15 The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.
16 They were all filled with awe and praised God. “A great prophet has appeared among us,” they said. “God has come to help his people.” 17 This news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.