Herrenhuter readings for Tuesday, the 20th January 2015

Jesus and centurion

For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. (Psalm 33,9)

The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. (Matthews 8,8)

That’s our Lord. That’s how he performs. That’s how he fulfils all his promises. He speaks and it is done. He commands and it stands firm and unshaken. That’s the authority that has been given to him in heaven and on earth as he rules and reigns over all things visible and invisible.

The pagan centurion, who was not a Jew, confessed this. He was confident that Jesus could do this by speaking up and for the healing of his servant. Efficacious words, that’s what he entrusted Jesus with – sure that Jesus could and would do this. That’s why he would not need to go to any more trouble of visiting, performing rites and rituals, hopping and dancing, making a big scene – no, just one word and the servant would be healed.

It’s just like an officer commanding a trooper. The command is given and the foot soldier obeys and carries out the order. It’s very simple really. The officers wish is the soldiers command. The centurion holds that Jesus works in the same efficient manner. He commands all and everything. They bid his calling. Not only all people and nations, but also wars and peace, winds, currents and seasons, good and bad times, health and sickness, life and death.

Jesus agrees with the conviction of the centurion. He does not only speak the word and actually heals the servant, but he also praises this faith and confession of the centurion as exemplary and invites Israel and all the world: “This is what you should expect of me !” I can and will do it, because it is the good will of the triune God that all men be saved and come to the knowledge of truth. Therefore come to me all of you, who are heavily laden and I will give you rest. I will grant you peace. I will forgive your sins and heal all your diseases. Your sins are forgiven. Go in peace + And the servant was healed at that precise hour.

Because Jesus can do this, that is why the faith in him and his promises can move mountains. That is why we should not despair, but rather be hopeful and confident. Does he not invite us to pray: “Ask and it will be given to you”? If you, who are evil can give good things to your children, how much more will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those, who ask him for it? Therefore come and seek his presence and fall to your knees like a humble supplicant before his benefactor and ask him, to help, save and heal you. Pray as he has taught you with words of the “Our Father”. Pray a fitting Psalm or two. Call out as those helpless men of old: “+ Kyrie eleison + Christe eleison + Kyrie eleison +” and he will surely do it. Before you have called, he will have answered even. More and above you have ever dared to wish for – a full and overflowing measure of grace, mercy and peace + Who would not rejoice with a Lord like this? Amen.

Oh, for a Thousand Tongues to Sing
By: Charles Wesley

Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my god and King,
The triumphs of his grace!

My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad
The honors of your name.

The name of Jesus charms our fears
And bids our sorrows cease,
Sings music in the sinner’s ears,
Brings life and health and peace.

He breaks the power of canceled sin;
He sets the prisoner free.
His blood can make the foulest clean;
His blood avails for me.

Look to the Lord, who did atone
For sin, O fallen race.
Look and be saved through faith alone,
Be justified by grace.

See all our sins on Jesus laid;
The Lamb has made us whole.
His soul was once an offering made
For every human soul.

To God all glory, praise, and love
Be now and ever given
By saints below and saints above
The Church in earth and heaven.

Hymn # 276 from Lutheran Worship Author: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788

About Wilhelm Weber

Pastor at the Old Latin School in the Lutherstadt Wittenberg
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