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Lesson # Matt. 8:5
Study Material - Matt. 8:5
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
5 And when He had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, entreating Him,
Now we have a contrast. The leper on the one hand and the centurion on the other.
How often do we have preconceived ideas about people? Maybe we have seen someone on TV or in the movies, or perhaps somewhere else, and they are bigger than life, at least in our minds. Then we see them in person and our preconceived idea of that person is shattered. We had expectations of something more superior than the reality. We are a little shocked, and maybe even disappointed. That disappointment is not that persons fault but our own because we had pictured something that was not. We expected something that was not. And our reward for the encounter was less than what we really wanted. We were wanting something more than just an autograph or a brief conversation. Perhaps the something more was undefined in our mind, but it was there all the same because the disappointment occurred.
Multitudes were following Christ. Actually they were following 'Jesus of Nazareth', not 'Christ', in their minds. He was a magician. He was a healer. He was a person that rumors make greater than the person himself. When folks heard of Jesus, He was ten feet tall, powerful, commanding. When they saw him he was an ordinary man. He was not dressed in silks and satins. He did not wear the golden ornaments of royalty. His appearance was that of a son of a carpenter - ordinary.
Now the leper. Here was a person who was repulsive, probably stunk because of the disease. We can expect that his clothes were torn, tattered, and not in the best of condition. His physical appearance and health would be disgusting. A person that would make you get out of his way when he approached you on the street. No personable smile, nothing friendly. 'Avoid' would be the first thing that entered your mind. 'Keep the children away from him' would also be in your mind.
Third we have the centurion. Here is a person dressed in proper decor. Everything in it place and properly fitting. Everything shined and polished. 'Order' would be the word above his head. Authority would be in his step, or confidence. He would have the proper attitude of social interaction and of action when called for. He would smile, bow, say 'yes sir and yes maam'. He would be courteous, something expected of a man in a position of authority. This centurion went to Christ in humility. He went to Christ not for himself, but for another. He was sincere and compassionate, and concerned for others.
Most of the multitude following Jesus were selfish or curious. What could He do? What could He do for them? What more could He do? What was everyone's expectation?
Life is short. The more we look to expectations (usually unreasonable ones) then we lose track of the true objectives in life. Jesus Christ is the only celebrity to whom we should look. There are famous persons on the TV, in sports, in the news and so forth, but they are only people. None of them can do for your life, what God can do for you.
To get distracted on fame, or perceived fame, because it excites you, or because you have placed some sort of value on seeing or meeting some famous person, to get wrapped up in the expectations of fame or notoriety, will cause you to lose track of your destiny and life itself.
Human fame should be put in its place such as entertainment or an example of a worthy goal you might have for your life, but to center your life, or have some sort of fixation or infatuation on this person or that, is an error.
People should be looked at, not with some form of worship as though they can do something for you, but for the mere fellowship that might occur between the two, or for example for which one might be able to follow. An example is that which matches a standard which is incontestable. Bible doctrine is that perfect standard.
Jesus was looked to not for the wisdom, but for what He could do (the healing). Healing of a physical ailment was a short term fix of a problem that would eventually end in death anyway. The body decays over time regardless of health. The soul is the target to which we should all look.
Life is short. Didn't we say that before? Every person needs to focus on the real priorities of life - his own soul and its needs. The judging of others, depending on the rumors heard, depending on their appearance, depending on their manner in life are all false pursuits.
We do not judge others, we judge ourselves. We do not look to others, we look to Gods Word. The reputation of others (good or bad) is irrelevant. The message of Gods Word is the only relevant thing in life. Everything else in life is just filler.
Our soul will go on living when our body fails us. The real question is, 'In what condition is your soul going to be?' Will it be full of 'ooh' and 'awe' of others or of expectations that really do not exist? Or, will your soul be full of Gods Wisdom?
The multitudes followed. The leper approach and bowed. The centurion advanced and called out to Him. The first were curious. The latter two believed in Him as Christ, the Son of God.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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