What Do We Deserve?

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 Luke 7:9 “…I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.”

So what does faith have to do with humility? A story from Luke 7 sheds some light…

A Roman soldier’s servant, whom he evidently cared deeply about, was deathly sick. When the soldier heard Jesus had entered his town, he sent some of the Jewish leaders to ask Jesus if he would come to his home and heal him. They implored Jesus on the basis that the man deserved to have his servant healed. He was a good man.

Yet, as Jesus approached the house, the soldier sent friends to stop him with the remarkable comment that he didn’t deserve to have Jesus even come under his roof. Recognizing the authority Jesus carried, he asked if he would just say the word and his servant would be healed. The soldier’s request was based on the knowledge of who Jesus was, not his own deservedness. For this soldier knew—in the light of pure goodness—he was not a good man.

And how did Jesus respond? He was “amazed” at “such great faith.” Not the man’s good deeds and reputation, not his love for God’s people, not the compassion he displayed for his servant. What stopped the King of kings and Lord of lords in his tracks was the man’s faith.

Humility makes room for faith. It empties us of thinking we deserve to have certain things or be treated in certain ways because of our moral goodness or our accomplishments. It helps us see that every good thing we encounter is a gift from heaven. Even the paychecks we earn are the result of a Father who provides us with the ability and opportunity to work.

I’m afraid we’re losing that concept. I’m afraid even in the Christian culture, faith is being divorced from humility. Like the citizens in Capernaum, we judge others (and ourselves) as being deserving or not deserving of God’s grace with shallow eyes. We resist humbling ourselves and instead strive to do it ourselves. That way we don’t have to wrestle with our lack of faith…

We can’t please God without it. We can’t walk in the power of God without it. Ultimately, it is the victory we have over the world. But faith can’t grow without this humble realization…

We deserve nothing

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