Monday, October 18, 2004

What We Deserve

Imagine telling God that you deserve his grace. Not only that, imagine then proceeding to enumerate the reasons that you deserve his grace. Seems kind of spooky to me.

One day, some of the Jewish religious leaders came to Jesus on behalf of a Roman centurion whose servant was about to die. They asked Jesus to heal the man's servant, and then told him, "This man deserves to have you do this." They then presented their evidence for why the centurion deserved it: He loved the Jewish nation, and he built their synagogue.

Those were certainly nice gestures on the part of a Gentile toward the Jews. It may have placed them in his debt. But did it obligate God?

Well, Jesus set out for the man's house. Before he got there, the centurion sent some friends to tell him, "Lord, don't trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof." He then explained how -- being a man of authority -- he understood how it works. You speak the word, and those under you obey. He recognized that Jesus was one of authority who needed only to speak the word and it would be done.

Catch this: Jesus was amazed at him! He turned to the crowd and said, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel." And he healed the centurion's servant.

Someone has said that justice is when we get what we deserve. Mercy is when we don't get what we deserve. But grace is when we get what we don't deserve.

Thank you, Lord, for giving me what I don't deserve!

1 comment:

Bev Ross said...

Powerful thoughts! I am rejoicing this day in God's lavishing grace!