Sermon in a nutshell: Matthew 8:1-13
Today is the 4th Sunday of Advent. Our church celebrates and waits for the coming of the Lord with Christmas Cantata. The music and words have Christmas message already. However, I would like meditate on the biblical passage that we have in the narration.
Jesus came in flesh to defeat the power of sin and death. Jesus came to us to give eternal life. To show that Jesus can bring life to us, Jesus cured all who came to him and forgave all who sought God’s grace. Today’s Bible passage shows just two examples of such love and power of Jesus.
The first passage (Matthew 8:1-4) shows the divine willingness to cure and forgive all who come to God. When a leper came to Jesus his questions was whether Jesus wanted to cure him. The leper said, “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.” He does not question the power of Jesus. He was not sure, however, whether Jesus wanted to cure him, a leper, who was treated as a “sinner.” Jesus replied to him, “I do choose.” That was an emphatic confirmation! I do choose! God really wants to cure us and free us from the power of sin and death!
The second passage (Matthew 8:5-13) focuses on the love of a pagan man. A centurion came to Jesus. A centurion was a Roman soldier. In other words, he was a pagan. He came to Jesus not for his son but for his “servant.” At that time, a servant could be regarded as his property, not as a human. A Roman soldier who had power and authority over Jewish people came to a Jewish young man, Jesus, for his servant! That tells us that (1) he loved his servant as a fellow human being and (2) he trusted Jesus as God. He had both love and faith but his love shone far brighter. So, Jesus said, “I will come and cure him.” When we care for others, God also cares for them. Then he showed his faith. “Only speak the word, and my servant will be healed.”
Who is our God? Our God is the God who created the whole universe only with word, “Let there be light!” And there was light! So, when our God says, “Let there be life!” there will be life. Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; let it be done for you according to your faith.” Jesus would say the same thing today to you and me. “Let it be done for you according to your faith” when we have love for others and faith in God.
Jesus was born two thousand years ago but he needs to be born again in our hearts to save us. How?
(1) We already have found out that God is willing and ready to forgive and cure us, a leper.
(2) We have to show our love for others (esp. for those unfortunate ones) and faith in God. \
So, here is my question for all of us to think about:
- What, do you believe, can God do for us and for our church? (Write down your faith statement now and compare your writings with the actual happenings later).
- In your faith statement that you have written above, who will enjoy the benefits of our faith?