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The Worthiness of the Unworthy

by Rev. Kirby Williams

Understanding how the unworthy become infinitely and eternally worthy!

Text: Luke 7:1-10
Date: 06/26/2022, the Combined service.
Series: "Luke: Thy Kingdom Come" Part 66

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With the Sermon on the Mount completed, Luke returns to the narrative of Jesus' healing ministry in and around Capernaum of Galilee. It is fascinating that Luke chooses to place this story of the healing of a Gentile's slave immediately after Jesus' discussion of true Kingdom discipleship. We will touch on a variety of themes present in the story, but focus on the dynamic between the centurion, the elders of the Jews, and Jesus as the miracle-working Son of God who heals with just a Word. We will compare the centurion's faith and dependence on Jesus' grace, with the elders' unbelief and dependence on merit. We will key on the contrast between the Jews' assessment of the centurion as "worthy" and the centurion's self-assessment as "unworthy". We will ask ourselves what caused Jesus to marvel at the man's faith, and where this faith came from in the first place. Ultimately, we will realize that it is Christ alone who is truly worthy and the only One who can make those who are unworthy to be infinitely and eternally worthy before a Holy God!

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I. Introduction
II. Exposition of the text, Luke 7:1-10.
A. Context
1. Lessons on discipleship.
2. The healings in Capernaum, Luke 4:32,36.
B. The worth of the centurion.
1. Setting the scene, vs. 1.
a. Chronologically
b. Geographically, Matt. 11:23.
c. Topically
2. The centurion and his slave, vs. 2.
a. Introducing the centurion.
i. A military leader.
ii. The best of the worst.
b. Introducing the servant.
i. The "doulos".
ii. Reflecting the character of the centurion.
iii. The illness, Matt. 8:6, John 11:40.
3. The delegation of elders, vs. 3-5.
a. The centurion's request, vs. 3.
i. Familiarity with Jesus, Luke 5:15.
ii. The delegation of elders.
b. The elders grovel, vs. 4a.
i. Witness to amazing miracles, Luke 4:32,36, 5:15,26.
ii. Growing increasingly hostile, Luke 5:21,30, 6:2,11.
c. The "worthy" rationale, vs. 4b-5.
4. The centurion's unworthiness, vs. 6.
a. The willingness of Christ.
i. Despite the nature of the delegation, Luke 6:27-28.
ii. Despite the tradition of defilement, John 18:28 Acts 10:28, Mark 7:27.
b. The centurion's view of his worthiness.
i. Searching for the reason, Luke 5:8.
ii. Addressing the King of kings.
iii. The assessment of worthiness.
5. The centurion's faith, vs. 7.
a. Harmonizing with Matthew's Gospel, Matt. 8:5.
b. A statement of profound faith, Gen. 1:3, John 4:50.
6. The centurion's Christology, vs. 8.
a. A man "in" authority.
i. In a physical sense.
ii. In a figurative sense.
b. A man "under" authority.
i. The nature of authority.
ii. The source of authority.
c. What the centurion did not understand, John 14:9, 10:30.
7. Jesus' amazement, vs. 9, Mark 6:6.
a. A very human "marveling", Matt. 24:36.
b. Extraordinary faith.
8. The servant healed, vs. 10.
C. Interpretation
1. Multiple themes.
2. The subject of "worthiness", Rom. 3:10-12.
a. The interesting dynamic, Luke 4:40.
b. A man under grace.
c. Probing the source of his faith, Matt. 16:16,17, Mark 7:6.
III. Application
IV. Conclusion

The Preaching Ministry of Kirby Williams

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