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By Glenda Ward

McDowell CountyGlenda Ward McDowell County


Demonstration of Great Faith

On the day of Jesus, there was a terrifying disease called Leprosy. It had no known cure (Matthew 8:2-3). When the leper begged Jesus to heal him, Jesus reached out and touched him, even though he was covered with the dreaded disease.

Sin is also an incurable disease – and we all have it. Only Christ’s healing touch can take away our sins and restore us to real living. But it is just like the leper, we must realize our inability to cure ourselves. We must ask Jesus Christ for His saving help and trust in Him.

Many obstacles stand between people and Jesus – pride, self-sufficiency, doubt, money, language, distance, time, and power. Any number of things stand in people’s way. But the centurion, in verses 5-9 of Matthew chapter 8, did not let these barriers block his approach to Jesus Christ and we shouldn’t either. Jesus said that many religious Jews would be excluded from His Kingdom because of their lack of faith. Entrenched in their religious traditions, they could not accept Christ and His new message. Therefore, we must be careful not to become so set in our religious habits that we expect God to work only in specific ways. Don’t limit God to your mindset and lack of faith.

Awaiting The Unrepentant

The background here is the demonstration of great faith by the Roman Centurion. “…the children of the kingdom…” in Matthew chapter 8 verse 12 refers to the unrepentant Jews who thought because of their ancestry, they had automatic entrance into God’s Kingdom. Note: These false children are not to be confused with the true children of God’s Kingdom who were believing witnesses on earth who exercised personal faith in Jesus Christ as did the centurion (Reference John 8:31). Luke 13:22-30 combines what Matthew says in 7:23 and 8:11-12 that the whole context is Jesus’ teachings concerning the final exclusion from the entrance into heaven (Reference Matthew 7:21-23). The Jews thought that they were first, but God reminded them that they could be last and those who thought themselves last, such as sinners, would be first if they exercised their faith in Jesus Christ.

The phrase “…shall be cast out…” refers to a particular time when this is going to happen. And it is something the people brought upon themselves through their hypocritical pretense that they were the children and followers of Abraham when they really were not. Abraham was the father of the faithful, but these followers of Abraham were not faithful.

Responding Disciples

Not everyone who talks about heaven belongs to God’s Kingdom. Jesus wants us to do right, not just say the right words. What you do cannot be separated from what you believe. Jesus is more concerned about our walk with Him than our talk. Jesus exposed those people who sounded religious but had no personal relationship with Him. On “that day” (the day of judgment) only our relationship with Christ Jesus – our acceptance of Him as Savior and our obedience to Him – will matter. In reality, faith in Christ Jesus is what will count at the judgment. On that final day of reckoning God will settle all accounts, judging sin and rewarding faith. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only…” (James 1:22); (Reference James 1:22-27; Matthew 7:21-27). We are to be hearing, and responding disciples, not a superficial one. Practicing obedience to our Lord and Savior becomes the solid foundation to face the storms of life and entrance into God’s Kingdom.

Jesus’ Final Warning

Jesus compares two lives at the end of the Sermon on the Mount. These two people have several points in common: both are builders, both hear Jesus’ teachings, and both experience the same set of circumstances in life. The difference between the two is one of them ignored what Jesus said. He ignored His warning.  Jesus’ final warning is communicated through a comparison of the two men who built their houses. One built his house on a rock foundation and one built on the sand. Therefore, everyone who hears Jesus’ teachings and acts on them may be compared to the wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and winds blew against the house, yet it did not fall. The foundation of this house had been built on rock. For everyone who hears the Words of Jesus and does not act on them is like the foolish man who built his house up on the sand. When those forces of nature came, his house fell (Matthew 7:24-27).

Many people are headed for destruction out of thoughtlessness. In part, our responsibility as believers is to help others stop and think about where their lives are headed and to point out the consequences of ignoring Jesus’ message. It is important to know what God’s Word says, but it is much more important for us to obey it! The effectiveness of knowing God’s Word can be measured by the effect it has on our behavior and our attitudes in life. God’s Word – “…The perfect law of liberty…”. “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed” (James 1:25).

Structural differences will be evident in our lives and will be revealed by our behavior and how we weather the storms we face. Immediate differences in your life, when you follow Jesus’ teachings, may not be obvious, but eventually, they will turn out to affect even your eternal life! Jesus’ final warning and challenge to us is: that it is up to each of us to exercise our free will to choose between life with Him or a life of eternal destruction. God’s law offers us a true reflection of our sinful condition and allows us to ask God’s forgiveness (Reference Romans 7:7-9).

The parables in Matthew chapter 7 remind us of what an honor and privilege it is to have Jesus Christ in our lives as our solid rock, our foundation, and our Lord and Savior, giving us the gift of forgiveness and our Salvation: God’s Law – The law that gives us Freedom


Glenda Ward is a member of Grand View Baptist Church in McDowell County and is a Christian writer/author of “Something to Think About” – weekly Christian Articles. She finds purpose and joy in writing Church Programs & Bulletins, VBS Material, Christmas and Easter Programs, Memorials, and now expanding to include weekly articles to other churches, as well as writings to include Christian-based articles on Relationships in Marriage; all material based on the KJV of the Bible. From personal experience, I hope to set an example of how to serve a risen Savior and live by the Holy Spirit with joy. My goal is to help people partake of the better option in life to experience the transforming power that is available in Christ Jesus today. You can read more, good, Christian news from Glenda HERE.