“. . . the centurion sent friends to say to Jesus, ‘Lord, don’t be bothered. I don’t deserve to have you come under my roof. In fact, I didn’t even consider myself worthy to come to you. Just say the word and my servant will be healed.’ ” (Luke 7:6b-7 CEB)
What makes us worthy? How do we determine if we are worthy of something, someone, or some gift? Who decides that?
Jesus had been summoned to a centurion’s house with the request to heal his servant. As he walked to the man’s house, friends of the centurion came to Jesus with the message that the centurion didn’t feel worthy to have Jesus come to his house, and he didn’t feel worthy to even approach Jesus.
The healing ministry that Jesus had brought crowds and crowds of people who were seeking healing for themselves or others. Most of them just wanted to be whole or well again. Because Jesus often accompanied his healing with words like, “Your faith has made you well,” or “Your sins are forgiven,” he was often in trouble with the temple leaders who complained that only God could heal or forgive sins.
They didn’t understand that they were encountering God in the flesh. Jesus’ power and authority came from God alone, not from human events. He didn’t go to seminary or learn the art of healing touch from anyone. His ministry started in the Galilee area where it continued for the larger part of his three years as an itinerant rabbi.
Jesus made waves because he ignored religious protocol of his day, and he healed in places and situations where the temple leaders would never deign to go. Touching lepers, talking with tax collectors and prostitutes, healing the blind and lame, helping people to regain their dignity and be reinstated in their society was what Jesus did.
When the Jewish leaders who didn’t like Jesus became too threatened by him, they conspired to get rid of him, and they eventually did. He died on a cross, carrying the weight of our sins – the sins of the whole world. He died so that all of us could be forgiven and restored to right relationship with God. His resurrection conquered death, and brought hope to the world.
That’s how we are made worthy, even when we are the MOST unworthy. God forgives, loves, accepts, and welcomes us over and over again. We are made worthy through Jesus because God loves us that much.
How do you accept God’s forgiveness? Do you continue to beat yourself up even after you know you are forgiven?
In what ways do you offer forgiveness, acceptance and love to all God’s children?