Grace Bible Church
Robert R. McLaughlin
Why The Lord marveled at the Roman centurion soldiers faith.
A centurion was a Roman soldier who usually had authority over a century of soldiers which is more than likely over 100 men or soldiers.
Here is another soldier that was willing to go beyond the normal care and love for one of his own, no matter what He could do.
The Lord marveled at this man because of the faith that he had as he was willing to go as far as he could for his slave or servant to be healed.
This centurion really stood out because as a Roman soldier, he had something that very few Jews had in our Lord’s day and that was character, virtue, nobility and of course love.
These qualities were rarely found in Jerusalem, in our Lord’s own people, let alone in the Romans where most people would never expect that they should have been manifested by our Lord and His own people.
This speaks of those gentiles who were not Jews but became born again and saved and would be reclining at the tables in the marriage of the lamb with the winner believers from the Old Testament.
Now, our Lord is about to give us a command but before He does, He makes an estimate of the situation.
Our Lord doesn’t make decisions without taken into consideration a lot of facts that are needed before He decides.
Now, back in MAT 8:18, when the Lord “saw” is the Greek verb known as the aorist-active-participle of the Greek verb eido which is translated knowledge, based on observation, concentration, examination.
Jesus saw “great multitudes” or “great crowds” following Him for different reasons and different motivations.
Some are following Him for deliverance from the Romans.
For miracles and healings.
For entertainment and convenience.
And so, our Lord is going to do something to call out those who really want Him to be Lord of their lives.
Our Lord Jesus has to separate the disciples from the crowd so that they can concentrate on what He desires for other men to know.
It is to take you away from the realm of society and separate you for a short period of time to learn doctrine or the plan of God.
“Crowds” or “herds” of people have evil influences upon believers who are positive and want to learn doctrine.
If you are ever going to advance to spiritual maturity you must learn to separate from the majority and their evil influences.
The principle is that it is not being around Jesus that really matters, it’s perceiving and metabolizing, and applying that really matters.
A few are going to obey that command; most people are going to come up with excuses and others won’t even hear it because they don’t concentrate.
And as we noted, if you don’t concentrate when you’re learning, you will never be able to apply what you have learned when needed.
The key to anything in life is concentration!
While the crowd or mob is “anti-Christ”, and shouted “crucify Him,” “crucify Him,” in a few months, the group of believers who we call disciples and congregation” are pro-Christ.
Crowds never accomplish anything! Congregations Yes! Crowds = No.
How do you separate those who are positive toward Christ in the crowd, from those who are negative?
How do you separate the men from the boys?
You raise up men of doctrine and women of virtue; as stated in Pro 31 beginning with PRO 31:10 An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels.
The real answer is that you can give a command that will separate the men from the boys.
Now, if Jesus were here tonight how would He separate the men from the boys with a command?
He would say things like “take in doctrine daily”.
Or, Keep on thinking doctrine, Phi 2:5.
Keep this one command which gives the ones who are negative a chance to back out without embarrassment.
You should live your life, and let others live theirs, providing they all should, behind of the scene.
People who do things because we shame them into it, or we use guilt as the wrong reason of motivation and, therefore, make wrong decisions.
And, so our Lord in MAT 8:18, the Lord gave a command (order) to depart to the other side (of the lake).
Instead, He is going to command them to get into a ship.
So that they will be isolated under His authority and away from the mob or the crowd.
Listen to EXO 23:2 “You shall not follow a multitude in doing evil, nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after a multitude in order to pervert justice;
You must break away from the mob!
This order or command causes a crisis to develop in some souls because it’s a crisis that demands the decisions we require.
Many believers are going to be casualties and do their lip-service to our Lord and are going to be exposed, either normally or abnormally.
Therefore, the main principle is to separate from the mob and join those who claim to be want to be members of His congregation.
Many choose people over the Lord.
This is why we should never trust in man as David said to get ready in PSA 118:8-9; It is better to take refuge in the Lord Than to trust in man.
Now, back in Mat 8:19 let’s notice in verses 19 and 20 the case of the first distracted disciple.
Dedication; sincerity; emotionalism, fear; will get you nothing in the spiritual life.
In Mat 8:19, we are told that there was a certain scribe who was a grammateus‘); meaning a writer, or one who was a professional writer who would scribe from one language to another whenever needed.
Often this word means someone who is even over-educated and at times become very bored when they have to copy something over and over again.
Solomon knew this when he wrote in Ecc 1:8 For in much human knowledge is much grief, and He that increases in knowledge increases in sorrow.
We are going to find out he was a pseudo-intellectual.
A pseudo-intellectual is simply a person who had some pride of the soul using his knowledge to rationalize away faith.
He may be an expert in his field, or his business but, he never gets with truth because he lives in knowledge and not wisdom.
He may even have a very high I.Q and be very smart, but in most cases, he has no roots in doctrine.
A pseudo-intellectual is one who has knowledge that makes him or her proud.
He is puffed up and as Pro 18:2 tells us he is a know it all.
Now, the scribe has a very high I.Q. in fact, he is brilliant.
He is attracted to Christ because of His intellect.
He loves the wisdom that Christ has but he doesn’t really believe that our Lord knows more than Him.
Even our enemies who keep quiet are thought to be wise; as long as they keep their mouths shut, they’re smart.
But, here’s a man who loves to make commitments and does not care if he keeps them.
“Master, I will follow you wherever you go.”
First of all, the word master is didaskalos which is translated professor, or teacher.
He recognizes the Lord as a teacher but not as Lord.
He is respectful but he doesn’t really accept the authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He rejects Mat 10:40 He who receives you receives Me and he that receives Me receives Him that sent Me
Here is a scribe bragging of how loyal and faithful he is to Christ.
Look out for those who brag.
Look out for those being a quoter of doctrine.
Look out for becoming a parrot.
So, the scribe said, “professor, or teacher” (and here comes the dedication; the surrendering of the emotion and intellect) “I will follow you wherever you go.”
Prin: Being emotional he makes a verbal dedication.
His emotions express itself through sincerity.
He makes a dogmatic statement in his sincerity.
In fact, the Greek phrase, I will follow you really sees and hears the phrase, “I will follow you wherever” in the original language of the Greek it is is a dative of advantage.
Verbal and overt expressions mean absolutely nothing.
Wherever you go, he said, “I will follow you.”
He thinks Jesus is bluffing! Why would Jesus leave all these people?
To the scribe, the departure of our Lord is a possibility not a reality.
He says he is going to serve the Lord no matter what, but he never does.
They say “No” to the Lord’s supper.
They say “No” to gathering together with the Lord’s people.
“No” to giving to the church and those who say they are going to give but don’t.
All we can do is thank God for His grace and blessings which He has given us in the midst of the devil’s world as we face some of the most difficult times in our life.
And really, as most of us realize, with the freedom that our Lord reveals to us which is the fact that we really have seen nothing yet from our invisible enemy, Satan and his Kingdom of God.
There will be an increase in the frequency of things to come as these things become more intent.
The result of this world’s continued rebellion against God is that things get worst in the days ahead.
However, remember, the Lord says, that He saves the best for last.
Or that the best is yet to come!
Remember the principle; As conditions get worse, our deliverance shines brighter.
We need to think like Job thought when he said in JOB 1:21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
We need to remember that we have every reason to celebrate, at all times.
Whatever we may need in the coming days, we need God’s wisdom more.
Always remember that the worse things get, the greater our investments and rewards can get.
The greatest darkness comes into our life, the greater we can glorify our Lord.