Often, when Christians or just really good people go through awful circumstances, you’ll hear someone say, “He doesn’t deserve this.” That’s the case here in Luke 7.
A centurion whose servant was deathly ill, sent some Jewish elders to Jesus, asking Him to heal the dying servant. They implied that, because this particular centurion was a friend of the Jews, he didn’t deserve the heartache of losing this valued servant.
In fact, the elders suggested Jesus owed it to the man for his good deeds: “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” (7:4-5) From the world’s perspective, this centurion was one of the good guys. And bad things should not happen to good people.
At least that’s what the elders are saying to Jesus. But the centurion had a different take. When Jesus was almost at the man’s house, He was met by a few of the centurion’s friends who had a message for Him. “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you.” (verses 6-7)
This “good” man knew he wasn’t good enough.
Here’s the truth of the matter: when you are tempted to think, or you hear someone say “He or she doesn’t deserve this whatever it is,” know you are exactly right. They deserve much worse.
We all do.
None of us are good enough or religious enough to make up for even one of our sins. None of us. It is by the grace of God that we are even breathing, much less enjoying the blessing that are ours here in 2018.
Do you think God owes you a carefree life because you go to church, or because you tithe, or because you haven’t murdered anyone yet today? You might look like one of the good guys to the world, but God sees your heart. He hears your thoughts, sees what you do when no-one is looking. God knows you are a sinner deserving of hell.
But Jesus recognized the faith of this centurion, and the servant was healed. Not because the centurion was such a stellar citizen, but because Jesus is merciful and full of grace.
Remember that anything good that comes your way is undeserved. If we got what we deserved, we’d be in deep trouble. But we can thank our gracious God that He is Who He IS, that He loves us, wants to bless us, died for us so that we can be forgiven and enjoy the blessedness of walking with Him in this troublesome world.
I hope you know Him, that you’ve accepted what Jesus did for you on that cross. I hope you love Him, worship Him, and serve Him out of a grateful heart. He deserves that.