Attending a funeral can be an awkward experience.
As a child I passed going to the funerals of both my grandfathers.
My first funeral was my senior HS of a friend, Chip Smallwood. I balled, seemed unfair bc of his youth.
My first funeral as a pastor was Mr. Stanberry. I was about 20 years old at time and essentially only recently at that time been designated as the church’s associate/youth pastor (unpaid at my home church). Mr. Stanberry had been sick and was expected to pass in those coming months at that time. Our church had been praying for him and our senior pastor went away for a few days – told me to visit the home if he passed and to call him. Of course, he did and I went to visit the home. It was awkward… all I could do at the time was listen to the family tell me stories. I prayed with them, told them I loved them and later participated in the funeral service with scripture reading.
Since then, as a pastor I have officiated at various other funerals. Some elderly and some younger. Some expected and some unexpected. All are awkward and hard. Death isn’t easy; it’s not supposed to be.
My funerals at SPBC:
Barbara Kohler, attended infrequently several years ago. Church made impact on her and family so they called us. I met family and did service. 1 year later I found that one of her family members had a daughter who was in tragic accident and died. Still trying to minister and reach this family.
Charlie Nale, nephew of Bensons.
Lenora Scott, member of the old gleaners class. Small graveside. Family really appreciated SPBC remembered and was there to help.
Gordon Jones, neighbor of Brewster’s.
Cindy Palmer. faithful friend to many… sad but sweet bc she isn’t suffering and is with Jesus.
*World is full of sadness and suffering as a result of sin’s presence.
àWhere do you turn when faced with this?
à We must turn to Jesus. Do you know Jesus?
Luke 7 shares Jesus’ identity
EXAMINE Luke 7 Jesus is More Than A Prophet
Jesus is Savior for all nations (7:1-3)
A Roman centurion had a servant who was sick to the point of death. He had heard the stories of Jesus’ healing and miracles, so he sought him out for help. The centurion sends Jewish elders to call upon Jesus. The centurion knew that religious Jews would not enter the house of a Gentile (cf. Luke 7:6; Acts 10:28). But Jesus wasn’t just a savior for the Jews but for the world.
Simeon understood this in Luke 2:30-32 “for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”
Luke traces Jesus’ genealogy not just to Abraham but to Adam, so as to show Jesus’ identification with all people for salvation (Luke 3:38).
Jesus tells Jews inNazareththat God did miracles not just for Jews but also for Gentiles (Luke 4:24-27). This caused division among Jesus and the Jews that they sought to throw him off a cliff.
Jesus says that new garments and new wineskins are needed – meaning salvation is no longer attained through the OT sacrificial system but is available to all by grace through faith in Jesus Christ (Luke 5:36-39).
Psalm 67:3-4 “Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy”
Psalm 96:1-3 “Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord all the earth! Sing to the Lord, bless his name, tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!”
-> SENT 2012: Pray, Give, Go.
Jesus is hearer and responder of prayers (7:4-6)
Upon the centurion’s need and authority, the Jewish elders requested Jesus’ help; he listened and responded affirmatively. Jesus actually stopped his plans and attended to the plea for help. Jesus is never too busy – he is open to all who have the confidence to call upon Him. It was a prayer of confidence in Jesus’ person (identity) and power. They believed that there was no problem to great that Jesus couldn’t solve.
Psalm 5:1-3 “Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my groaning. Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray. O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice”
Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it will be opened to you.”
**Prayer that moves God is faith that moves me.
->Has your faith moved you that you go to Jesus with everything?
**Faith that moves you to pray leads to love for others.
->Who in your life has no hope if you do not intercede in prayer for them?
Jesus is authoritative leader (7:7-8).
The centurion recognized Jesus’ identity and power. He viewed Jesus as a ruler, a king, a judge, even as Lord and God. Only God has the authority to speak into another’s body and bring about healing. This centurion believed Jesus had the authority of God – the same God who spoke creation into existence also had the power to heal his servant.
à How do you view Jesus?
– – >Are you minimizing his authority in your life? What are you not bringing under his authority?
– – ->Do you cheapen his worth by not speaking of him to others?
Jesus seeks a faith response (7:9-10).
The response of Jesus to the centurion’s faith shows what he seeks. Jesus marveled at the centurion’s faith and said, “not even in Israelhave I found such faith.” The centurion understood that grace is only received by faith. He knew he was undeserving of his request, so he sought Jesus’ grace by showing his faith. Notice that the Jewish elders tried to earn Jesus’ favor by saying in vv.4-5 “he [the centurion] is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation and he is one who built us our synagogue”. The Jewish leaders think in terms of religion – “I did my good deeds, now you owe me God.” But Jesus doesn’t go because of the centurion’s list of morals but simply because he is gracious and he loves to reward faith. The servant is healed for all to see and trust in Jesus.
Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
James 1:6-8 “ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways”
Jesus has resurrection power (7:11-17)
After Jesus heals the centurion’s servant he travels on to a town called Nain. Upon entering the town he passes by a funeral and sees a weeping woman – a widow – who is burying her only son. She had no hope with no one to take care of her and the family line ending. How tragic? And Jesus enters the situation and touches the coffin and dead body; which would have been ceremonially taboo for Jews (cf. Numbers 19:11). He has compassion. He raises the boy back to life and gives him to his mother.
Can you see the mother’s face when her son is brought back? Can you imagine the embrace? Can you hear her shouts and laughter? Can you feel her joy?
Think back to the funerals you have attended. Was there sadness? Was their heartache? After reading this passage, wouldn’t it have been great to have Jesus there? HE CAN BE!
In closing, the people have two responses to Jesus in this passage. These are responses that we each must affirm in our own life.
1) Fear seized them all. Luke links fear & worship of Jesus (2:13, 20; 5:26). To fear God means to respect and revere Him. In a sense, fear does mean we should be afraid of God. Too often Christians try to sugar-coat or water-down this idea of fearing God. When these crowds saw and heard Jesus they knew there was no one like him. Who can heal and speak with authority? Who can raise the dead? We are unworthy… so we fear God, standing – no bowing in humility requesting grace.
2) They glorified God and spread the name of Jesus to others. Their fear of Jesus led them to worship him as God. And their worship of Jesus led them to tell others about him. To worship something is to be deeply devoted to and passionately proclaiming about that object.