Wednesday – October 10, 2018 – Jesus Often Honored Others.
Matthew 8:10 (NIV) When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.
Matthew 15:28 (NIV) Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment.
Luke 7:28 (NIV) I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
You would think that Jesus would show honor to those who could do the most for Him, to those who could promote His agenda most readily. That is not always the case. He would often offend those people because He recognized that they were not honoring God.
Instead, Jesus showed honor to a Roman Centurion, a natural enemy of Israel (Read Matthew 8:5-13), a Canaanite woman, one who was treated with contempt in Israel (Read Matthew 15:21-28) and John the Baptist, an agitator of Israel’s religious leaders. He showed honor to those who would diminish His status in Israel, not increase it.
The Roman Centurion was honored because he recognized the authority that God had vested in Jesus, something the religious leaders would not do. Jesus honored the Canaanite woman because she recognized that God gives grace to those who do not deserve it and have not earned it, something the religious leaders would have disabused.
Jesus honored John the Baptist by calling him the greatest person born of a woman. He was speaking of his morality and his emphasis on repentance. On the other hand, even the least in the Kingdom of God was greater than him. As great as John was, he did not recognize the grace of God, he hoped for the vengeance of God. The least in the Kingdom knows that the only way to avoid the wrath of God is to experience the grace of God. The problem with John’s logic of the Messiah bringing God’s vengeance is it would have been poured out on him too. He was good but not good enough to experience God’s grace until Jesus experienced God’s vengeance. John did not realize that Jesus did not come to bring God’s vengeance, He came to bear it.
Jesus exhibited the grace of God by helping those who did not deserve it. That is how the least in God’s Kingdom become greater than John the Baptist, by receiving what they do not deserve.
Prayer: Thank you Lord Jesus, for saving me by your grace. I did not deserve it, but I do receive it.