“Lord, don’t trouble Yourself, since I am not worthy to have You come under my roof.” Luke 7:6b
Lately, I have been immersed in the study of the life of Christ. As I was reading through the Gospel of Luke, I came upon the familiar story of the centurion’s faith. For whatever reason, on this particular day, this story captured my attention and resonated with me. Here is a quick overview of the events in Luke 7:1-10: the centurion’s servant became ill. The centurion had heard of Jesus and enlisted the assistance of some of the Jewish elders and asked that they seek out Jesus and request His healing power. They explained to Jesus that this man was worthy of receiving assistance because he had been good and kind to the nation of Israel. Yet the man did not consider himself worthy of even coming to Jesus, and he acknowledged that he knew Jesus could heal his servant by merely speaking the word. His faith amazed Jesus, and the man’s servant was healed. Often, when I read this passage, I focus on the faith of the centurion and aspire to that same level of faith. Yet as I was reading it again, I was struck by the humility and mindset of the centurion.
In my life, this is how that scenario unfolds. I, like the Jewish elders, can look around me and identify people that seem to really merit the favor of God, those who appear worthy of receiving healing or giftedness or success or some other form of a win in their lives. I can, and will, even make a plea to God that these people receive such graces from Him. But, like the centurion, I also look at myself and can compose a dissertation on the countless reasons why I am not worthy of receiving any good thing from Jesus. Where is the balance? Who determines worthiness or unworthiness? Why the constant, and often subconscious, mental ping-pong of analyzing my own worth and the worth of others? It is a delicate balance, I believe. Fixating on my own unworthiness before Jesus can become false humility that is actually pride. False humility leaves the focus on me. My attention is on my extreme lack of worthiness of receiving God’s favor and not on the Jesus who so freely offers His grace. Imagine a woman walking around, dragging herself around really, and moaning, “woe is me,” and inviting others to witness on public display of just how unworthy she is of the grace of God. Who wants to be that woman? Even more, who wants to come to a Jesus that want us walking around, carrying on in that manner?
God views every single one of us as worthy through the blood of His Son, Jesus. Jesus considered us worthy of sacrificing His own life for us while we remained dead in our sins. He paid the penalty of death on the cross for us because He loved us that much. He didn’t wait for us to be worthy to receive His gift, as if we ever could. He didn’t wait until we had our lives figured out and all on the right path before He willingly laid down His life for us. Nope! He looked at us in our sins and said, “You, my daughter, my son, are worthy of my sacrifice because I have loved you and chosen you since before the foundation of the world.” Now, that, my friend, is a cause for true humility. Imagine this woman, eyes bright, a peacefulness exuding from her, praise on her lips and kindness in her actions. This is a woman who humbly knows she is and that she was worth it to Jesus. Philippians 1:27 says this, “Just one thing: Live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” This individual knows who she or he is in Christ and knows that because Jesus offered the greatest gift of salvation and relationship with Him, then the only way to live the satisfied life, is to live a life that is worthy of His sacrifice. It is a life lived with a humble heart of the one who desperately desires to offer Jesus everything. The question is not who is or isn’t worthy of receiving the good things Jesus has to offer us. Jesus considered all of us worth it when He died for us. We, as believers, need to begin living with the awareness that, when we let the comparison struggle enter into our hearts and when we are operating out of a false sense of humility, then we are letting the enemy win. We are called to love one another. We need to resolve today to look at those around us, and ourselves, through the same lens that Jesus used–the lens that deems every single one of us worthy of His grace by His blood, and then let’s each live a life worthy of the gospel of Jesus Christ. When you encounter another human being today, pause a moment and note that Jesus views that person as worthy. Then treat them as such! And, friend, accept that Jesus calls you worthy!