Chapter # 7 Paragraph # 3 Study # 4
September 7, 2008
Lincolnton, N.C.

<464> Thesis: The benefit of unqualified loyalty is so much greater than that of disloyalty as to be completely outside of the standards of comparison. Introduction: We have said, for weeks now, that Luke 7 is a deliberate attempt to focus upon Jesus' search for centurion-like faith among those who hear His words. There is a reason for this. There is only one thing that matters more in life than the kind of "faith" that a person exercises: the reason(s) for the exercise of that kind of "faith". Luke's mentor, the apostle Paul, once wrote, "...though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not love, I am nothing" (1 Corinthians 13:2). In another place, he said, "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love" (Galatians 5:6). In both of these quotes, the effective, operational, word is "faith", but the underlying driver -- the motivation -- is "love". For this reason, Luke included an extended treatment of the "love" issue at the end of chapter seven. But, since it will be months before we get to that section, this morning we are going to at least look at the issue because Jesus raised it at the end of what He had to say to John in his confusion about what to "believe". He instructed John's disciples to tell him, "Blessed is he who is not tripped up by Me." By inserting the "blessing" issue into John's situation, Jesus did two things simultaneously: He provided John with a reason to believe; and He challenged our grasp of how "blessing" fits into "love". So, this morning we are going to look into Jesus' final words to John.