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Matthew 8:10b “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!” — In our modern day in the United States, it’s difficult for us to fully grasp how the people of ancient Israel felt about the Roman Empire. We can only try to imagine what our lives would be like if another nation (China, Russia, etc.) overthrew the United States. Then, we’d have to try to imagine what it would be like seeing military guards on every street corner. Chances are high that the people of the U.S. would see those occupying our country with a great deal of contempt. But the people of Israel didn’t have to imagine such a scenario. They were living it out in real life.
So imagine their shock and awe when a leader of the occupying Empire’s military approaches Jesus and pleads for Him to heal one of his servants. Surely Jesus, the one who came to be King of Israel will set things straight, right?
Jesus responds in such a way that would’ve made the people of Israel gasp. Jesus turned to the crowd of pure-blooded Israelites and said, “This Roman Solider — I haven’t seen a faith like his in all of Israel!” For Jesus, love for others includes those we may see as unloveable.
READING & PRAYERS:
MATTHEW 8:1-17 (also read the commentary notes in your Study Bible of choice.)
QUESTION: Do you currently have anybody in your life you see as unloveable? What is one way you can offer them real, genuine appreciation, encouragement, and love today?
Take a Step: This week, continue to utilize the One Minute Pause app at least twice daily to begin practicing being with God and resting in His presence. The app is free, and is available on iPhone and Android devices. See pauseapp.com for details.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, It’s easy for me to read, “For Jesus, love for others includes those who may see as unloveable,” but it’s very difficult to love those who live very differently than I do. In this passage, Jesus reflected the love of God to an military soldier who was occupying Jesus’ home nation of Israel. Continue to refine me to love so deeply that this becomes my natural instinct with all people who live with very different beliefs and ideologies. In Jesus name, Amen.
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