And a leper came to Him and bowed down before Him, and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
But the centurion said, “Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed.”
And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise!”
Today’s message asks a question that we are all familar with: who is worthy? I remember my school days and the heirarchy that ruled there, it was all about who was worthy and who was not. I was not with the incrowd; I dressed differently and I wore cheap National Health Service glasses. There were other less fortunate souls from poor familes who were ‘unclean’ and taunted mercilessly as having “the bugs.” In God’s Kingdom a person’s worth is not decided by such shallow measures, everyone is loved by Him regardless of appearance or station in society.
Our examples of “Three Unworthy Men” by worldly standards come quickly after the sermon on the mount, not far from Capernaum. The first is the leper who was unworthy by being medically unclean, and thus someone shunned by society. In his rejection, not being able to approach common folk never mind a Rabbi he was painfully aware of his uncleanness. He does not ask Jesus for a touch or a healing, but asserts that if Jesus wanted to He could make him clean. Take note of this man’s faith, which touches our Lord’s heart – the leper was instantly cleansed. The second man, a Roman centurion, was unworthy in the eyes of Israel and in his own eyes. He like the leper, also did not seek a touch from our Lord, beseeching Jesus not to enter his house but just say the word and his servant would be healed. Our Lord was impressed by the centurion’s faith, and so should we too. The servant was healed the very minute Jesus said that he was, before his master arrived home. Our third man was already dead and about to be buried as Jesus arrived in Nain, our Lord took pity on the sight of his weeping mother. Touching the dead was not done; they were unclean making anyone touching them unclean, but Jesus was moved by compassion and touched the coffin. All the incidents with these three very different men would have raised the eyebrows of onlookers, and drew some gasps of shock. Society saw these men as unworthy, but the Son of God counted them worthy.
Dear reader, do you feel unworthy before God today? Are you a believer who has backslidden, maybe more than once? Or have you heard the Good News but feel unworthy of a Holy God? Let me tell you something my friend; we are all unworthy on our own merit before God! But if we accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, surrendering all our unworthiness to Him, His Father God accepts us and counts us as worthy! It really is that simple – surrender all to Jesus, accept Him, and God accepts you.