To Deserve Or Not to Deserve

When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.”  So Jesus went with them. (Luk 7:4-6)

I picked up my Bible yesterday determined to read Luke. I read with an expectancy of receiving something from the Spirit, something fresh and edifying. So here I am reading about the centurion whose favorite servant has become severely ill. After He had healed the servant Jesus exclaimed over the centurion that he had great faith, most likely because his focus was Jesus and Jesus alone.

However, what suddenly stuck me as odd while reading this passage again was that Jesus didn’t rebuke the elders who with great earnestness asserted that the servant deserved to be healed because he had been an important contributor to the Jewish society.

This is good news, I thought, because how often haven’t we heard that we are of no value, that we deserve nothing and that the only thing we really deserve is death due to our evil nature which God in His grace found necessary to redeem. We often think of ourselves as someone who really does not deserve anything.

Then the following thought manifested: “Why did God save you, Ole Henrik?” The answer was evident: “Because you are of much worth to Him and because He thinks you deserve to live.” That was indeed a very encouraging and edifying string of thoughts, I reasoned. Can you prove this by the scriptures, you might ask. A reasonable question, because I have asked it myself.

Right now I can’t. However, I rest in that the Spirit is my teacher and when one of those flashes of revelation manifests I somehow know that I know it is Him. What the question really boils down to is whether I am of great value or not. I assume the cross answers that question.

I asked my dear friend Fred Pruitt to review my article before I posted it. This is his comment:

“You are of more value than many sparrows!” That’s why I don’t like the definition of grace as simply unmerited favor. We are eternally PRECIOUS to God, and worth so much He bruised His Only Begotten Son that He might steal us back from the one who stole us. We are the “joy set before Him.” We are not and never are “deparaved worms” but precious precious precious jewels of love who He created to live in intimate oneness to reveal Himself but also forever US!

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