Even as we worship this morning the Veterans Day Parade is in progress just a few blocks from here.
Armistice Day is commemorated every year on 11 November to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning—the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918.
So our area Veterans Task Force has declared that exact time to be the traditional time to start the Branson Veterans Day Parade.
This morning, we remember that it is The Lord’s Day first of all. So, we are here, remembering our Veterans while we honor our Lord.
Thank you, men and women, who have served our country both at home and abroad. I read somewhere that currently about 1% of our country’s population serve in the Armed Forces. The other 99% are deeply indebted to that 1% as we enjoy the freedoms and privileges of being in America.
At the time of Christ, Israel was a country occupied by the Roman Government. The Jews were known to be extremely rebellious and hard to rule. They resented the occupation forces that dominated the land, forcing the Jewish citizens to be compliant to the demands of the emperor. So, I find it very interesting that on occasion in the Gospels, we find a Roman Soldier who is mentioned in a positive way.
Such was the case in our scripture passage today. A Roman Soldier, a Centurion, sent a request for help to Jesus. And Jesus responded with the powerful statement, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” (Luke 7: 9b).
So, on this Veterans Day, Let’s examine this account and see what lessons we can learn from a Roman Soldier.
HE RECOGNIZED WHO WAS REALLY IN CHARGE.
In verses 7 & 8 the Centurion said, “But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.’”
No wonder Jesus was amazed. His very own people questioned his authority, but this Roman Centurion, a man who was used to taking and giving orders, recognized that the Word of Jesus was powerful and complete.
Sandy Patty sings these words: “Crowds have lined the narrow street
To see this man from Galilee
Just a carpenter some say, leading fools astray
Yet many kneel to give Him praiseAnd in His eyes, they glimpse the power
That sees the heart of all men
And He knows His Father’s mind
He speaks His Father’s words
For He comes in the name of the LordThere is strength in the name of the Lord
There is power in the name of the Lord
There is hope in the name of the Lord
Blessed is He, who comes in the name of the Lord. (Songwriters: Gloria Gaither / Phillip J. McHugh / Sandi Patti; In the Name of the Lordlyrics © Capitol Christian Music Group)Today, the greatest lesson this Centurion teaches us is that Jesus is the Commander in Chief. He has all power in Heaven and Earth. And just as he had but to speak the word to heal the Centurion’s servant, He just has to speak the word to grant us everlasting life.
And that authority comes by the supreme act of love that he displayed on Calvary. Romans 5:8 says it this way: “But God demonstrates his love to us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
On this Veterans Day, let’s remember that our Commander in Chief is Jesus. Have you recognized your need for Him? Do you understand that without Him you are nothing? Do you realize that He has paid the penalty for your sins by sacrificing himself on a Roman Cross?
Receive the help that only He can give today—the healing of your soul from the ravishes of sin.