Message Delivered At The Inauguration Service of Royal Ambassador, Adesope Chapter.
Revd. Dr. Sunday Olufemi Okanlawon (Pastor, Alagbado B. C; Alagbado, Lagos).
Topic: What will you be remembered for?
Text: Luke 7: 1 – 10
I. Introduction. Legacies are very important to the overall summary of a man’s life history. Each day we live is an addition to the history of the world that next generation will read and form their opinions about us. Apostle Paul in the Bible probably did not leave an estate or money behind when he died, but his writings are huge blessings to the Church.
II. Facts That We Need To Know.
a. Greatness never comes from serving self but from serving others. Jesus said to the disciples, “The greatest among you must be the servant of all.”
b. A man’s legacy is like perfume or fragrance. It draws attention. You need not to know or meet someone before you enjoy the blessings of his legacy.
c. You are special and different from all others.
d. You are here for a purpose on earth. Strive to discover your purpose here on earth.
e. You have the capacity and ability to be influential. You can and should change things wherever you find yourself.
f. You are here not just for yourself but for others. You are here to add flavour to the lives of people you come into contact with.
g. You are here to add value to all those in your circle of influence.
h. You are a change agent. You are here to change your generation for God.
III. Our Text. Our lesson tells about a centurion who had a sick slave. Dr. Luke never provided the name of the centurion; we do know that this man was a Roman military officer who had 100 soldiers in his charge. Roman centurions were powerful people. Palestine was an occupied area of the Roman Empire. Roman soldiers had power over citizens of Capernaum, which was a city on the Sea of Galilee; the centurion had immense power at his disposal. For what can the centurion be remembered? He was known by his *title. Knowing a centurion personally didn’t matter. The position demanded respect. Certain positions in our society still command respect. The office of the Presidency, Law Enforcement, teachers, pastors, principal’s military personnel etc also deserve our respect. The centurion was respected because of his position and title.
*This particular centurion was also known for his compassion. Slaves in that culture were almost disposable; when one was unable to complete the duties, another was selected. But the centurion valued this particular slave; we aren’t told the reason. The connection was great enough for the centurion to use his power wisely in seeking to help the slave.
*The centurion also can be remembered as being resourceful. When he heard about Jesus, he thought about his slave. In the previous chapter, we can read that Jesus had been healing folks from all over, including Judea, Tyre, and Sidon. People came to him with varied diseases, and they were healed. Some even touched him and were healed. This kind of healing could not be kept secret; this became the talk of the town, and the centurion heard about Jesus, who used Capernaum as his home-base.
The centurion considered how he could help the slave and saw Jesus as the answer. When considering the centurion, he was also known for his *networking ability. Today, when someone is looking for a job, it pays to know someone. Personal connections go a long way.
The centurion sent some Jewish elders to Jesus requesting that He come and heal the slave. Does that sound odd to you? Roman soldiers and Jewish elders usually did not mix very well. Roman soldiers were Gentiles, and Jewish elders saw Gentiles as mongrels, unworthy of God’s love and attention. Romans also didn’t have favorable views of the Jews either, but this connection seemed to be an exception.
*The Jewish elders told Jesus that the centurion loved the Jews and even **built them a synagogue. The centurion built a place of worship for some Jewish people; he was said to have loved them. These Jewish elders affirmed ***his reputation to Jesus by saying that the centurion’s plea was worthy of Jesus’ consideration because of his works.
*The centurion knew the power of networking, of connecting with people. The best way for churches to grow numerically is when a church member invites their friend to come to church; ^personal connections are the number one reason that guests visit a church for the first time.
The centurion also trusted Jesus with the same authority. The powerful Roman military man sent word that he was not worthy for the poor Nazarene teacher to be under his roof. The centurion had it all, at least by worldly standards.
The centurion was remembered for his many qualities: his title and respect, for his compassion toward the slave, for being resourceful in knowing how to solve problems, for networking and connections indicating how well he related to others.
*For what will you be remembered? The centurion was remembered for his humility, because he didn’t think he was worthy to have Jesus come under his roof.
The centurion knew his place; he understood that his righteousness couldn’t hold a candle to Jesus, and this was in the context of so many Pharisees seeing themselves as being better than Jesus. Do you want to be seen as arrogant, as one who regularly thought they had all the answers? Do you want to be remembered as a person who realized that, while you may be endowed with great gifts, you still have so much more to learn?
For what will you be remembered? The most important quality we can remember about the centurion is his great faith.
IV. Conclusion. The Bible says: ‘A good man leaves an inheritance’ (Proverbs 13:22). Money, properties and educational achievements are good on their own, but they should be used rightly to purchase eternity with Christ and to write a Godly legacy. Start investing in something meaningful according to God’s definition. Let the world remember you when you say bye to this sinful world for being a faithful in building the Kingdom of God and making your light burning for Christ.