“Why do we in the church need to keep learning the lesson of John 3:16?…’For God so loved the world…’ Why do we forever need to be reminded that we are not the exclusive recepients of God’s love in Christ…that Christ came to save not only us, but all…that the boundaries of the kingdom of God do not end in the confines of this congregation?” begins Will Willimon in his sermon, “When the Outsiders Get It Right” from Luke 7:1-10.
In this passage from Luke, a powerful Roman, Gentile, and army officer, one of the most despised people in town, needs help. Instead of going to Jesus himself, he sends someone else because he feels that he is unworthy to go to Jesus. When Jesus goes to him, he still tells people to tell Jesus not to come to his house, but to just say the word and heal his servant. To the surprise of the people, Jesus says, “I haven’t found faith like this even among us in Israel.” Imagine how it might have felt to be a disciple that day, being told that this despicable Gentile, Roman officer knew more about what Jesus was about than you.
Why does the church exist? Willimon says that it exists for those on the outside. Listen as Willimon explains why and how this idea should change how we view church and our faith.