Daring Faith, Part 1

God wants us to have big faith so we won’t be afraid, but the arena where faith is tested and develops is risk. Are we risk-takers? Where in our lives do we give God a place to do what only God can do? Pastor Luke teaches from Matthew 8:5–13 in “Daring Faith,” the first message in a new series “Daring Faith.”

Talk It Over

GETTING STARTED. When have you had to “do the impossible” because your boss didn’t want to hear any excuses?

EXPLORE THE PASSAGE. Read Matthew 8:5-13.

1.What title does the centurion use to address Jesus? What are some of the ways he might have meant that? Which do you think is most likely?

2. In verse 7, what does Jesus say he will do? Why didn’t he give himself some “wiggle room?” What would you think about anyone who made promises before he had assessed a situation? How is Jesus different?

3. The centurion says he is “not worthy” (verse 8). What did he mean?

4. In a similar story in Acts 10, a different centurion needs help from Peter. Read Acts 10:1-2,25-28. What light does that shed on this story in Matthew’s biography?

5. What would happen to a soldier in the Roman army who did not obey his centurion’s commands? Are there circumstances where a centurion would have to check to see if an order had been carried out?

6. Jesus is “amazed” (verse 10). What’s so amazing?

7. Hebrews 11 defines faith as “assurance about what we don’t see.” How does that definition apply to the centurion?

8. How is what Jesus says in v. 13 different from what he offered to do in v. 7? What is the role of the centurion?

APPLY THE LESSON. 9. Think of some ways you are “unworthy,” or a problem you’re dealing with is “unworthy” of Jesus’ help. What does the centurion’s story tell you do about those things?

10. As Luke tells this story (Luke 7: 1-10) we learn that the centurion sent intermediaries to speak with Jesus. What do they say to Jesus about the centurion? How would you like people to describe you when they’re talking to Jesus?

Food for Thought

The readings (below) all refer to Hebrews 11, the “Faith Hall of Fame.” After each reading, jump to the bottom and answer the final question.

Monday. Read Genesis 1: 1 (Hebrews 11: 3). Neither scientists nor theologians were there to witness the beginning of the universe. How is faith required to speak about the origin of everything? How is Christian faith different from the faith of an agnostic or atheist scientist?

Tuesday. Read Genesis 6: 11-22 (Hebrews 11: 7). As you read the instructions for Noah, what points where he would need faith to obey?

Wednesday. Read about Abraham in Genesis 12: 1-4 (Hebrews 11: 8-12). What did God promise to do for Abraham? How much of it happened during Abraham’s lifetime?

Thursday. Read Exodus 2: 10-15 (Hebrews 11: 23-27). God doesn’t speak directly to Moses here. How did Moses know what to do? How was he acting in faith when he did it?

Friday. Read Exodus 14 (Hebrews 11: 29). What are some points in the story where the Israelites had to act in faith? How is faith different from simply believing things about God?

Saturday. Read Joshua 6: 15-25 (Hebrews 11: 30-31). How many times is Rahab mentioned? How did her faith save her? Read Joshua 2:8-13. What did Rahab have faith in?

(Daily.) Read Hebrews 11: 39-12: 2. What was promised to the person you read about? How much of what they were promised did they receive during their lifetime? How does Jesus fulfill the rest of the promise?