I was reading the story in Luke 7 about the centurion who sent for Jesus to heal his sick servant. It is a well known story but there is one part that I’ve always overlooked until today. The Jewish leaders of the day approached Jesus about this man and his servant to say this:
“This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.”
Pretty compelling argument, but I know for sure Jesus didn’t heal the man because he had the money to build the synagogue, he saved the servant because of the faith of this centurion.
As I read it, this verse sticks out as having a somewhat negative tone to it. He “deserves” it because he did something for them. It strikes me as something common in churches today. People get what they want because they’ve given a large sum to a church. What about the people who give while still being in need? Aren’t they the ones who are truly sacrificing for Christ’s bride?
In my short time in church ministry I’ve seen this type of conversation take place too often.
When I spent some time at Dominican Republican church, I saw that people put their offering amount on the envelope and the pastor knew exactly what % of their income was given. If someone stopped giving or gave less than 10% they would receive a rebuking.
Other churches don’t track giving at all, so they are unable to exhort those who are not in the practice of giving to the church (as it is clearly a Biblical thing to do so).