Surely he was the son of God! This admission is nothing more than a mere sense knowledge expression. It is purely academic. It was the declaration by the centurion when Jesus breathed His last on the cross, and it is nothing more than the exercise of his vocal cord. The Holy Spirit may have been nudging his heart as he saw the signs and wonders displayed before, during and immediately after the crucifixion of Christ, but to assuage the argument going on in his heart, he just declared an agreement and left it there. Did he go on to repent? To be sorry for his role in the crucifixion of the son of God? To decide to go look up the man’s teachings and to obey them? He just answered his conscience aloud and buried the weightier matters inside his heart. It is nothing more than the belief Satan had and even shuddered as a further step, yet he fights the agenda of the same God with his very life.
‘when the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, ‘’Surely he was the son of God!’’’. Mathew 27:54
This is similar to the reactions we have sometimes when the word of the Lord comes to us and hits our hearts. We shout, we urge the preacher to preach on, we stand and sometimes do a little dance or acrobatics (depending on your temperament), some jump, scream and some even reach the Satan level and shudder, but nothing more is done after this. We can even cry or in some rare cases make mental or physical notes about the need for change. We believe ‘this is God and nothing less’ and that’s where it ends. There are even cases were we drop money at the feet of the preacher or in the offering box, either in awe or to compensate for our failures or sow to the God of this wonderful revelation or even to tap from the vessel that conveyed it. But if the anointed historian, Mathew were to be sitting by our side, he will note our wonderful reactions like that of the centurion, but there will be no further word. No repentance. No committed actions. No follow up actions. No heartfelt decisions. No further study and engagements and wrestling with the word of life. Almost like Shakespeare’s description, it is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.
We must do better than the centurion. We must go some length and apply our knowledge and affirmations to produce actions. We should pull out our notes (if you are one that takes note), make specific commitments together with the action points and dates and accountability systems to keep ourselves in check. More than that, we must make a habit of consulting the notes from time to time to track our progress and mark off milestones. Our notes must no longer be to impress preachers and our brethren. We must repent were we are prompted and react like those who Apostle Peter preached to in Acts; what must we do next? Truth itself does not save as Jesus Christ showed. It is the continuation in the truth that brings the needed salvation. John 8:31-32.
The Bible said that Herod likes to listen to John’s sermon, only that he will be perplexed after hearing him (Mark 6:20 Amp.) No wonder he could behead him. He was completely befuddled by the heart searching messages of John. If our reactions to the word of God does not go beyond shudder, we may struggle in adjusting to the perfect image of the son. We must as the scripture says, receive with meekness the word of God sent to us. In Genesis chapter 28, we see another guy man approach to the word of revelation as it came to Jacob. God accosted him on his way to exile and arranged an entire heavenly scene before him, complete with myriads of angels climbing up and down an endless ladder. God himself even joined in the scene and spoke to Jacob in his own voice starting with introduction and ending with promises. Jacob woke up in the morning, stretched himself and said; ‘wow. God is even here and I didn’t know. Interesting. This is nothing else but the house of God. Well God if you bless me like you just promised I will come back and give you a percentage. So long dear.’ He dusted his clothes and jumped off into the morning sun to face what he believed was the real issues of his life. That was some attitude to an encounter with God. But we see that 20 years after in chapter 32, when life has ‘shown him pepper’, with the promise of even worse situation ahead of him, like certain death in the hands of his brother, his attitude to encounter changed. This one was no longer an elaborate scene of heaven’s cast of angels and magnificent ladders. Just one man he saw, he grabbed him like his life depended on it-and indeed his life depended on it. The man even encouraged him to let go; ‘haba, what happened to your usual attitude to the word of revelation?’ Jacob was like, ‘Sir. My eyes have seen something. I now know better. If you do not bless me now, I am doomed.’ The man even dislocated his thigh, but he has reached that point where you surrender yourself to the word of God to kill you that you may resurrect into newness. And he got the encounter of a lifetime.
So an affirmation that is purely a mental exercise alone, done so others can see that we understand or to distract ourselves from the searching prick of the word, or to show that we are active, we are deep, or just merely to encourage the speaker, is deceptive. It will bring us only to the point of one line story like it was for the centurion, where it will be noted that we reacted, but that was where it ended. To go on to paragraphs or even chapters of story like Jacob had, we must wrestle with the word, with a clear cut agenda to be changed by it.
“And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified.’’ Acts 20: 32.
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: Gen. 20: 10-22; Gen. 32; James 1:21