Matthew 8:5-13 – “Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, 6 saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” 7 And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”
8 The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! 11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour.” NKJV
I have heard and preached many sermons on “faith” and many definitions through the years but seldom do I hear anyone address the aspect of the dimension of faith as is revealed in this passage. In my view, it simplifies faith wonderfully and is often overlooked by the majority of Christ’s followers. The story is not an uncommon one in the Life and Ministry of our LORD. Here is a military commander with a sick person in his life who was dear to him. He turned to Jesus for help in his time of need and desperation.
Sadly, too often we do not consult the LORD until it is desperation time. In desperation, often, faith is nowhere present because “fear” and “anxiety” override our confidence and faith are relegated to “wishful hope” rather than “confident expectation.” It is clear, to me, this military commander believed, otherwise, he would not have come to Jesus. He also understood something about authority and obedience that too often we miss or overlook. Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.” That would have caused incredible excitement in most hearts but this commander revealed something that is amazing.
The commander addressed his view of his own unworthiness and Jesus’ worthiness. He did not view Jesus as His vending machine to provide whatever he wanted or needed but as someone worthy of great respect and reverence. He saw Jesus as LORD. He then said something that most of us believe in our minds but often fail to incorporate in our lives. One Word from Jesus is enough. We say we believe, “when Jesus says it is enough it will be enough” but we live as though more is required than His word. We have His word in the Bible but either relegate much of it to another dispensation or time or we do not truly believe it or that it applies to us.
This commander unveiled a military aspect of faith that we would do well to not only understand but incorporate into our lives. He said, “I am not worthy for you to come to my house but if you simply SAY THE WORD it will be done.” If that was all we had it would be commendable but not revelatory. He then said, “For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me.” Catch what he said, “under authority, having soldiers under me.” He understood AUTHORITY. Jesus responded saying, “I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel.” Remember that Jesus said, “All authority is given to me.” He also said that He gave us “Authority over the Power of the devil.” This man understood the power of authority and that if Jesus issued the command it was done. He said, “if I say to this one, ‘Go’, he goes; and to another ‘Come’, he comes and to my servant “Do This’, he does it.” He understood FAITH was a path of obedience and understood the power of authority. If Jesus is who He said He was and the Bible declares Him to be, and He is, THEN we need to view faith from this military perspective and see the power of authority and the flow of the chain of command. Who has power over all the power of the devil? Jesus and since we are in Christ and Christ is in us, “We are more than conquerors through Him that loves us.”
Reach out in Faith confident that HIS WORD is Enough! God bless you as you go through this wonderful day in Him.