The Faith of a Centurion – Matthew 8:5-13
When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.
My take: Isn’t this an amazing story? These stories truly make the Bible interesting. There is so much we can glean from this passage.
1) He cares about others. The centurion is concerned about his servant, his team member. I get the feel he is true leader in every sense of the word. He has compasion and doesn’t appear pompous whatsoever.
2) He takes initiative. He sought out Jesus. The passage says, “a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him”.
3) He is meek. Don’t confuse meekness with weakness. It is humility under authority. He realizes the Lord’s power and position even under the cloak of humanity when he said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. but only say the word, and my servant will be healed.” He learned from the chain of command authority and its power. He knew whom he was talking too!
4) He is full of faith. He didn’t just talk about it. He embodied faith. It so wonderful that Jesus marvelled at his faith and understanding.
God may not choose, we may not have access or we perhaps we may not posses this level of faith for amazing miracles to occur regularly but make no mistake, we will indeed all be made a new and receive glorious resurrection bodies and shall recline at Christ’s table with the patriarchs…if we believe in Him with faith as tiny as a mustard seed.
My prayer: Lord, separate from You, I can do little earthly works and nothing eternal. Help me learn and do like this centurion.