A WARRIOR'S FAITH
MATTHEW 8:5-13 NKJ
5 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.
Roman centurions were known for being some tough guys. They typically came up through the ranks and earned the privilege of leading 100 men. In a fighting culture, these guys stood out.
So to hear what this centurion said to Jesus and see his faith lets us know that faith is not for "those who need a crutch in life." Faith in God is a strong decision.
This centurion also cared for his servant. The fact that he would come to Jesus on behalf of another is admirable.
This tough warrior also understood humility. Even though Rome was the occupying country, the dominant presence in Israel, he did not consider himself superior to Jesus. In fact, he did not consider himself worthy to have Jesus come to his home. He would not put Jesus in an awkward position. Jews were not allowed to go into Gentiles' houses.
His most amazing attribute was his willingness to have Jesus only speak a word for the servant to be healed. No laying on of hands or coming to the house to pray. Only speak a word. This centurion recognized authority when he saw it. He believed Jesus was operating under God's authority just as he himself operated under the authority of Rome.
And Jesus was amazed with his faith. We don't often see Jesus amazed at faith, and Jesus said this Roman centurion was the greatest faith He had found.
Faith is not for those who can do nothing else. It's not a crutch or a sign of weakness. Faith involves a strong decision to believe God and His word.
When coupled with a compassion for others and a genuine humility, this same warrior's faith can make a difference in our lives and those around us. The centurion's servant was healed, and we also can receive answers as we say, Lord, I only need Your word on this situation. Faith in God is faith in His word.
I want to take my cue from this centurion and one day have Jesus amazed at my faith, in a good way!
Thank You for Your word Heavenly Father - it's all I need to believe You!