The Centurion’s Faith
Matthew 8:5-7 “And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him.
And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.”
(In Luke, it says that he sent the elders of the city, and then friends, which represented him to Jesus. Luke 7:1-10. He thought himself unworthy of the Lord coming to his house, for he was a gentile. This representation was, as if he came himself)
Jesus has said he would come and heal the centurion’s servant.
And this draws a statement of faith from him, which marveled, or pleased the Lord a lot. So much so; that He speaks of it to the crowd.
Matthew 8:8-10 “The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say unto this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.”
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)
Faith took hold in this centurion’s heart, when he heard of all that Jesus was doing, both in Capernaum, and other places.
(Capernaum was the place Jesus lived, after leaving Nazareth. It was the place he did many miracles.
Luke 4:31-32 “And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days.
And they were astonished at his doctrine: for his word was with power.”
Luke 4:36-37 “And they were all amazed, and spake among themselves, saying, What a word is this! For with authority and power he commanded the unclean spirits, and they come out.
And the fame of him went out into every place of the country round about.”)
When this centurion heard of these things, he must have thought they were wonderful, for he loved Israel.
But, until he needed Jesus’ power for himself (for his sick servant, who was dear to him), it was just information.
Good news, but it had not touched him.
Then, his servant got sick, grievously tormented, and ready to die.
Suddenly, those things he had heard about Jesus, were for him.
(How many times we are the same: we have heard Bible lessons for years, even, and they are good news, but then something happens that affects us, and “Wham”, that good news hits us where we live.
We can have this! This is real! This is for me.)
Faith has made the information real from the first. We believe it.
Then faith evidences that information within us, because we have a need that is only met by Christ Jesus.
The centurion also knew, by faith, that if Jesus heard of the need, He could meet it.
Faith reached out, through the elders, and friends, to Jesus; and stated the need.
When Jesus said He would come, the centurion’s faith reached out further by the evidence of Jesus’ coming; and said:
“Speak the word, only”
Why? Was he testing Jesus?
No. But he felt unworthy that Jesus should come into his house.
And why did he feel Jesus could do this? Was it just because of what he had heard?
It was from his own experience. He was a voice of Rome, as a centurion (he had one hundred men under him).
Under all the authority of Rome, he spoke and told men what to do. And they did it.
So he knew that Jesus, who was the voice of God and had the authority to speak, and make things happen, because He spoke.
He could heal, because He was the Son of God.
This was the centurion’s faith. Wow!
Matthew 8:13 “And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.”
Believe is the action of faith. And as he believed Jesus could heal by his word, only; so it was.
What of us? We say we have faith in God. We say we believe what Jesus has said, and done for us.
Are we using this faith with God, and having the evidence of His authority and power in our lives?
And for the lives of people we pray for?
The Lord honors true faith in Himself. (Not presumption, or to ask of Him, what we know is not His will). But real faith, reaches out to Him, that He will do what He wills.
Jesus’ will was to heal the sick; both sin-sick and many illnesses, while He was here on earth; as He preached that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand.
He did this to meet the need of the people, that the chief priests and scribes had discounted; and for the most part, had abandoned.
But God never abandon’s His people. Those that come unto Him, He will in no wise cast out. (John 6:37)
But it takes humbling of our hearts, to come. (As this centurion did)
John 6:40 “And this is the will of him that sent me, that everyone that seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life. And I will raise him up at the last day.”
The centurion’s faith was real. He had heard. And he came, humbly to Jesus to ask that He speak a word of healing. The centurion honored Him, and believed.
What is our faith doing?