Matthew 8:5-13 - The Faith of the Centurion
5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”
8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.
In Matthew 8:5-13 we see an encounter with Jesus where real faith is demonstrated. It was the faith of the centurion that made Jesus take notice. The centurion not only believed that Jesus would heal his servant, but that Jesus could do it without having to come to his home. He knew that Jesus was a man in authority. Jesus said that no where has he seen one with such great faith. He knew this man understood submission to authority, acting in authority and faith to believe that once the word was sent it would be carried out. We go on to read that within that hour his servant was healed.
The centurion was a man who knew that once an order was given by him or to him, that it was required for the order given to be followed and completed. He was not only one subject to authority, but also one who acted in authority. If you didn't follow through on the task given to you, it could cost you your life or the lives of others. So he submitted himself to those above him and to those around him. He knew that if he failed to do what was asked or required it meant harm to him troop.
We too are in a battle. The battle ground is one that Jesus has already beat. He has defeated the enemy. However, in the midst of a battle if we do not follow the orders, we can cause ourself to get hurt or cause others to get hurt. He has given us his word in the authority given to him to instruct us of what we need to do while we are here on earth. He has also given us his word that he will do it if we have faith to believe what he has said.
The centurion did not know Jesus other than what he had heard about him. He knew that when he spoke the word, he healed people. Understanding what he knows about authority and the giving of the word and how it is followed through, he had no hesitation in knowing Jesus's words and the authority given to him would heal his servant.
How powerful a statement. So today as you read the word, let this word resonate as truth. Let the faith arise in you to know that Jesus can heal you and deliver you from your circumstances. We are told that if we ask and have the faith of a mustard seed, we can say to the mountain be thou removed and cast into the sea. If we ask believing by faith, it will be done unto you. So today, believe you will receive.