Thursday 07 March 2019

Bible Book:

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.’ ... 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.’ (v. 8-10)

Matthew 8:5-13 Thursday 7 March 2019

Psalm: Psalm 90


Centurions were not the kind of people who suffered fools gladly. They were experienced, hardened Roman soldiers who had earned enough respect and fought enough battles to have been given the honour of commanding a hundred soldiers. Many of them were appointed to posts of authority in remote parts of the Roman Empire: some had not seen their homes for years. Several of them settled in these strange places and made a new home and family and those who had the gift of diplomacy and a sense of justice became respected and accepted by the local community.

The centurion who approached Jesus must have been such a man. He would have known what Jesus had been doing in his area and would have monitored the crowds that gathered, looking for possible trouble-makers and ready for his soldiers to intervene at the first sign of rebellion. One word from him and his men would take the necessary action.

But there had been no need for that to happen. All the reports he had received and his own careful observation had proved that Jesus was no immediate threat. In fact, he recognised that Jesus was a kindred spirit. There was an air of authority in the way Jesus spoke and acted that inspired confidence. So when the centurion’s servant was seriously ill he had no hesitation in asking Jesus for help.

Nothing too unusual in that! Many people asked Jesus for healing, but this one was different. Jesus offered to come to perform the healing, but the centurion’s response was one of humility. Believing that he wasn’t worthy of having Jesus come to his house, his reply was, ‘Just say the word and my servant will be healed.’ One man of authority had recognised another and trusted that authority implicitly.

We don’t often hear that Jesus was amazed at someone’s faith, but it happens here. None of the Jews he had dealt with had ever shown such trust in his word. Jesus was quick to warn them that they could not rely on their inherited faith to save them. God’s kingdom is open to all people who believe and trust.


To Ponder:

  • How strong is your faith in the words of Jesus?
  • What is your view of the Kingdom of God?
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