As I was continuing in my “YEAR In the WORD” reading the other day I came across a story I had “heard” before but had not really grasped the true gravity of the interaction. It so impacted me that day I wanted to share it with you.
The passage is found in Matthew 8:5-13
Jesus had entered Capernaum and encountered a Roman Centurion – who was a professional officer in the Roman Army that would oversee anywhere from 80-100 men. An important point to note is that this guy would not have had the “Jewish ties” to truly grasping who this Jesus was. It is also of interest that Roman soldiers were the ones that would ultimately be in charge of the beating, almost to the point of death, of Jesus and the ones to nail Him to a cross. I just find all of that very interesting background to what would take place in this story.
So the Centurion comes to Jesus in order to ask Jesus (whom many were aware due to the stories spreading of His amazing power to miraculously heal the sick and to cast out demons) to heal his paralyzed servant back at home. Then Jesus agrees to go with him to heal his servant. Now even as great as this part of the story is – this isn’t the shocking part – oh but just wait – here it comes!
Here is how the man responded to Jesus that He was willing to come heal the servant: 8The 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. 9For 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.”
KAPOW – there it is – “there what is?” you may ask – I mean what’s the big deal with that response? – well here is the big deal – maybe we just glaze right over it – but I assure you JESUS DID NOT – look at Jesus’ response – IT ROCKED HIS WORLD!
10When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.
Did you see that? Did you hear that? LISTEN TO JESUS – Jesus was “ASTONISHED” – other translations say He “MARVELED” – basically this blew Jesus’ mind. The definition of the word used in the original Greek language is “to be wondered at, to be had in admiration”. Jesus had an admiration, and wondered at the power of this guy’s Faith in Him!
This Roman Centurion – this NON-JEW, this “outsider” to the Children of Israel – this is the guy that showed some EXTREME FAITH! Jesus said that He had “not found ANYONE IN ISRAEL WITH SUCH GREAT FAITH” – wow that blows my mind that this simple centurion had blown Jesus’ mind with just how great his faith in the power & providence of Jesus was.
So then Jesus sends the man on his way – He tells the centurion that his servant would be healed (and the passage says the servant was healed “at that very hour”) but ya know – I just wonder if they centurion was like – “oh okay – well that’s what I figured – I mean come on Jesus is THE MAN – so there was never any doubt”
Man that dude GETS IT – and my hope and prayer is that I can truly GET IT too – to continue to grow in my own faith to a point that I might just for a moment – in a slight instance “ROCK JESUS WORLD” with my own level of faith!