THE CENTURION'S EXCEPTIONAL FAITH
In our referenced Scripture today, we are looking at the faith of a Roman officer. This centurion was non-Israelite; he was a heathen. Yet he demonstrated a great faith which got Jesus' approval and commendation.
Reference: Matthew 8:8 World English Bible (WEB) 'The centurion answered, "Lord, I'm not worthy for you to come under my roof. Just say the word, and my servant will be healed."'
The above verse reveals that the centurion was a man that thought himself unworthy to host Jesus in his house but he greatly acknowledged Jesus' supreme authority because he understood the principles of authority. He knew that 'words' are not ordinary. So when Jesus heard him, He was greatly amazed. Let's look at the qualities or key attributes the centurion displayed, in relation to authority, mindset and faith.
Authority: Matthew 8:9 (NLT) recorded that the centurion understood authority and its precision. The centurion responded to Jesus, saying, ' I know this because I'm a man under authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers...' In the Roman army, officers acted with the delegated authority of the Emperor. So this centurion was quick to respond to divine authority when he approached Jesus. He knew he was about to encounter the power and majesty of our Lord Jesus and He promptly complied.
Mindset: The centurion answered, 'Lord, I'm not worthy for you to come under my roof...' Though he declared himself as 'being unworthy', it does not mean that he had something evil, fishy, or suspicious going on under his roof. Unworthiness here, denotes 'being undeserving', (feeling of not being prestigious enough to host such calibre of person at his home), but his faith in Jesus' authority made the difference. Same way, we were all unworthy until we made Jesus our Saviour and Lord. Now Christ lives in you; you don't need to invite Him to your home. You are His home address; a mobile carrier of divine presence and atmosphere. And so you deserve God's best, in accordance with the finished work of Christ.
Faith: The centurion's faith made the difference and moved Jesus to preach a fresh faith sermon to those who were following Him (see Matthew 8:10-11). Notice that the centurion didn't ask in doubt, rather he made his request with great assurance and possibility mindset. We must also understand that faith is usually expressed in words and demonstrated in action. We don't demonstrate faith with our hearts; we only believe with our hearts (see Romans 10:10 NIV/NLT). If the centurion did not speak out, Jesus wouldn't have commended his faith. He expressed his faith in words, which moved Jesus to action.
The Centurion was a heathen, yet he acknowledged Jesus for who He is and demonstrated his faith in God by His words. He understood the importance of words. That's why he explained, "...I only need to say to my soldiers, 'Go, and they go', or 'come, ' and they come. If I say to my slaves, 'Do this,' they do it" (Matthew 8:9b). That means, they respond to his words because of his delegated authority.
As a child of God, have you understood the supreme authority you have in Christ Jesus? This authority was bequeathed to you at the point of salvation. Are you aware that your words are backed with power? Are you also aware that sickness is your slave? You can tell that sickness to go, and it will fade away. The Centurion said, 'if I say to my slaves, ''Do this, they do it."' What have you tolerated and allowed to have dominion over you, instead of exercising your authority over it with faith-filled words?
By a spoken word, Jesus healed the centurion's servant from a distance. Just like the centurion, we can do the same with our words, full of power, and demonstrate our faith in His finished work, so we can enjoy all of God's promises to Abraham, which are already fulfilled in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20 NIV/NLT).
Scripture Reading - Matthew 17:20; Hebrews 10:23; 1 Corinthians 2:4-5; Hebrews 11:1; James 1:6.
Guided Prayer: Heavenly Father, your Word is full of incredible truths that remind me of exercising my faith in your ability through words and trusting you to deliver my desired results. Having reflected on the centurion's faith, I have the comfort and reassurance that my words are not ordinary because I'm seated with Christ in the heavenly realms and I function with superior authority. I live far above sickness, disease and all kinds of negativity; I reign and rule with words of power that effect positive changes in my world. Thus I'm a victor and more than a conqueror always, in Jesus' Name, Amen.