There’s a wonderful story in the Word of God concerning a centurion (an army captain in charge of 100 soldiers) who had a servant who was sick:
“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.” (Matthew 8:5-6)
“And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.” (Matthew 8:7)
But the centurion answered Jesus, saying:
“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 to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. (Matthew 8:8-9)
The scriptures say that when Jesus heard the centurian say this, he “marveled”! Can you imagine Jesus Christ, the Son of God “marveling” at anything?
Why did he marvel? Because, as Jesus told those who followed him:
“Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” (Matthew 8:10)
Jesus marveled because of the “greatness” of this centurion’s faith!
So, what made this centurion’s faith so “great”? Well, let’s examine what the centurion said:
Basically, the centurion told Jesus that he didn’t have to bother coming to his house to pray for his servant, but rather if Jesus would…
“… speak the word only … his servant would be healed”!
Did you catch that? The centurion knew that when he ordered his troops to do something, that his troops had to obey because his words carried “authority” … because the centurion himself had authority!
The centurion knew that Jesus was also a man of authority. So, he knew that Jesus’ words carried authority … and power! He had great confidence (faith) that what Jesus spoke … would come to pass!
So, here in Matthew 8, we have an illustration of what Jesus considers “great faith”:
The greatest faith a Christian can have is to believe the words that Jesus speaks!
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,” (Hebrews 1:1)
“Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;” (Hebrews 1:2)
“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power,…” (Hebrews 1:3)
Though Jesus Christ is the very “brightness” and “image” of the glory of God and is “upholding all things by the word of his power”, many Christians today would rather put their faith and confidence in the words of their self-appointed apostles/prophets, pastors/teachers, mega-church TV evangelists or friends! But the Word of God declares:
“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in princes.” (Psalms 118:8-9)
“Trust ye not in a friend, put ye not confidence in a guide:” (Micah 7:5)
“For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.” (Proverbs 3:26)
Good advice … don’t you think?
So now that you know where to put your faith, open up that Bible of yours that’s gathering dust on the shelf, turn off the TV and begin to fill your heart with the precious and glorious Word of God!
For it is written:
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (2Timothy 3:16-17)
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