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Matthew 8:8-10 (NIV) 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.” 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.
A centurion came to Jesus to ask for the healing of a servant that was suffering terribly. Romans typically thought of servants as tools that were discarded when worn out or damaged. This Roman, that was probably a battle-hardened overseer of 100 soldiers, had a heart. He must have heard about the crowds that came to Jesus and were healed. It inspired faith in him to believe that this man, Jesus, had ability beyond that of ordinary men. Having been assigned to that region, he knew the Jews’ deep faith and devotion to one God. All these factors put him in a difficult position. His culture was radically different from that of the Jews, and yet he found hope and power in this Jewish Rabbi.
When he explained his need to Jesus, Jesus said he would come and heal the servant. Most religious leaders of the day would not set foot in a Gentile home. They thought it would defile them, but Jesus was ready to help this Gentile seeker of truth. Then the centurion made an amazing parallel. He asked for Jesus just to speak the word and the servant would be healed. He explained that he is a man of authority and just has to give orders and people carry it out. The suggestion is that Jesus can do the same in the spiritual realm.
Jesus was astonished. His own people don’t see so clearly. The people with the writings of the prophets and examples of God dealing with man didn’t see Jesus’ authority as clearly as this Roman. Do you?
Consider: One word from Jesus and the physical world is changed forever. It is His word that sustains all things. His words created all things. His word can transform you and those you care about.
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