In the Gospel of Matthew 8:5-13 we read the account of a Roman centurion who came to Jesus to ask Him for some help with a big need that he had. A centurion was a Roman officer who was in command of a 100 men. The duties of a centurion was to drill his men, inspect their arms, food and clothing, and to command them in the camp and in the field. To be a centurion was to hold a high office of authority; what they commanded must be done and done quickly with no hesitation.
It was obvious the centurion we read about in Matthew 8:5-13 had heard about Jesus and what He had been doing amongst the people, because no one else could meet the need he had. We read when the centurion greets Jesus, he addresses Him in a very respectful way: Lord. The centurion then goes on to present his need to Jesus; “Lord, my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.” In most cases, Roman centurions who had sick servants would have them removed and sent to an infirmary, to a work-house, or be sent home to friends and relatives who most likely could do much for them as they were often unable to pay for their sickness. Because Jesus knew this, when He heard the centurion present the need of his very sick servant, Jesus saw centurion had a tender heart and immediately says, “I will go and heal him.”
Now most of us would have been overjoyed at the aspect that Jesus was coming to our home to heal someone we really loved and cared for, right. We might have even ran ahead of Jesus and told our friends and neighbors and anyone who would listen that Jesus was coming to ‘our home’. Yet, the centurion says to Jesus; “Lord, I do not deserve to have You come under my roof. But ‘just say the word’ and my servant will be healed. For 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.”
Hebrews 11:6 “And without faith it is to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.”
The centurion tells Jesus he didn’t deserve, or as other translations say, he was not worthy, for Him to come under his roof. One reason I believe we don’t see the answers to our prayers is that as Christians we somehow think we are deserving or worthy of the Lord to move in our lives. We think because of all that we do for the church or because that we know so many Scriptures and led so many to the Lord, that surely the Lord will want to move in our lives. The centurion recognized his unworthiness, yet he believed if Jesus would just say the word, that even in spite of his unworthiness, Jesus would heal his servant. We even think if we talk a lot about having faith, if we work up strong feelings about faith, then we surely have faith. Faith is not a feeling, faith is an action.
I so want to hear the Lord say of my faith that it is great; I so much want the Lord to say of our church that our faith is great. But I believe that will only come when we humble ourselves and recognize that in of ourselves there is nothing good in us. Our faith will be seen as great by the Lord when we begin to truly trust and believe that He is truly more than able to meet our needs.
We see and hear more and more that Christianity and the values we read about in the Word of God which was once the standard our nation was founded on, are beginning to not be the norm for our nation and sadly even for the church. The faith I believe the Lord is pleased with is a faith that is real in our hearts; not something we just say or sing about. I sadly see the many faults in my own heart and the areas where I’ve compromised and that is where I must begin to repair and make right before the Lord, so my faith will be strong. I can’t say I believe in Him if my actions and thoughts say something else.
The world today I believe is searching for authenticity; a genuine move of the Lord’s hand in our midst, not bright lights, smoke machines, fine tuned music, cool pastors, beautiful facilities or good programs. They are looking for a people who live what they preach and who faithfully stand on God and His word. A people who have not only great faith but great love, mercy and grace displayed in their lives. You know my friend, I am just silly enough to believe that can happen but it will take work and persistence on our parts. Join me my brothers and sisters in seeing this come to pass in our personal lives and the life of the church :-)))))
Categories: A Pastor's Blog