1 When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2 There a centurion‘s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3 The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4 When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, 5 because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” 6 So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. 7 That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 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.”
9 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” 10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well. NIV
This centurion was no ordinary man. They were professional soldiers. They understood leadership. But not all centurions of Rome were cut from the same cloth. Some could be brutal and inhumane, but those were not the colors of this one.
He was kind, considerate, and compassionate. Why else would he seek out help for an ailing servant? He was insightful and astute. Why else would he go to the religious leaders first, and not go to Jesus directly, so as not to offend the Jews? He was a humble man. Why else would he tell Jesus he was not worthy? But he was also disciplined and had a respect for authority. Why else would he place himself under the authority of Jesus’ words and have confidence that what Jesus said would come to pass?
From the outward appearance, this centurion had all the worldly credentials, but what Jesus saw was this man’s simple faith in the authority of His word. So much so, that he says, “This is a picture of great faith.”
It wasn’t the centurion’s rank that made Jesus take notice. It wasn’t even his excellent moral qualities that he exhibited. It was the centurion’s faith. It was his placing himself under the authority of Jesus’ word and believing.
We may not know the centurion’s name, but we do know that Jesus was stirred by his faith.
You may think that you don’t have the rank or credentials of other people, and for that reason God doesn’t notice you, but here’s the deal…God can see right through to the core of your heart (Heb 4:12). And if you are truly trusting and believing that what He says He can accomplish, then He sees that faith! And if God told me I had great faith, I don’t think I would care if anyone knew my name, or if I had their credentials!
What has God’s word spoken to you lately? How have you been challenged?
Real Men, let’s aspire to have simple faith in what God says, as well.