When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!
These are the words of Jesus.
Who could He be talking about?
Jesus Himself says, “I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” Surely He is speaking of one of the disciples or one of the great Patriarchs like Abraham or Moses but He wasn’t. The person He said these words about was not even a Jew.
Jesus had just finished the Sermon on the Mount and had come into Capernaum. Let’s read this passage together to find out who could have caused Jesus to marvel at such great faith.
Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.”
And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”
The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour. Matthew 8:5-13
You can find another version of this story in Luke 7:1-10. It is a slightly different perspective however, Luke records Jesus saying the exact same words about the Centurion, (v. 9) When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!”
Jesus said this about a centurion? A ROMAN centurion?
My first question is, how?
How does, of all people, a roman centurion show such a great faith that makes Jesus marvel?
I honestly can’t say for sure. I can, however look at the clues in the Scripture and make an “educated guess”.
This event took place right after the Sermon on the Mount. If you look back at Matthew 6:28, it says, 28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.
It was quite possible that the Centurion had heard this sermon and was one of those that “were astonished at His teaching“. It was also quite possible that he was witness to some of the miracles that Jesus had done. I believe that this centurion recognized the power and authority that Jesus had and because of that, he believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus could heal his servant with just a word.
He also knew what power and authority looked like because he possessed some authority himself, “For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” This tells me that he may have been witness to Jesus telling demons and sickness to flee and seeing people freed and cleansed.
Others had heard the sermon and witnessed the miracles; what made this man different?
He acted on his faith.
“The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.”
He stepped out in faith and not only recognized the authority Jesus held but that he, the centurion, wasn’t even worthy for Jesus to come into his house.
Isn’t that what Jesus is asking from each of us?
He wants us to recognize that we are not worthy. We are nothing without Him. He wants us to trust Him and His authority and believe He can do the impossible. After all, He is able to heal with just a word because He created all things with just a spoken word.
I pray that as you begin this new year that you trust God BIG.
I pray that you believe Him for the impossible.
Leave a Reply