Scripture: “When (Jesus) had entered Capernaum a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, ‘Lord my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.’ And (Jesus) said to him ‘I will come and heal him.’
But the centurion replied, ‘Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof…but only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority with soldiers under me. And I say to 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 this he marveled and said to those who followed him: ‘Truly I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness…” Matt 8:5-12a
Observation: Faith. Faith about miracles or about the Gospel? Wait a minute: isn’t that the same thing?
Application: I have noticed early in my walk I would segment aspects of Christianity into chunks.
“This is about evangelism; that is about community.” “Here is laying on of hands, this is about gifting, that is about leadership, the other is about followership, etc.” Doctrine of the End Times, doctrine of demons, OT vs. NT, Law vs. Grace, and so on and so on…
Fact is all of these facets and segments are part of the same whole, which is the Gospel—everything from before time began to well after That Day is the Good News.
In the above reference there is: the Centurion exhibiting faith in explanation; the Servant who is sick and may not have any idea what his master is doing; Jesus’s followers who get to observe what is going on, and Jesus—who is astounded by this Roman officer’s character and response.
There wasn’t any hesitation on Jesus’ part to go take care of the servant—the deal is sealed. Centurion: “Please come.” Jesus: “OK, let’s go.”
Then the curve ball: Centurion: “Uhh, sir. I am not worthy to have you come under my roof.” Not: “Sir, you don’t have to do this.” Not: “Please don’t bother, house is a mess…” Or: “Excuse me, I am Roman, you are Jewish…know what I am saying here?”
What is being communicated is deep humbleness and a serious vision of worth between the Centurion and Jesus. The Centurion is not being self-deprecating, not putting on an act for the audience, but as if he was in a Cone of Silence talking only to Jesus, revealing with extreme transparency his heart attitude coupled with a trained and disciplined mind—“I am not worthy.”
Jesus marveled at the Centurion’s response, he was astonished at the clarity of the soldier’s reasoning and faith–so much so that the followers were given a glimpse of the Gospel and the coming Kingdom.
One day I want to astonish Jesus.
Prayer: Lord, the thought I am twirling about in the empty space between my ears is there is no such thing as being a quickly arrived, fully equipped disciple. I am dumbstruck. Please lead me, push me, into being a trained disciple. AMEN