TEXT: Matthew 8:5-13
5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled [a Greek word which means to ‘wonder at’ or express ‘admiration’ for], and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
As we approach Billy Graham’s birthday celebration, I want to share something from the evangelist whom God made great regarding the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He said, “The object of Christian faith is Christ. Faith means more than an intellectual assent to the claims of Christ. You are not called upon to believe something that is not credible, but to believe in the fact of history that in reality transcends all history.”
When Jesus tells the Roman Centurion, “I will come and heal him,” this gentle Gentile general has what many of us would consider to be a shocking reaction. His immediate response is, “Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof.” Here is Jesus, the Great Physician, a proven healer and miracle-worker, offering to come to this man’s house to heal the servant that he is obviously very concerned about. Yet, the Centurion says, ‘I am not worthy that you would come under my roof.’
Why would this centurion initially reject Jesus’ offer to do what he desired? The Centurion explains himself further by saying, “I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.” The Centurion was a man in authority over others, but also under the authority of others. In the chain of command, he had superiors and inferiors. He usually had 100 soldiers in his command, but, depending on time and circumstance, he could command up to 800. As a centurion, he also had the authority to discipline Roman citizens with a vine-staff as citizens were protected from other forms of flogging by the law.
The centurion recognizes the mantle of authority on Jesus as well — and he recognizes that Jesus’ authority is much greater than his own. Just as the centurion could tell a man to go, or come, or do this, the centurion knew that Jesus could do the same. The centurion likely also felt that it would have been inappropriate for Jesus to come to his house to do a favor for him, as he would not have expected one of his superiors to come to his house to do something for him at his own request. So, the Centurion’s solution was simple: “Speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.”
It would seem that the centurion made things more difficult for Jesus. Usually, when we are making a request from someone who is in a position of greater authority, we try to make it as easy for them to help us as we possibly can, knowing they have the prerogative to say “no.” But this Centurion, while expressing his humility before Jesus, inadvertently places constraints on how Jesus can work this miracle, which simultaneously reveals the depth of his own faith. Dr. Warren Wiersbe notes, “It would seem that everything about this man would prevent him from coming to Jesus. He was a professional soldier, and Jesus was a Man of peace. He was a Gentile, and Jesus was a Jew. But this soldier had one thing working for him: he was a man of great faith. This centurion understood that Jesus, like himself, had authority. All Christ had to do was speak the word and the disease would obey Him the way a soldier obeyed his officer.”
Just as the centurion recognized that the disease afflicting his servant was under the authority of Jesus Christ, we must recognize and act as though every circumstance in our lives is also under the authority of Christ. We must approach Christ just as humbly, yet with as much faith and confidence as this centurion if we want Christ to act on our behalf.
B.B. McKinney wrote:
Have faith in God when your pathway is lonely
He sees and knows all the way you have trod
Never alone are the least of His children
Have faith in God, have faith in God
Have faith in God when your pray’rs are unanswered
Your earnest plea He will never forget
Wait on the Lord, trust His Word and be patient
Have faith in God, He’ll answer yet
Have faith in God in your pain and your sorrow
His heart is touched with your grief and despair
Cast all your cares and your burdens upon Him
And leave them there, oh, leave them there
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.