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, 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.
After Jesus clearly stated that He would come and heal the centurion’s servant, one might think that He would be offended when the centurion rejected that offer. You or I might have thought, ‘I just offered to come to your house and heal your servant and now you think you can place demands on me — such as ‘speak the word only.'” But Jesus does not react that way. Instead, Matthew records that He ‘marvelled.’ The word ‘marvel’ means to wonder at or to have in admiration. Jesus marvelled so much that He turned about to the crowd and said, “Verily [truly], I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.”
Dr. Warren Wiersbe notes, “Twice in the Gospels it is recorded that Jesus marveled: here, at the great faith of the Gentile centurion, and in Mark 6:6, at the great unbelief of the Jews. Matthew recorded two ‘Gentile’ miracles: this one and the healing of the daughter of the Syrophoenician woman. In both cases, the Lord was impressed with their great faith. This is an early indication that the Jews would not believe, but the Gentiles would. Also, in both of these miracles, our Lord healed from a distance. This was a reminder of the spiritual position of the Gentiles ‘afar off.'”
What impressed Jesus about the faith of this gentle Gentile general? First, Jesus marvelled at the centurion’s understanding of Jesus’ own authority. Most of the Jews saw Jesus as ‘one of the prophets,’ not necessarily God in the flesh and the promised Messiah. While most of them accepted His miracles, they did not view them as anything more than the miracles performed by Elijah or Moses. In fact, the religious leaders accused Jesus of working miracles such as casting out devils through the power of Beelzebub (Satan). They did not recognize his authority as God. But this gentle Gentile general did.
Second, Jesus marvelled at the centurion’s belief that, sight unseen, Jesus could heal his servant. The Man Jesus had never seen this servant, didn’t know this servant, and no one would expect a doctor to be able to heal without first going to diagnose the patient. But the centurion saw none of that as a barrier to the miracle he requested. He asked Jesus to do something extraordinary without a doubt in his mind that Jesus could do.
Finally, Jesus marvelled at the fact that a Gentile would have so much faith in Him. That is why He exclaimed, “I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. The Jews were still struggling to come to terms with the idea that Jesus was their Messiah. They viewed Him with, at best, skepticism, and at worst, disdain. The religious leaders did not like him shaking up the established order of things. And the commoners flocked to Him because of the miracles He performed and his plain, bold teaching of Scripture. But, as is shown throughout the gospels, when Jesus called on the multitudes to commit to being His disciples, very few were willing to follow Him. So, it was remarkable that the Jews who had 1,400 years of Scripture and history to base their beliefs on were blinded to Jesus’ true nature, yet this Gentile general who as “afar off” from God could so easily see who Jesus was and what He could do.
I wonder if we have a faith that Jesus would marvel at today. How often have you dared to believe that God could do the seemingly impossible? Or are we bound by the constraints of limited belief and limited understanding of God’s nature? Jesus expressed His concern that the faith exhibited by this gentle Gentile general would not be a common thing when He said, “When the Son of Man cometh, will He find faith on the earth?” You and I can’t answer for all the earth. But, we can answer for ourselves. We can choose to believe God to do the impossible — not based on fanciful imagination or wishful thinking, but based upon what Scripture tells us He has done down through the years.
Daniel Whittle wrote:
Have faith in God, what can there be
For Him too hard to do for thee?
He gave His Son; now all is free;
Have faith, have faith in God.
Have faith thy pardon to believe,
Let God’s own word thy fears relieve;
Have faith the Spirit to receive;
Have faith, have faith in God.
Have faith in God, and trust His might
That He will conquer as you fight,
And give the triumph to the right;
Have faith, have faith in God.
Have faith in God, press near His side;
Thy troubled soul trust Him to guide;
In life, in death, whatever betide,
Have faith, have faith in God.
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.