Monday through Friday with People of Faith: Day 212/260: The Centurion

Read Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10

Making Jesus Marvel

A centurion was a position in the Roman military. He explained his authority to Jesus, “For I also am a man placed under authority, having 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” (Luke 7:8).

This particular centurion showed respect to the Jewish nation and heritage, and in return, the Jews respected him. The elders of the Jews implored Jesus to heal this man’s servant, saying he was “deserving, ‘for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue’” (Luke 7:4-5).

Jesus agreed to heal the servant, but the centurion objected to a personal visit. “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed” (Luke 7:6-7). This man demonstrated great humility despite his position of authority. How much we can learn from him in this twenty-first century, so filled with people consumed with entitlement!

Jesus “marveled” at the faith of this man. In another incident, after the people of Nazareth rejected Him, it is said that Jesus “marveled because of their unbelief” (Mark 6:6). If our Lord marveled at us, would it be for our faith or for our unbelief? Do we doubt His power like those of Nazareth, or do we recognize not only His power but our unworthiness to receive such a blessing like the centurion?

Jesus declared, “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” (Matthew 8:10-12). The Jews, who should have enjoyed these blessings as God’s people, would be cast out because they did not accept Jesus; the Gentiles, however, would embrace the opportunity of God’s grace to be saved and would join the saints of old in glory.

Are you on your way to fellowshipping with Abraham in eternity?

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