A Centurion’s Faith

Jesus’ fame is growing. A Centurion asks for healing his servant: Matthew 8:5-13, Luke 7:1-10

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One Reply to “A Centurion’s Faith”

  1. Here we have the story of a Centurion’s complete faith in Jesus, though they had never met. The two accounts approach the story differently, but the observations are consistent: Jesus was amazed! The Greek word in both Matthew and Luke, thaumazō, is used to describe Jesus’ reaction. Follow that link and see how the word is used throughout the New Testament. Thoughts like, “filled with wonder” and “astonished” come to mind and the times it’s used in the New Testament provide great perspective. For me to be filled with wonder and amazement is not so special, but to think that Jesus’ reaction is described in this manner is remarkable!

    For Jesus to be amazed, the story has to be significant. We are told the story to help us have faith in that which we cannot see. Jesus lets the listeners know that this is an faith far beyond that which most have ever seen,

    I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith

    This is the kind of faith that moves mountains, that preaches the Gospel like no other. This is the kind of faith to strive for, a perfect example. Whether the Centurion arrived personally, as Matthew records, or via proxy, as Luke records, the story is that of complete faith in Jesus.

    Matthew provides the rest of the story, the other end of the spectrum. Jesus points to those who “take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,” they will not fare so well. The NIV Study Bible note puts it this way, “Jews who thought their Judaism was an inherited passport for entrance into the kingdom.” Such positional authority can be gained on earth where kingdoms may be inherited, but this is not the case for our eternal destiny. As Matthew records Jesus’ words:

    But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

    Perhaps a favorite quote for our Southern Baptist stereotypes, the point is obvious, having a reserved parking spot at the synagogue is not an entrance ticket for eternity with Christ!

    Jesus is not impressed with wealth, fame or fortune. He is amazed by those who have great faith. Lord, increase my faith each day as we work through the constant challenges.

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