Jesus wanted to go and see the sick servant but the centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve that you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 2
The centurion acknowledged the lordship and authority of Jesus, and he was not disappointed. He realised that Jesus was under the authority of His Father who can do all things. With that delegated authority, Jesus could command the sickness to leave, and it would go.
What convinced the centurion that Jesus was a Man of Authority and somebody very special? He must have heard about the healings, 3 the Beatitudes (where the crowd was amazed at His authority, since He did not teach like the teachers of the law 4), the events in Jerusalem and what John the Baptist said about Him. 5 Herod was mortified about a possible threat to his throne. 6 So he put it all together and came to the conclusion that Jesus was not an ordinary man. He was a man of authority, one sent by God, the Messiah.
What does this have to do with us? Just this.
# 1. The faith of believers is under tremendous attack. 7 We are told regularly that we have either faith without evidence, blind faith, or whatever. We have to remember the critics do not have the same attitude as the centurion. The Jews testified about him, ‘This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.’ 8
# 2. Critics hate God. People like Richard Dawkins, Guy Harrison and Peter Boghossian do not love the people of God. They definitely don’t like Jesus Christ. They hate Him, since they are motivated by the spirit of the antichrist.9
# 3. What are we to do? Don’t believe their irrational criticism. Do as the centurion did, have faith in Jesus and His authority 10 We have more evidence than the centurion: Scripture, commentaries and history that testifies to the supernatural.
# 4. We do suffer trials now. Yet ‘These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire, may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honour when Jesus Christ is revealed.’ 11
- Matthew 8:10; Luke 7:9
- Matthew 8:9; Luke 7:7-8
- Matthew 4:23
- Matthew 7:29
- Matthew 3:11-12
- Matthew 2:1-18
- Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion, Bantam Books, 2006; Peter Boghossian, A Manual for Creating Atheists, Pitchstone Publishing Durham, North Carolina, 2013; Guy Harrison, 50 Questions for Every Christian, Prometheus Books, 2013.
- Luke 7:5
- 1 John 4:2
- Matthew 8:9; Luke 7:7-8
- 1 Peter 1:7