Luke 7:9 NKJV ‘When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” ‘
Jesus was marveled at two incidents. First, when he saw the faith of centurion and secondly, when he saw the disbelief of the people. This man’s faith was so great that Jesus had not found such faith anywhere, not even in Israel. His dear servant whom he loved much was ready to die. As he was rich, he could have given him the best treatment, but when he came to know about Jesus, he found hope in him. He heard about Jesus and what he heard about him became profitable for him. What have we have heard about Jesus? What do we know about Jesus? Knowledge about Jesus increases our faith. Most of the time, disbelief arises because of less knowledge and ignorance.
In II King 7, we see two people. Elisha, who had faith in God’s word and the Officer of King who did not believe the word of God. ‘Elisha said “Thus saith the Lord, Tomorrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel and two measures of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.”’ But when the officer of the King heard this, he said that even if God interfered, it would not happen. It was purely out of ignorance. He took experience into consideration. But what happened at the end? He saw the prophesy happening, but did not experience the blessing of God, because he died at the gate of Samaria. What you have heard about Jesus is very important for you, because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. What we hear can convince us, but the word of God does not convince everyone in same manner. In Mathew 13, we have account of 4 types of ground and only on one ground, the word produced the fruit and the produced fruit deferred. Some ground produced 30, 60 while some produced 100.
Initially, the Centurion sent some Jewish elders to Jesus, requesting to come to his place. This is because he was a gentile Roman. He did not find himself worthy to come to Jesus. He loved the Jews. Most probably, he loved God. They gave a positive character about this man. They said that he deserved the visit of Jesus, because he loved the nation and he had built the synagogue for the people. Jesus was willing to go to his house. Luke wrote that he sent his friends and in Mathew, we see that he himself came to Jesus. As Jesus was approaching his house, the Centurion himself got up and met Jesus on the way. His words of faith and humility marveled Jesus Christ.
What was so great in the faith of centurion ?
1. He believed in Jesus Christ .
In words of Charles Spurgeon, “we may remark that perhaps we had never heard of him, though he loved his servant; perhaps we had never read his name, though he tenderly nursed his slave; perhaps he had found no place in the record of Inspiration, though he loved the Jewish nation, and built them a synagogue; nor had we read the story of his life, though he had become a proselyte to the Jewish faith – the one thing which gives him a place in these sacred pages is this, that he believed in the Messiah, that he was such a believer in the Son of God, that Jesus said concerning him,” I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel”.”.. His own who had received the oracles of God did not believe, but gentiles who knew not God, believed the Son of God. Jesus could not do mighty works in his home town because of unbelief. Mark 6:1-6, ‘Jesus came to his hometown and began to teach, but the people who knew him were offended by his wisdom and did not believe him. They said “is this not the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James, Joses, Judas and Simon ? And are not His sisters here with us? It means that is this Jesus not as similar as others ? Jesus could not do mighty works in his hometown because of their disbelief, and this disbelief was because of their familiarity. I fear one thing. … because of constant meetings, conventions, fasting prayers and other spiritual activities, most of us get so familiar to spiritual matters and think that we know God, more than anyone else in the planet. The familiarity deceives us and in the contrary, God is not able to do mighty works among us. We believed in Jesus that’s why we are saved, but the question is that , “are we still believing Him in the way we believed him first ?”
2. He believed in the Word of Jesus
His servant was dreadfully paralyzed and was about to die. This was an emergency case and so needed immediate assistance. He believed the word of Jesus. That was enough for his case. ‘Only speak a word and my servant will be healed’. Do we have this faith for our problems? Our problems might be like a mountain, but can we say “Lord, Just speak a word.” We are sometimes like Martha who said, “Lord if you have been here, my brother would have not died.” His faith in the Word marveled Jesus Christ. Isaiah 55:10-11 NKJV ‘For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.’
• The sower cannot have the seed if God does not send the rain, and we cannot have the bread if there is no seed. Bread is essential for physical growth and word of God is essential for spiritual growth. Bible says, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God”. Rain and snow waters the earth. Likewise, the Word of God waters the prepared heart which helps to produce the fruit for God.
• The Word of God comes from the mouth of God with a purpose. Every word has a plan behind it, and if God has said something, there is a purpose and that purpose is according to His will. The only part from our side is to respond to His Word by obeying.
• God does not speak empty words but He speaks for accomplishment. The proof is that it does not return to Him void. When God speaks, He sees to it that it is accomplished. His works are not incomplete, because His word is true and not void.
• Word of God brings prosper. Though every Word might not bring joy for us presently, but the ultimate purpose is to bless you and prosper you.
This centurion who believed the authority in the word of Jesus said to him “Just speak a word”. Hello friend, Red sea was the greatest obstacle for Moses, but it was just a Word that made the water go back. Have you ever heard sea going back in the history? But see the power in the word of God. When the disciples thought that they were going to die, Jesus stood up and spoke the Word and that very moment there was a great calm in the sea. The Spirit of God is with us today and He needs just to speak a word in your life…Do you believe?
3. He believed in the authority of Jesus
Luke 7:6-8 NKJV …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. ”.
For I also am a man– This is the great humility of centurion. He was a man clothed with power but see his proclamation…I also am a man. We think high of ourselves when we are clothed with power and authority. He did not count himself worthy to come to Jesus because he realized the authority of Jesus…Even the Jews did not realize this spiritual truth. But here, we see a gentile who got the enlighten about the authority of Jesus Christ.
Placed under authority – That speaks volumes. “I also am a man place under authority.” In other words, his higher officials had placed him under authority. That’s why he could command his 100 soldiers. But he himself was also subject to authorities placed above him and hence they could remove him anytime they wanted. He could command them to ‘GO’ and they went, and to ‘Come’ and they came. He could tell his servant, ‘ Do this’ and he did it but he could not command the sickness to go. He could not command the wind to calm down or sins to be forgiven. He could not command the deaf to hear nor the evil spirit to leave. He had no commanding power over the sun, moon, stars and the galaxy. Our God is an Almighty God and no one has placed him on the throne. He was there before the time, even before the beginning of the world. He has no beginning and no end. He does not need assistants and when His mouth speaks, it has to be accomplished because God has said it!! The centurion can command only 100 soldiers, not 101. His authority is limited. But Jesus is not only a man but also God. He is having authority on all and on everything, because Father has placed everything under His feet. Glory to His name!
Do you believe in this Jesus Christ? Is your sickness is as serious as the servant of Centurion? Are you in the sick bed and on the verge of death ? You may have a circumstance which looks like a huge mountain, but believe in Jesus and tell Him …Lord, just speak a Word! …And there you will see a faith that will marvel Him. What is happening in our life? Is Jesus marveled at our faith or at our disbelief?
May God bless you with this message and let Him reveal himself to you so that your eyes of understanding be enlightened and see the attributes of our Awesome God. Amen!
With Love in Him