8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.
There are many different ways my kids approach me when they need something. The "how" often is much more important than the "why." Consciously or not, we all do a bit of quick thinking evaluation of what is really going on when someone approaches us for something. Attitude plays the largest role in how we discern the heart behind the request.
When my son approaches me angrily I know before I even hear his words that it is going to be a request most likely rooted in selfishness. His anger betrays his heart. Sure, it might be legitimate that he wants "this", but his attitude informs me that it is all about him and God help those who do not bow to his wishes. At that moment I exist, in his head, to simply be a conduit for achieving his self-centered desires.
On the other hand, when he approaches me quietly and meekly, I know that there is a much different heart going on. He isn't coming to demand, but instead to ask for help from the one person he knows is capable of helping him. Usually, this approach follows earnest self-attempts to do whatever it is he wanted. And when he realizes that he can't accomplish what he wants without his daddy, he comes hoping for help, knowing that I am capable.
When we read this account of the Centurion coming to Jesus to heal his servant we see a man who is outside of the Jewish community, but having a faith that amazed Jesus. How would you like to have a faith that Jesus is amazed by? All scripture is for our edification and so what can we take from this and apply to ourselves.
I see two important parts to the visible display of the Centurions faith:
"I do not deserve" was such a great line. How many times I approach God with demands and expectations. We treat God like a Holy Vending machine so easily. Here are my prayer inputs....now....where are my goodies?!?!
We cannot hope to approach the cross on our feet. The only way forward is on our knees. The very act of living with self-righteous justification towards our right to approach God with demands shows how far our hearts are truly from God.
Is God simply existing to be a conduit for providing for our desires, or, is He a Holy and Righteous King who exists not for our pleasure, but His own?
2) Belief in the authority and power of Christ.
The Centurion doesn't just say, "do you think you can do this". He basically says, "I know you can with no more than a word".
I am about as far from the "name it claim it" camp as one can possibly be. So, don't take this the wrong way. But we live so often paralyzed in fear that God isn't who He says He is. We do not live in the freedom and satisfaction of knowing that God is in control and is working all things to the good of those who love Him.
We have a very limiting view of the problems we do have, and, the problems we may have. They consume us, we allow anxiety and worry to rob us of hope and peace. Do you know that there is a Limitless God who loves you beyond measure? No matter the immediately "felt" realities of the difficulties in life, our hope is not in "today", but the forever Tomorrows.
The Centurion isn't just hoping that Jesus is who He says He is. He trusts it completely, and humbly places his hope in Christs' hands.
How about you? Let me challenge you, and me, to pursue a heart that is rooted in Trusting Humility. Jesus is who He says He is. And, we are who He says we are. We have no right to ask Him for anything. But He invites us to come to Him out of love and see that He is indeed who He promised He would be.
God With Us
Don't judge me, This is a pretty amazing Astonished Jesus