When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.” Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.” 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.” ~ Matthew 8:5-8
What an amazing recount of extreme faith in the power and authority of Christ! In the subsequent verse, the Bible says that 10 When Jesus heard this He was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.”
As a side note, it is difficult at best for me to imagine doing something that would amaze my Lord and Savior. As such a broken and sinful vessel the thought of me pleasing Him in such a way seems to be beyond possible, yet this scripture shows us otherwise. We can live our lives to please Him and certainly possess the capability to do so.
In breaking down this scripture I first looked at the centurion or soldier. What made him so unique or special that he could amaze the Lord? First, we see him coming to Christ in compassion, namely for a servant. Also, in coming to Jesus he believed that Jesus had all the power and authority necessary to carry out his request if Jesus saw fit. Next, we see that he is coming from a most humble position when he says, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof.” Finally, the centurion’s words show such a strong faith. He truly believes that Jesus needn’t even come to the servant, but that if Jesus commands healing it would be done.
There are multiple ideas that I take from Christ’s reaction to this showing of faith and request. First, I believe that great blessings and answer to prayer are available to us when we exhibit strength in our faith. To have this strong faith we should first believe in His power and authority to hear and grant our prayers. Then we should go compassionately and humbly before Him. Sometimes, in order to have such a strong faith, we will often be required to seek Him when we do not have the capability to access answers and solutions on our own. Also, I believe that “man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (I Samuel 16:7) especially when it comes to what and how we are asking Him.
Billy Graham is recognized for using the quote “God will not reward fruitfulness, He will reward faithfulness. The centurion showed extreme faith at great lengths and I believe each of us has the same potential.