10 February 2018
GraceNotes – A Journey of Discovery
Scripture: Matthew 8:5-13 (Click link for scripture in Bible Gateway)
5 When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with him, 6 “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.” 7 Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.” 8 But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. 9 I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel! 13 Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.” And the young servant was healed that same hour. (Matthew 8:5-10, 13 NLT)
I was thinking about some things that could have hindered the Roman officer from coming to Jesus for help. There might have been pride, maybe a little racial prejudice, possibly some doubt? But he loved his young servant and desperately wanted healing for him, so he swallowed his pride and pleaded with Jesus to heal him.
When Jesus offered to come to his home and heal the young man, the Roman officer humbly said, “You don’t have to come to my home. Just speak the word from here, and he’ll be healed!” This Roman officer understood authority! Jesus equates the Roman officer’s understanding of the proper use of authority to faith! The officer recognized the authority in Jesus and realized that no religious rituals were needed, only for Jesus to speak the words of healing.
Jesus said, “I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!” The faith that got Jesus excited was a simple and passionate belief in God’s goodness, and simple trust that God, through Jesus, could and would do the impossible! Jesus said that the simple faith of a Gentile was more real and powerful than all the religious traditions and rituals practiced by the most religious people in Israel. Then he said to the Roman officer, “Because you believed, it has happened!” And it had!
Father, I want the kind of faith that makes good things happen. It still tends get pretty complicated sometimes, with me trying to cross all the “t’s” and dot all the “i’s.” I know you have the power, the authority, and the compassion to help and heal. I want to have faith that accesses your gracious help for others. In Jesus’ Name!