By Allen White
When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”
Jesus said to him, “Shall I come 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. 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.”
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.
Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment. Matthew 8:5-10, 13
The centurion created a new paradigm of faith. Up until this time, everyone who was healed was front and center in Jesus’ presence. But, the centurion revealed an attribute of God that others weren’t aware of. God is omnipresent – present everywhere all of the time.
The centurion took his cues from his own life experience. If he gave a command, his subordinates would follow it whether he was there or not. This is how authority worked.
He recognized that Jesus had authority over sickness and disease. It wasn’t the touch or the exact wording that cause healing to take place. God’s authority determined the outcome.
I spent time living in the “Show Me” state of Missouri during college. Nobody was going to pull the wool over a Missourians eyes. After all, seeing is believing. But, seeing is not faith.
In faith, we see things that aren’t as if they were (Hebrews 11:1). Now, this isn’t some New Agey visualization technique. Faith is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8).
Folks who always need more proof to believe in God tend to struggle in their faith. (And, it’s okay to struggle – that’s how we learn to trust God more deeply). Jesus said the centurion had the greatest faith in all of Israel, because he could believe without seeing.
Now, that doesn’t mean that God expects us to take a blind leap of faith. That’s Existentialism, not Christianity. Christians take an educated leap of faith. God gave us a book, the Bible, and He gave us a brain. That is no coincidence.
Based on what God has revealed to us, He has given ample grounds for faith to grow. While God doesn’t give us everything that we want to know, He gives us everything that we need to know.
Where do you struggle in your faith? When is it easy to believe? When is it more challenging? Challenging times are often a greater incubator for faith. Where do you need God to help you with your unbelief?
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