I would like to speak about two major pillars of Christianity, i.e. Love and Faith! For the main text I would be using the passage of the Centurion officer.
Matthew 8:5-10 (NIV-WS) 5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” 7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?” 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.
All of the Bible can be summed up in one word and that word is LOVE ( Galatians 5:14 ). Not only this, but we are required to do everything in love (1 Corinthians 16:14 ). All of our walking, talking and interactions with our Friends, Family and Foes must commence in love and at every level be executed in the same manner. This is one of the reasons I admire this centurion officer as aforementioned so much.
A centurion was a Roman officer who was in charge of 100 men. Under the centurion was 10 more senior officers called contubernia who supervised 10 lower ranking officers. So in essence, the centurion had multiple choices of senior personnel who he could have used to send to Jesus. Nevertheless, this man of authority took it upon himself to leave his 100 soldiers and find Jesus. I want to underscore that this was not him doing it for the plight of not another fellow Comrade in arms (Soldier) but a SERVANT. It reminds me when Jesus said that he will leave the 99 and go after the 1 sheep which was lost ( Luke 15:4 ). In my eyes the centurion did more than leave the 99 and go after the 1 of value. He left the 100 and went to seek the interest of a servant, whom most at the time would have considered insignificant, easily replaceable and possessing little value. Oh what leadership, Oh what Love! This clearly highlights Godly principles and the way we should showcase heavenly values in us.
If I was a soldier under this centurion’s leadership I would have felt so cherished and cared for. I would have thought, “if my leader left all of us and went to the aid of a servant how much more will he do for me, being a fellow soldier like himself”.
Not only did the Centurion have abundant love but his faith was so great that Jesus marveled at it. So much so that He made the bold statement that, “He had not seen so great faith in all Israel”. Jesus was constantly teaching in the temple and in the company of spiritual leaders and ‘faithful’ followers. He even heaped accolades on John the Baptiste regarding his greatness. Now the faith in ALL these people and ALL Israel was shown up by this Gentile who was alien to the Kingdom of God due to his none Jew status.
The conversation went even further (Mathew 8:11-13) when Jesus spoke about who will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus was reminding us to be careful with our Christian walk. We think we have it all together and possess the necessary faith and other Christian attributes when in fact we have no spiritual depth and we run the risk of missing out on Heaven.
At this moment, I want to encourage you to have faith in God. If you are trusting him, then Trust Him and take Him at his word.
This Centurion possessed all the qualities to please God i.e. by actions of Faith and Love. It is a great example to remind us how we should daily serve our Heavenly Father. So today let’s examine ourselves and see if we are in the faith. Let’s examine ourselves and see if we are stretching out our hands to love others. For in doing so the world will know that we are truly children of God ( John 13:35).
Your Brother in the Lord,
Dane Miller | Author
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