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April 1, 2014

Text:  “And to the centurion Jesus said, ‘Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.’ And the servant was healed  at that very moment.”‘  Matthew 8:13

He was a centurion in the Roman army, probably a rather imposing figure, and a Gentile. His servant was ill at home and approaching death. After the officer requested that Jesus recuperate the servant, Jesus expresses his awe at the faith of the centurion. Having dealt with the incredulous Jews, Jesus proclaims that the faith of the centurion far exceeds what the people of Israel demonstrated.

Jesus then decrees that the centurion’s servant will be restored to health, and attests that this miracle exhibited the officer’s faith. Of all the manifestations of faith Jesus had witnessed among his own nation, he makes sure to point out how this alien with so little background in Israel’s beliefs had displayed by coming to request healing for his servant. Jesus uses this man’s example to chide his people’s lack of faith toward himself.

Jesus came strolling through the cities and villages, and everywhere crowds came begging for his miraculous favors. But there were many who were disbelieving and avoided Jesus, refusing to ask for his miraculous boons. Guess what!  The ones who asked in faith received the blessing, and the ones who distrusted the Lord went home empty!   The Lord commended the centurion’s faith, but predicted dire punishment for the unbelief of the Jews.  You cannot expect God’s blessings if you do not obey him.

At the end of Matthew chapter 13 Jesus returns to Nazareth and taught in their synagogue. And the text says, “And they took offense at him.”  Matthew 13:57  The next verse relates a sad observation. “And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.”  Their faith did not fail because it was too little to cure small pox or kidney failure, etc. It was because the residents of his hometown were hostile so as to run Jesus off, not allowing any of his works to be performed. They formed a barrier of unbelief to prevent Jesus being able to work a miracle.

Having exposed the skepticism of the Jews, Jesus then turns to the centurion to announce the outcome of the centurion’s request. “Go, let it be done for you as you have believed.” Matthew 8:13 Looking into the heart of this gentile, Jesus observes sincere faith for what he had requested.

There are many persons who expect Jesus to come across with some cure for a disease, a coveted new automobile, a new job with better pay, a new boat, etc. Though they have never served the Lord so much as one day, seldom go to church, and blaspheme God’s name,  they look upon God as Santa Claus with a bag of goodies especially for them. Talk about twisted!

Jesus teaches that there must be faith that God will provide for our needs. But look at what he told the centurion: “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” Matthew 8:13a Faith is neither an unlimited credit card nor a blank check. The Lord gives to this Roman a blessing because he manifested his faith. He shows his trust by coming to Jesus and asking for Jesus to restore the servant. 

Come, my friends. Let us have faith and ask God for his blessings.  “…give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaking togather, running over, will be put into your lap.” Luke 6:38








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