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What the Bible says about Centurion's Confidence in Christ
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Matthew 8:5-13

Only Matthew and Luke record the miracle of the healing of a centurion's servant (Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10). Both accounts indicate that the afflicted servant who needed Jesus Christ's help was young. Luke uses the Greek word doulos, meaning bond slave, someone born into slavery (Luke 7:2). Matthew, however, uses pias, meaning a child or young person (Matthew 8:6). The context indicates that this servant was not a little boy but a young man still in his teens.

The servant's master was a centurion, a Roman soldier in charge of one hundred soldiers of the Roman garrison in Capernaum. Several centurions recognized Christ's special purpose and honored Him (Mark 15:39; Acts 10:1; 22:25-26; 27:1, 43; 28:16). This miracle reveals that faith is sometimes found where we least expect it.

Although Matthew and Luke generally agree in their accounts of this incident, some differences occur. Matthew, a Jew, seems to have Israel in mind as he records Christ's somber warning to the nation not to neglect personal responsibility and to put their faith and hope in God instead of civil and religious institutions of man. They were in serious need of humility (Romans 12:16).

On the other hand, Luke, a Greek, had fellow Gentiles in mind, so excluding the warning to Israel, he instead encourages the proud Gentiles to ask for the help they needed for their problems. He does this by showing that a centurion was able to persuade the Jewish elders to help in pleading to Jesus for his servant. Humility is necessary for happiness in life (Psalm 69:32).

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Centurion's Servant (Part One)

Matthew 8:5-13

Like the miracle of the healing of the nobleman's son (John 4:46-54), the healing of the centurion's servant (Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10) reveals Christ as able to heal from a distance merely by the power of His word. Because of his experience as a commander, the centurion knew that it was not necessary for Jesus to come to his home to visit the sick servant and pray while standing over the afflicted. Then, as now, distance is not a factor in Christ's ability to heal; His word is sufficient whether near or far.

True faith requires no visible sign. The centurion's faith was in the spiritual capability of Christ; he had confidence in the effectiveness of Christ's word to heal the sick and dying. As a man of authority, he believed and understood that diseases had to obey Jesus' command just as his men had to obey him as their superior officer. He knew that authority transcended distance. An officer need not be personally present to command his soldiers to carry out his orders. It was sufficient for Christ to exercise His will through His word, and it is done. Nevertheless, the quick healing of a sick person from a distance is a rare occurrence in the healing miracles of the Bible (see Matthew 15:21-28; Mark 7:24-30).

Martin G. Collins
The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Centurion's Servant (Part Three)

Matthew 28:18

Christ has the power to do whatever we ask, and we must have confidence, belief, or faith in His ability to do what we are asking Him to do. If all authority has been given to Him, then all the power of God is in Him, so He can do more than we ask. Can we, then, ask Him in faith, in conviction, understanding this important point?

Even though we are praying to a very powerful Being who could do more than we even ask, the faithful person also responds by being obedient. Recall these examples Jesus gives us of His ministry in the New Testament:

Faith goes to the pool of Siloam to wash when it is told to go. Remember the occasion when Christ told the man to go dip himself in the pool and the man obediently did what Christ told him to do.

Faith cast the net wherever Christ tells the person to. Christ said, "Cast your net here." Peter did what Christ said, and he drew out a lot of fish as a result.

Christ once told the nobleman, "Go home. Your daughter is healed." The nobleman turned on his heels and went home. His daughter indeed was healed.

The faith that God is looking for keeps the commandments of God and does things that are pleasing in His sight. It says to God, "Lord, speak, for your servant hears." It says, "Lord, what do you want me to do?"

There are also times when faith is called upon to wait in patience for God because there are frequent delays, and sometimes long delays, before God answers. True faith will not grow discouraged and disheartened because the prayer is not immediately honored.

Why will true faith do this? Why will it wait patiently, continuing obediently to submit to the will of God? Because it knows God. The answer is that simple. Because a person of such faith has conviction because he has been diligently seeking God. He has been walking and talking with God. He understands the mind of God. He knows why God delays or acts quickly. It will wait patiently for whenever God wills it to be done.

True faith knows that God has the power, and it knows whether a request is according to His will. It knows that it is impossible for God to lie and that He will fulfill His promises. But it also knows and accepts that he is not the only person or event that God is working with, so that kind of faith accepts without question the conditions for answered prayer. Such delays are times of testing in which faith is privileged to show its mettle.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Faith and Prayer


 




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