Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December Newsletter Article

“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.’ “(Matt. 8:8-9 NIV) The centurion not only understood authority, but he understood that Jesus had authority over illness such that He could command it and it would obey. He understood something about Jesus that it seemed was hidden to so many others we think perhaps should have understood it because of their background and knowledge of God. His response to Jesus also revealed something else. He first states that he does not deserve to have Jesus come to his home to heal his servant. This man is a significant leader in the Roman army, the oppressors of the Jews, and yet he does not feel that he deserves a visit from this man named Jesus, a Jew, and subject of Rome. His response here reveals that he understood Jesus to be something much more than a mere man. News of the healing that Jesus had been doing had surely reached the ears of this centurion as that was where much of Jesus early ministry had begun. Jesus could scarcely get away from the crowds to have some time to refresh Himself. Matt. 4:23-25 makes it clear that Jesus was gaining a widely known reputation for having the power to heal. These miracles were clear evidence that Jesus was much more than a man, as Peter states in his sermon to the crowd in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost. “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. (Acts 2:22) We don’t know much about the centurion from what Matthew writes in this passage above, but we can know this: he believed Jesus to be someone greater in power and authority than him, even though he had significant authority himself. He believed that this authority was sufficient to heal his servant, and that his power to heal was not limited to his present location—he was not bound by time or space. I’m convinced he believe that Jesus was a god of some type. By Jesus’ willingness to heal at his request, we might even surmise that he believed that Jesus was indeed God, “big G”. How about you? What does your faith in Christ allow you to believe Him capable of? Does your faith in Him go beyond believing that He exists? Can the Jesus you believe in save you from the consequence of your sin? Who is Jesus to you? This man was credited by Christ with “such great faith”. How far does your faith carry you? By His Grace Alone, Pastor Bruce Jacobsen