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 8:8-10;13)
I love this passage of scripture. It identifies the authority of command. A centurion was a Roman officer in command of one hundred men. This officer knew his authority, and his men respected him, thereby fulfilling his commands in the Roman army.
In like manner, Jesus has been given authority, but by His Heavenly Father. The centurion saw this authority within Jesus. This man recited what it was to give commands, and for others to obey him. When he saw Jesus, he knew that his servant’s condition was subject to the authority of Jesus, and Jesus had been given the authority to heal.
Our Heavenly Father commissioned Jesus to go into all the world. God’s Spirit was upon Him to proclaim good news to the poor, freedom for the prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor (Luke 4:18-19). Jesus was given His authority in order to fulfill the Father’s will for His life.
Great faith comes from recognizing God’s authority and submitting to His will. This centurion humbled himself before God, and he did not doubt the authority of Jesus. In seeing his heart, Jesus agreed with the condition of this man’s request. This man had great authority, and a love for those under his care, therefore he is someone I truly admire.
Lord Jesus, give us a heart like this man. He had been given authority, and he knew how to exercise it. His heart was for the sake of his servant, and he knew that you could help him. Help us to be men and women of great faith, like this centurion. May we humbly submit ourselves to you, as we make our requests known to you. Amen.