When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, ‘Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and will eat with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the heirs of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ And to the centurion Jesus said, ‘Go; let it be done for you according to your faith.’ And the servant was healed in that hour. (verses 10-13)
Read: Matthew 8:5-17
One of the classic conversations in the TV series Doc Martin is a conversation between the Doc and a little girl who has been quite sick and anxious.
‘Am I going to die?’ she asks.
‘Yes, you are’, replies the Doc in his usual abrupt manner, ‘Everyone dies. But not today.’
The Centurion’s servant, Peter’s mother and those who suffered from demonic possession were all healed by Jesus – this was not their day for ongoing suffering, nor was it their day to die.
Jesus, fulfilling the prophecy from Isaiah, very publicly shows all of those present the amazing miracles God can perform as ‘He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases’.
Jesus himself is not just amazing, he is also amazed – by the faith of a man who is not only not Jewish, but a man of great authority. The centurion is a powerful person. His every word is obeyed by his soldiers and servants; he is a man well aware of the power of words. He also would appear to be a man of great compassion, deeply concerned about the suffering of his servant, just one of many people under his command. However, all of his authority and compassion cannot heal his servant. The centurion comes to Jesus because his faith in the power of Jesus is so great he believes just one word from Jesus will heal his servant – and his servant is healed at that very moment.
Jesus, may we all feel the power of your word and continue to be amazed by the miracles, large and small, you continue to perform in our lives.
Written by Dianne Eckermann, Director of Leadership, Lutheran Education Australia, 2019
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