Dear Friends, I’m happy to continue writing today on my blog. The past three months have been full of grace, blessings, challenges, victories and growth. It is my husband who just now encouraged me to keep writing. His actual words: ” don’t worry about who is reading, you never know who will be touched 20 years from now”. This caused me to reflect on my “big hot why” for this blog. Why am I actually writing? My heart warming answer is that I hope to see others find themselves as they find Christ and God, in the same way I found myself in Him. There is no greater fulfillment than to have a clear sight of God through Christ and to come to know Him as the root of life, experiences and conduct.
Now, in my last article I wrote: “our knowledge of Him, should move us to keep on holding on to Him till the end. Our knowledge of Him gives us a good reason to be persistent and to keep on trusting Him that He will do according to His Promise. This is knowledge that can only come through relationship.The more we want to walk with the Lord, the more He makes Himself known to us. The more our knowledge of Him grows, the more our faith grows. The essence of our faith really lies in our relationship with God. This is exactly what I desire for those reading my blog.
As promised, part 2 of this edition on faith, would focus on the centurion. My Pastor, Wingrove Spencer of Precision Center Antigua, speaks much about this passage and I have learned much from it. The learning that I will be sharing is also due to his contribution in my life.
The whole significance of Matthew 8:5-13 lies in what Jesus typifies as: great faith. The answer that the centurion gave, was so remarkable that Jesus continues saying that even His own countrymen, meaning Jews, did not have this type of faith and how outsiders will be receiving a place in the Kingdom of heaven, while those of the Kingdom itself, will be thrown outside. What was so significant about the answer of the centurion and why is that great faith?
First some important observations to make out of these verses:
- First of all, the centurion was not a Jew. Most likely a Roman
- Secondly, the centurion most probably has a good heart, because he comes to Jesus seeking help for his servant. If there isn’t another reason, this seems like a very unselfish thing to do.
- The centurion saw himself as unworthy. This is very important to consider. In those days, the Romans had the political power over the Jews, which should have resulted in another view than what the centurion,a military official, was expressing. Or was he maybe respecting the rites of the Jews? I don’t think that’s the case, just because of the next thing he said
- Watch what and how he says it: “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.” The centurion is saying that he is also a man under authority, with authority. In other words: Jesus you are like me, a man under authority, with authority. The authority that he is referring to here is divine authority. The centurion is saying that Jesus is a man, but not just a man. A man who is divinely empowered and who can divinely intervene on behalf of the well-being of my servant. He recognized the authority of Jesus and he saw his limitations as to his own authority as a military leader. He grasped that where his authority was limited , Jesus His authority is divinely instructed and could bring change for his servant.
The centurion understood that his own authority is limited when it comes to healing his servant, but he recognized that Jesus’ authority was not. For him, Jesus’ tongue can cause the spirit and natural realms to respond! And how powerful is it, that the centurion believed that his request was in line with the mandate and authority of Jesus…..WOW He saw that Jesus’ mandate and authority was given for the well-being of man, including him and his servant.
Lessons of faith for us today
It is astonishing how a non-Jew could see this about Jesus. He got a view in the infinite realm, which informed Him to see and comprehend a measure of the identity of Jesus at his present time. Such a faith does not come on his own, it comes by the hearing. It was as the disciples said to Jesus: “to whom else shall we go, you have words of eternal life (John 6:68) Such a speech can only come when you really hear Jesus, just like the centurion did.
The great faith was not the fact that the centurion believed that Jesus could heal his servant, but the faith was in the knowing and recognition of the person of Jesus Christ!
Friends, sight of who He is allows us to walk the unknown path, it allows us to give a personal testimony of divine revelation. It gives sight in the eternal and informs our existence, conduct and experience now in the natural.
As we draw to the close of 2018, I pray that we will walk in a deeper level of sight in Christ in 2019. May we draw strength from Christ in the midst of calamity and pain. May the fear and knowledge of the Lord be our confidence amidst all uncertainty. May we be light in this world!