“But say the word, and my servant will be healed.” … When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, ‘I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.'” – Luke 7: 7b & 9
Jesus was used to people asking for miracles, but there was something about the faith of a Roman centurion asking Jesus to heal a servant in his household that caused Jesus to pause. What’s the back story? This highly respected Roman leader had heard of Jesus. When one of his servants fell deathly ill, he sent word to Jesus asking for a miracle. What made this man’s faith so extraordinary in Jesus’ eyes?
- Love. The relationship between the Roman centurion and his servant was quite unusual. The servant is described as being “highly regarded.” In verses 4 and 5, the centurion is referred to as a man of faith who loves the Jewish people so much that he built them a synagogue. This Roman centurion, a Gentile, was a man who leveraged his power and authority to encourage God’s people. True love changes not only our responses to others but also our actions. (Luke 7: 4-5)
- Humility. As Jesus approached the centurion’s home, the centurion became more aware of his sins and knew he was undeserving to have Jesus in his home. The same is true for us. The more time we spend with Christ and in God’s Word, the more we will recognize just how sinful and unworthy we are in light of the perfection, holiness, and purity of God in Jesus. That makes us realize how His love and grace for us is so amazing. (Luke 7: 6-7a)
- Faith. The centurion had faith not only in Jesus’ ability to heal but in His very words. He asked Jesus to say the words and heal his servant – he had incredible faith to believe that Jesus possessed that power. (Luke 7: 7-9)
In spite of the centurion’s wealth, power, and authority – he recognized something supernatural in the person of Jesus Christ and his faith showed it. How would Jesus describe your faith? Ask God for faith like this centurion. Ask for faith that would inspire Jesus!