Matthew 8:5–8; 10-13 (NIV)
When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?” 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… 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.
The word “Centurion” was used of a Roman soldier of high rank. The fact that he was of Greek origin makes his encounter with Jesus more profound. He had found favor among the Jewish community, which was quite unusual. Luke’s account of this incident tells us that the centurion had built a synagogue for the Jewish area he was in charge of.
But all of these positive attributes grow dim in the light of his faith. He had heard the Jews speak of Jesus so, when one of his servants became gravely ill, he asked the Jews to take him to Jesus. When Jesus came, this non-Jew asked Jesus, a Jew, to heal his servant. Jesus was willing to go to the home of the centurion, but being a man who had the authority of 100 soldiers, he knew that Jesus could speak the Word to command sickness to leave.
What amazed Jesus about the centurion’s faith was that none of God’s people had done the same. They all wanted Jesus to physically come to heal. Mary and Martha were upset because Jesus did not come and heal their brother Lazarus. Jairus wanted Jesus to come and heal his daughter. The lame man at the pool of Bethesda wanted someone to come and put him in the pool. The two blind men called out for Jesus to come and restore their sight.
The question becomes for us today: what are we waiting for Jesus to come and do? He can speak the Word through His Word. So, the next time you have an issue in your life (and you will), just open your Bible and begin to read and ask Him to “Speak LORD!”