The story begins with a Roman Centurion sending Jewish leaders to ask Jesus to heal his slave. These facts alone are odd on several counts....really think about it. A Roman soldier, asking for a miracle, through Jewish leaders - who for the most part heckle Jesus - from a Jewish Rabbi, for a servant. Jesus upsets social/cultural norms.
I'm struck by the different perspectives illustrated in this passage. The Jewish leaders consider this soldier "worthy" of a miracle. No where do I see Jesus setting standards of "worth" to garner His intervention. These leaders consider him worthy because he "loves us and built our synagogue." He does good things for us (verse 4). Leaders need to beware of assigning worth based on personal relationship or volunteerism. Our worth begins with being created in the image of God. He declares worth differently than we are apt to do. What we may not value; God values greatly. A post for another day.
Sending others for Jesus, instead of going himself, was NOT arrogant. He was insightful. "I'm not worthy for you to come under my roof...I don't consider myself worthy to come to you..." (verses 6-8).
Our soldier does not have an over-inflated ego, but neither is he wallowing in low self-esteem. He understands authority (verses 7-8).
|Via Google Images|
Jesus doesn't comment on the Centurion's "worth." His response is deeper. He MARVELS at this soldier's great faith (verse 9) and he heals his servant (verse 10).
I am struck by this Roman soldier's faith. What kind of faith makes Jesus marvel?
- Revealing faith (he understands Jesus)
- Convincing, authentic faith (I am not worthy)
- Trusting faith (say the word and it will happen)
- Acting faith (he built the synagogue)
- Transforming faith (Roman soldier loves and builds Israel)
This soldier's faith is a picture of authentic faith. He saw Jesus, he recognized Jesus' authority, he submitted to Jesus' authority, and his actions were inspired by his faith - they confirmed his faith.
This faith affected every aspect of his life - every nook and cranny. I want the same. I want a revealing, convincing, trusting, acting, transforming faith. I'm fully aware faith like this is produced in a crucible (James 1). Still, I want this faith. Possessing this faith is worth everything - anything.
Do you see more in this picture of faith? Please, do share in the comments.
Faith - Pistis - #4102 - a firm conviction producing a full acknowledgement of God's truth, personal surrender to God and His truth, conduct inspired by that surrender.
Living all of life before the face of God...