Matthew 8:8-9 – The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
In the Manna for Today surrounding this story is one of the greatest lessons in faith that can ever be taught. The foundation for that statement can be seen in our Text for Today. In it we see the master design for how faith of the highest order should operate. I sum it up in my own life in one statement. If God said it, that settles it. Over the years, I’ve seen an automobile bumper sticker that read, “God said it, I believe it, and that settles it.” There is one problem with that statement. If God said it, that settles it whether you believe it or not. God cannot lie. And because God cannot lie, I stand immoveable on the seven-word statement; If God said it, that settles it.
The words we read above caused Jesus to marvel. These words revealed a level of faith Jesus had found nowhere in Israel. Look closely at what the centurion said…”speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.” Do you see that? “…speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.” Here is the voicing of absolute faith; that is, faith without any doubt at all. And here is the voice of a man who understands the servant principle in the highest operation of faith.
Let’s take a look at that servant principle. The centurion was a man under authority. That means that he understood his responsibility to carry out whatever his master would command of him. He knew the weight of that responsibility. Likewise, he had men who lived under his authority. That means he understood the responsibility he carried to make sure what he ordered done was within the proper purview of those to whom he was responsible, and at the same time he accepted the responsibility he carried for those he commanded. He understood so well the need for obedience to commands given him, and obedience to the commands he gave. In all that, the centurion realized that faith was the servant of the believer, and that faith of the order of which he spoke would succeed in what it was told to do, and would by no means fail. This is the way faith operates at its highest level, and the level at which it completes its highest objective.
Manna for Today – Matthew 8:5-13; Hebrews 11:1-6; Romans 10:6-17; Jude 20-21; Mark 11:22-24; John 14:12-14; John 15:7; John 16:23-24; Luke 17:5-10; Joshua 1:6-9; Isaiah 55:11