Men of Faith
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– Matthew 8:8
This centurion knew authority when he saw it. He himself commanded one hundred men, and he had witnessed countless examples of power and authority within the ranks of the Roman army. And he knew Jesus had it.
As a result, the centurion did not come pleading his worth (although the Jews made the mistake of pleading his merit to Jesus). He knew that there was no claim he could make upon Jesus’ power; if Jesus healed, it would be because he wished to heal, not because the centurion deserved the favor.
Further, the centurion had such confidence in Jesus’ authority that he knew Jesus could do what had not even been seen or done yet, apparently. Jesus had so far only healed in person, but the centurion knew that anyone who could heal personally could also heal from a distance if he so desired. “Speak the word only” was all that Jesus had to do and the centurion knew his servant would be healed.
Jesus’ reply to the centurion is just as remarkable as the centurion’s statement. Jesus exclaimed, “I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel” (v.10). This is quite a compliment, coming from anyone. But for Jesus himself to marvel at the centurion’s faith tells us it is certainly something to emulate ourselves.
When you come to God in prayer, do you see yourself as deserving his favor or do you realize that you are not even worthy to come before him in the first place? No matter what displays of power or answered prayer you have seen in the past, do you have faith that he is able to do even more than you have witnessed?