A true story with a happy ending
What was there about the Roman army officer that impressed Jesus so much? Here’s what happened:
“. . . a centurion came to Him, imploring Him, and saying, ‘Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.’ Jesus said to him, ‘I will come and heal him.’ But the centurion said, ‘Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, “Go!” and he goes, and to another, “Come!” and he comes, and to my slave, “Do this!” and he does it.’
“Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, ‘Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel’ . . . . And Jesus said to the centurion, ‘Go, it shall be done for you as you have believed.’ And the servant was healed that very moment” (Matthew 8:5-10, 13).
From his own military experience this centurion recognized that he and Jesus had something in common: both were under higher authority. The centurion could issue orders to his men because the authority of Rome itself was behind him.
Jesus could issue commands because of the authority of heaven behind Him.
Because Jesus was linked to God, who gave Him the power to heal, Jesus could help the centurion’s servant, and the centurion knew it.
Jesus marveled at this centurion’s ability to see the parallel chains of authority: from Caesar down to the centurion down to the men under him—parallel with God’s authorizing Jesus to heal diseases of all kinds.
In reality, Jesus represented a far greater Power than Rome.
And the centurion knew that too.
Scripture quotations taken from the NASB: http://www.lockman.org/
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