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Matthew 8:1-17

Monday, 19 April 2021

The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.” -Matthew 8:8

Jesus reached out to those who came to Him in faith—our text today describes the healing of the leper, the centurion’s servant, Peter’s mother-in-law and many others who were brought to receive His healing touch. Matthew points to the fulfilment of the Scriptures in Isaiah: “He took up our infirmities and bore our diseases.” (Matt.8:16)

Let’s look closely into the healing of the Centurion’s servant. A Centurion is a Roman army officer having captaincy over 100 soldiers. Jews hated Roman soldiers for their oppression, control and persecution. But in this Roman army officer (a Gentile) we can the expression of genuine faith in Jesus, who by birth was a Jew; even when many Jewish religious leaders of that time showed only legalistic faith. Jesus Himself was amazed at the depth of his faith in the Son of God (Matt. 8:10).

This centurion admits that he is not worthy – an expression of great humility. It reflects his conviction of the great authority and power of the Savior. In Matthew 28:18, Jesus says “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Jesus has absolute authority (John 17:2) over His own people (church), unsaved people, angels, demons, Satan and over the physical universe as a whole. Since He has all authority, all powers behind diseases, deaths, natural forces, etc, are subject to Christ’s authority.

The Centurion’s faith speaks of his confidence in Christ. His humility is a good example for us to follow. He acknowledged the necessity of God’s mercy and his own inability to help himself. When he said “For I am a man under authority… ” (Matt. 8:9), it was the expression of his willingness of submission, obedience and also proclamation of his hope that Christ’s authoritative word was enough to heal his son. Let us also practice the faith of Abraham, obedience of Isaac and the hope of Jacob (Matt. 8:11) in our Christian walk.

Later, Matt. 8:12 reveals that many would be excluded from the Kingdom of God because of their lack in faith. Further it says, “subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside into the darkness…” No one can become part of God’s kingdom on the basis of heritage or tradition or family background. Each individual needs to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ to be saved. Being part of a Christian family is a blessing but that is not a guarantee for eternal life. Each individual needs to believe and follow Christ by accepting Him into your life and willing to obey His commands.

In claiming God’s promises and blessings, we are not to confine and personalize it for ourselves alone as practised by the Jewish leaders. We should always be guided by the thought that God wants to reach out to all- irrespective of caste, culture, nationality—all need to put their faith in Jesus Christ the Saviour! The sinful world needs a Merciful Saviour!

Prayer: Dear GOD help me to put my trust in Your Son, Jesus and accept Him as my Saviour and follow in His precepts and not in my perceptions. Amen.

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