THE CONFIDENCE OF FAITH
Monday, 29 April 2019
Matthew 8 : 1-17
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
In our reading, we have a great example of faith in the story of the centurion, a person from whom we would have least expected it. A Centurion in Jesus’ day was 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, we can the expression of genuine faith in Jesus, who by birth was a Jew; even as 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 Saviour, Jesus Christ to whom He had come with the request. 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. 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 the proclamation of his hope that Jesus could help him. In the same way, we who have read and understood the examples of men and women in the Bible, let us also practice the faith of Abraham, and the 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 of 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 passport or guarantee for eternal life. Each individual needs to believe and follow Christ by obeying what He commanded.
In claiming God’s promises and blessings, we are not to confine and personalize it for ourselves alone as practiced 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! Would you be a channel of His grace to others that they may know Him?
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.
Listen: ‘I have decided to follow Jesus’
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