Luke 7:1-10: Great Faith
June 25, 2021
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
This well-known story of the centurion’s faith is remarkable for several noteworthy reasons that those wishing to center their lives upon Christ may pay careful attention to.
First of all, the centurion, a powerful military man, with the power of life and death at his command, and a part of the occupying force, reached out to Christ to ask for help. Note well, child of God, and learn: when you need help, do not be embarrassed to ask God for it. He loves to hear his children pray.
Second, note the object of the centurion’s concern. It is not for himself or even for a member of his family or a friend; he is concerned about a “servant.” We are to be those who take care of and are concerned for, not only those close to us by physical relation, but also all who are our neighbors, whether employees or employers.
Third, though he did not go himself to Jesus, he had others go in his place and make an especial appeal to Christ based upon the kindness he had shown the Israelite people. That particular kindness was to have built their synagogue. It is a worthy thing to be active in the support of God’s work, and while such actions do not themselves gain favor with God—for that can only come by grace through faith (as we shall see)—they do show that we are a person of faith. And they gain favor with others around us.
Fourth, note the extraordinary faith of the centurion himself. Just “say the word” and my servant will be healed (7:7). This centurion has an absolute trust in Jesus’ power and, in particular, in Jesus’ Word. Jesus need but announce the healing and his servant would be healed. We are to be people who put our trust in Jesus’ Word. Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Is there a promise? Then claim it and trust in it and act upon it.
Fifth, note the reasoning that the centurion applies to come to this conclusion. He rationalizes from his own situation. He knows that as a powerful man, he can tell someone to do something and they will do it. He realizes the power of his own word. How much more then, he reasons, must Jesus have the power to command healing? We often fail to do this. If we are father, and we care for our child in this kind of way, how much more then would God our Father not care for us? If you fathers, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more then will God not give the Holy Spirit to those who ask!
Then ask, ask for God to come and save us; ask for him to fill us with His Holy Spirit; ask for him to advance the kingdom of God for his glory. It is true that sometimes God’s answers are not what we would wish: our finite understanding cannot always see what is truly best for God’s children and what will most truly give God glory. But still ask, child, ask; your heavenly Father loves to hear you pray.
Sixth, then finally note Jesus’ commendation. He has not seen such great faith even in Israel. The greatness of someone’s faith is not determined by their spiritual privileges, by their background, or their ethnicity; it is determined by their actual faith. Whatever your background, you still can, by God’s power, trust in God and with such—even perhaps small—faith do great things for God today.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
To receive God Centered Life devotionals directly in your inbox, as well as other resources, enter your email address in the form at the bottom of this page and click "subscribe."