Where do we find faith? Often, we think that religious leaders such as our pastors and Bible teachers are the ones who have the greatest faith, but Jesus found faith in a most unusual place.
“When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, ‘This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.’ So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: ‘Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, “Go,” and he goes; and that one, “Come,” and he comes. I say to my servant, “Do this,” and he does it.’ When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, ‘I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.’ Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.” Luke 7:1-10
A centurion was a distinguished Roman soldier in charge of 100 foot soldiers, in a legion of about 6000. He had great responsibility, but he also was under authority. One such man heard about Jesus. His servant was ill, at the point of death, and he believed that Jesus could heal him. He did not go directly to Jesus, but rather he went to the elders of the Jews. He asked them to make an appeal on his behalf.
The elders pleaded earnestly with Jesus, asking Him to do this, because the centurion loved the nation of Israel.
As we have often seen, the religious leaders did not pass out compliments easily. They knew who this soldier was and they believed he was a man worthy of respect.
Jesus went with them.
When they were close, the centurion sent some friends. He may have been a highly respected man, but he knew that Jesus was Someone very special. He was humbled and honored that Jesus was coming. Yet he knew his own unworthiness. “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I don’t deserve to have you come under my roof.”
Jesus, the King of Kings, the Creator of the universe was heading to the house of the centurion who knew he wasn’t worthy and yet, he recognized that faith worked a lot like the military. If the commander issued an order, it was done.
This centurion knew he was dealing with the ultimate commander. With a word Jesus could heal.
The faith of that Roman soldier was so great that it caused Jesus to be amazed. Jesus had not seen that kind of faith anywhere.
It makes no difference what our background is. It makes no difference our ethnicity or our job. It doesn’t make a difference if we are male or female, old or young. We can have faith because we can know Who we are dealing with.
The messengers returned; the servant was well, and Jesus had been amazed at the man’s faith.