Authentic Faith- Day 4

Devotions for Sunday, August 7, 2011
Matthew 8:1-13

When he was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And Jesus put forth  his  hand, and touched him, saying, I will; be thou clean. And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him, See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.

And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this  man , Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth  it .  When Jesus heard  it , he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
(Matthew 8:1-13)

Pastor Ben’s Commentary:
There are two different people in this passage that Jesus interacted with.  Both of them had needs, and both of them had their needs met by Jesus.

The first man was a leper who had probably heard of Jesus’  healing of other lepers, and came to be healed himself.  Leprosy is an incredibly painful disease, and in that time came with a lot of cultural and social consequences.  People who were lepers were seen as unclean, judged by God, and could not be touched.  That is part of what makes Jesus’ interaction with him incredible.  Jesus healed the man by touching him.  Jesus responded to this man’s faith.

The second man that Jesus interacted with was a Roman, and not just any Roman.  This man was a Roman centurion.  He was a ranking soldier in the Roman army.  The Roman army was the enforcing force behind the roman rule of Israel, and so many Jewish people hated these people.  But this man had a problem.  A servant he loved was near death.  He came to Jesus and asked for help, and Jesus responded with a “let’s go” answer.  The centurion is so humble, and has an incredible faith.  He tells Jesus (my summary)- “I’m not worthy for you to come to my house, and I believe that you can heal my servant without coming, because I understand authority.  I tell people to go and come and they do what I say because of the authority that I represent, the Roman state, that I am under.  Jesus, you have authority because of who You are, and the authority that you’ve been given.  You can help my servant right from where you are because of your authority.”

Jesus makes an incredible statement when he hears the Roman Centurions response, which I’m sure would have shocked the Jews around Him.  He says, (again my summary)- “I have yet to find this kind of faith in even someone who is of the nation of Israel, and I’ll tell you this- There will be people who think they are right with God because they are Jewish/because of their birth who end up spending eternity separated from God in hell.  There will also be people from every nation and corner of the earth who will be made right with God and spend eternity with the patriarchs/fathers of the Jewish nation because of their faith in God.”  He then told the Centurion that He healed his servant “according to his belief.”  Again, it was faith that God responded to.

1. Someone else’s faith can’t be credited to your account. What do I mean?  You’re not accepted by God based on your parents relationship with God, or the good things you do, or your church attendance, or your performance, or your denomination, or your pedigree.  God responds to and is pleased by your faith.  I’m not saying that works do not please God, I’m saying your works without faith will not please God.

  1. God, through His Word, should be your ultimate authority. When we take in God’s Word and respond to it in faith, believing that God’s will should be above our own desires, that leads us to obeying what He has said.  It is then that our faith is expressed through that obedience.

Does your faith lead you to obeying God?

7 thoughts on “Authentic Faith- Day 4

  1. This story is pretty awesome! The leper had faith that Jesus could heal him, and he was healed. The Roman centurion, someone of high power who was against Jesus, came to Him asking Him to heal his sick friend. The centurion had so much faith in Jesus that He did heal his friend! I think its cool that even though the centurion was against God, he still believed that Jesus could heal people. Jesus said to this man in V.10 “Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” Jesus hadn’t even seen this amount of faith in His own followers! God responds to our faith. Because if we do things for God, but without faith, then we’ve done it for no reason. These past 4 days i’ve learned that the basis of my relationship with God is having faith in Him because if i dont, what kind of relationship is that? It’s like not having trust! I have to trust God with all my heart and mind and know that He will always have my back 🙂

  2. I love this story! I love the last few verses when Jesus is telling the centurion that He has not seen any faith this big in Israel, and that a lot of Jews think that they are going to heaven because of where they were born, because they are Jewish and because they are God’s chosen people. This reminds me a lot of how people think today. I see a lot of people inside and outside of church thinking that they are pleasing God and are godly people because of the good works they do or because they were raised in a “religious” home. It’s not about a religion at all, it’s about a relationship. I think a lot of people miss that. Doing good works and being a good person won’t get you to heaven, believing that Jesus died on the cross and paid for our sins is what will. We need to have faith in Christ just as the centurion did. We need to realize God is before us not a walking bystander. He can make anything happen, and He does! Putting our faith and trust in Him is what counts! 🙂

  3. Mafalda Delienne

    I don’t get this story or that part, but sorry peeps I didn’t write yesterday but wish me luck for school today :), but most importantly I don’t get the storie or that part so help??

  4. Alexis Catapane

    Sorry I didn’t comment on this yesterday!
    I think the story about the Roman Centurion is cool! Because the Roman believed in Jesus even though Jesus was a Jew!
    These are incredible stories of faith 🙂 & I hope I have faith like this!!

  5. Andrew Miguel

    What I got out of today’s passage was that having and believing god is ur savior goes a long way. For instance, the man who’s servant was about to die he ask jesus to heal her from where they were and Jesus told he had great faith and then Jesus healed his servant and the man who had leperacy Heard of a man named Jesus who was healing people and then Jesus to this man and touched him and the man was healed and didn’t have leperacy anymore. 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s