5 Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him,6 saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented." And Jesus said to him,"I will come and heal him."8 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." 9 For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one,'Go, and he goes; and to another, 'Come,and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,and he does it." 10 When Jesus heard, He marveled, and said to those who followed,"Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.12 But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."13 Then Jesus said to the centurion,"Go your way; and as you have believed,so let it be done for you." And his servant was healed that same hour. (Matthew 8:5-13 New King James Version, NKJV)
The healing of the servant of a centurion is an interesting and most unique of all of the healings Jesus performed. A servant of the centurion had become paralyzed and extremely ill. He sends one of his servants to go to Jesus, asking him to come and heal his servant. Without hesitating, Jesus says to him that he would go and heal the sick man.
This healing is unique for several reasons. The faith of the Roman Centurion, a Gentile, teaches that Jesus' ministry is not confined to Israel. God's healing power may be experienced by all who have faith in Jesus Christ. Faith releases God's healing power. You don't have to belong to the chosen race to be healed by Christ. Jesus made God's kingdom accessible to all races and classes of people who put their faith in God. Jesus makes it clear that the faith of this centurion is the faith that all people should have in him. This kind of faith releases God's healing grace.
Second, God's healing power is not confined by time or space. This fact proves that Jesus is God in the flesh. Personal faith reveals God's presence in our lives. In other words, faith is the revelation of God's active role in human history.
Third, the healing of this paralyzed man reminds us that nothing is impossible to those who have faith. After Jesus hears the bold faith of the centurion, he says to him, Go! It will be done just as you believed it would" (Matthew 8:13). Faith becomes the bridge that connects God's power to human needs. God is a present help to the people of faith.
The centurions response to who Jesus is, tells us that he was a humble man of faith. He recognized the divinity and authority of Jesus. He believed that nothing was impossible to him. Notice that the faith of the centurion is not in himself but in Jesus' ability to heal his paralyzed servant. His faith was in the person of Christ. This is where we are to exercise our faith in Christ's ability to heal us. Only those who have a faith like the centurion reveal the divine nature of Jesus.
When I pray for the healing of others, I always instruct them to look to Christ for their healing not to me. I remind them that their faith is to be in the healing Christ. I further remind them that I am Christ's instrument of healing grace. Christ is the healer! I am a conduit of Christ's healing power that flows through me on their behalf. Christ is the cure-giver. I am the care-giver.
Finally, personal faith of the centurion received greater recognition from Jesus than the inheritance of the Jews. Jesus makes it clear that personal faith is based on love and not on family traditions.
Healing is rooted in love. God loves us unconditionally. This healing moment reminds us of the depth and enormity of God's love and the power of faith.
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