7 When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. 2 There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3 The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4 When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, 5 because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” 6 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. 7 That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 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.” 9 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.” 10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.
I am drawn to think about two dimensions of this story: the Centurion’s confidence in Jesus and the Centurion’s respect of Jesus. The Centurion is confident that if the stories about Jesus are true then Jesus’ capacity to miraculously resolve the servant’s ill health is no big issue. Also, Jesus can do what Jesus wants – Jesus needn’t bother travel to the Centurion personally – surely Jesus can just ‘say the word’ and the famous authority he has to heal will be activated.
Am I confident in Jesus? As in, am I completely convinced that Jesus is capable, that Jesus loves me, that Jesus is interested in my circumstances, that Jesus wants to everyday grow me closer to him and move me closer to the good purposes he has for my life? Ultimately this is no great challenge for Jesus. He cares and he is capable. Do I respect Jesus? As in, can Jesus do what he wants, when he wants? Do I complain and squirm when encountering challenging circumstances, when waiting for Jesus to come through? Or do I, like the centurion, have the kind respect for Jesus that can allow for Jesus to act when he pleases? I suppose this confidence and respect can be summarised together as trust – I want to grow in my trust of Jesus.
Dear God, I want to trust you more everyday. Holy Spirit cultivate and grow my confidence in your ways and respect of your holy presence. Lord Jesus, you have all the authority and the power – over my life and over the universe – I love you, Amen.
Written by Sam Stewart