“GREAT WAS HIS FAITH”
“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.’” – Luke 7:9
American writer and humorist Mark Twain (1835-1910) was known for his pithy sayings. Examples: “When in doubt tell the truth” and “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow” and “If you tell the truth you don’t have to remember anything.”
One of my favorite quotes is “… I can live on a good compliment for two weeks …” Regarding Father’s Day, I am thinking the greatest compliment a father can receive is that he has great faith. This brings us to the story of the centurion in Luke 7:1-10. Here is a man who could live a life-time on one compliment!
He was a man with great authority and great humility. He had great wealth and great generosity. The story centers on man’s faith. This is the story of the good centurion.
A centurion was an officer in the army of ancient Rome who had authority over l00 soldiers. The scene is the village of Capernaum, a strategic city located on the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee.
There is an element of surprise in this story because the man’s love crossed the barriers of rank, class and race. Jews and Gentiles despised each other and yet this man (a Gentile) made friends within the Jewish community and even built a synagogue for them!
Now the centurion’s servant was gravely ill. According to Roman law, a slave was defined as a “living tool.” Yet this servant was treated like a member of the family. Feeling unworthy to approach Jesus himself, he sent Jewish elders for help. Jesus honored their request. When Jesus drew near to his home, the centurion said to Jesus, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof… just say the word and my servant will be healed (Luke 7:7).
Here he not only shows humility and respect for Jesus’ authority, he is sensitive to the fact Jesus is entering “enemy” territory. The story ends with the miracle itself, “Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well” (Luke 7:l0).
· When it comes to human relationships, it is always better to build bridges rather than walls.
· True Christian love knows no boundaries.
· A miracle does not require perfect faith but a humble heart.
· We can all play a role in God’s miracles.
· Faith in Christ is not a result of who we are but the person we can become.
· Faith is a Father’s greatest legacy.
Prayer for Fathers (and everyone else):
Dear Lord, may we so live our lives that we may one day hear You saying to us, “There is a person of great faith.” Amen.