SO GREAT A FAITH

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MUSINGS – January 27, 2019

SO GREAT A FAITH

Matthew 8:5-13
When Jesus went to Capernaum, a Roman army officer came to beg him for help. The officer said, “Sir, my servant is lying at home paralyzed and in terrible pain.” Jesus said to him, “I’ll come to heal him.” The officer responded, “Sir, I don’t deserve to have you come into my house. But just give a command, and my servant will be healed. As you know, I’m in a chain of command and have soldiers at my command. I tell one of them, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and another, ‘Come!’ and he comes. I tell my servant, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” Jesus was amazed when he heard this. He said to those who were following him, “I can guarantee this truth: I haven’t found faith as great as this in anyone in Israel. I can guarantee that many will come from all over the world. They will eat with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. The citizens of that kingdom will be thrown outside into the darkness. People will cry and be in extreme pain there. Jesus told the officer, “Go! What you believed will be done for you.” And at that moment the servant was healed.

Back in Matthew 5:43 Jesus preached, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you this: Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. In this scripture Jesus does just that.

And here he practiced what he preached. Israel was a conquered nation. They were under the thumb of Rome and the Roman army enforced that. Yet here came a Roman soldier to Jesus.

He came begging not demanding. He was humble. And he came not for himself not a family member but for his servant. He was a man of compassion. He went not to a Roman doctor but to a Jewish healer. He was a believer in Jesus’s power and ability. So strong was his belief that rather than have Jesus go to his home,he said, “But just give a command, and my servant will be healed.” It is no wonder that Jesus praised his faith.

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All content (except quotations) ©2019 Thomas E. Williams

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