Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.
The centurion had sent first and asked Jesus to come, and Jesus was on His way. He was willing to go all the way to this man’s house to heal his servant. But as Jesus gets closer, the centurion changes his request. He realizes that Jesus doesn’t have to come all the way because He can make a command from where He is, and that will be sufficient. He knew that whatever Jesus said would be so. He knew that orders given by one with such high authority would be obeyed. He knew that Jesus’ authority over life and death and sickness was something he could trust in.
As a centurion, this man knew what it was to rule over someone else, to command and be obeyed. He had a position, but he also understood that he wasn’t the highest authority. He knew Jesus held a higher place than his commanders and even above Caesar, and he would never just walk up to them and ask for something. He tried to make his request through the proper channels, but then his sense of his own unworthiness overwhelms him. He knows he is not worthy to be in the presence of one so great, but even so, he has explicit faith in Jesus. It is a powerful faith, though it is also a very humble faith.
Jesus was impressed by the centurion’s faith. Though it was faith from afar, it was in the right place, with the right attitude, and from a sincere heart. And that’s all Jesus is really looking for from us. He wants our faith, our complete faith and trust, to be in Him alone. He wants us to trust in Him as one with power and authority. He values a humble faith that comes from that place of understanding we really are unworthy of His grace, unworthy of His answers to our prayers, but He is merciful enough to respond to us anyway.
One final aspect of the centurion’s faith was that he knew all that was required was a word from Jesus. He didn’t need a touch or a spectacle or some elaborate process. Just a word from the lips of the Son of God, and a miracle could happen. Are we living with this kind of faith as believers in Christ? Do we really live with an understanding of Christ’s ultimate authority over everything? Do we trust Him alone and trust Him completely? And do we understand that we can trust His will to be done, that He will be merciful, and that His words are powerful? May we be willing to submit with a humble faith in our great King.