THE WORDS OF JESUS
Creative, Causative, Prophetic, Instructional – Part 35
“I will come and heal him”
“When He had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”
But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, Do this,’ and he does it.”
“Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.”
The Words of Jesus, Matthew 8:5-13.
Just for the interest of it, the name “Capernaum” comes from two Hebrew words, ‘kaphar’, meaning city and ‘Nachuwm‘ meaning an Israelite prophet. This word is creative, causative, prophetic and instructional. It would serve us all well to read, hear, understand and to do it.
Jesus, the supreme prophet of Israel, entered the city, and a centurion, ‘a captain of one hundred men’, a man of authority, came forward to Jesus and appealed, saying only, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” This is what we know from what scriptures say. The centurion asking for help and healing is implied, but not stated.
Jesus’ next words were not prompted by the centurion’s formality or accuracy of his request. Jesus knows, and He says, “I will come and heal him”.
There is no evidence that this centurion is a disciple of Jesus, and in fact all the information we have says he is not. But this man, a man of authority, comes to Jesus and submits himself in humility, and with his mouth confess that Jesus is “Lord”. He then confesses in faith the assurance, the title deed confirmation of the thing he hopes for, which is divinely guaranteed, knowing that faith is the evidence of things not yet seen, and is the conviction of their reality. This centurion’s faith comprehended as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses. ( see Hebrews 11:1-3)
He did not utter ‘that small little prayer’ we hear about at the end of so many church services, and then go on about his life. This man confessed with his mouth what he believed in his heart and was saved at that moment in that day. (see Roman 10:8-13)
Have you ever considered that God would be amazed at anything? Or perhaps ‘amazed’ is the wrong word here. Jesus says, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.” This is a statement of monumental significance.
Carefully consider the next words of Jesus, ” I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
NOTE Romans 11:20-21: “They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you.”
And Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.”
This centurion did not have faith in the authority of Jesus. His faith was not in healing. Although, he believed these things were possible, his faith was rooted, grounded and built up in Jesus and in Him alone!
Dear brothers and sisters, let’s keep our perspectives and priorities right: Jesus, first, last and always, then these other things are added!
Your Brother and Friend,
PS: I remember, as a young boy, watching the older kids do acrobatic dives off a high-diving board. It looked thrilling and I wanted to try.
The first time, it was difficult to even climb the 10-foot ladder to the diving board. I had no confidence. I had to start the climb and come back down the ladder several times. I was getting discouraged, wondering if I could ever make it to the top and stand at that dizzying height.
It took the encouragement and chiding of my friends to simply climb the ladder. Those same friends helped me muster the courage to finally jump off the end of the board. I was secretly praying that I didn’t die when I hit the water. But what a thrill!
Time after time I would climb the board and jump. The height was less intimidating each time, but the thrill was diminished over time. The time had come to dive in head first from 10 feet in the air! With that, the thrill returned.
After weeks of climbing and diving, my confidence and my courage grew. The time for acrobatics had arrived. First, a ‘jack-knife’ dive. Then, a single flip, followed later by a ‘one and a half’ dive and eventually a full array of flips and dives. The thrill and the challenge was back. I began to wonder if any and all dives were possible for me?
This may be a weak illustration of faith, but in some ways reminds me of the path to practicing and building our faith in Jesus. It is then that ‘all things are possible in God. (see Matthew 19:26)