Bible Study Centurion Type of Faith
The Centurion gives a very good example of what faith is. His example was so good that Jesus was surprised and said in Matthew 8:10 "... I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel." Part of Jesus surprise came from the fact that the Centurion, a gentile, could grasp the concepts of God quicker and better than the Jews who are God's chosen people.
The faith the Centurion showed Jesus was from his own understanding of having authority over soldiers. When he told a soldier to do something, they did it. I'm sure the military commander's of new trainees would love this type of obedience from the new recruits. When the new recruits complete their training, they are expected to follow every order of their commanding officer without question. It is that authority the Centurion understood and knew Jesus had.
The Centurion believed Jesus to be the messiah, since he called Jesus Lord in verse 8. He knew the messiah had authority over everything spiritual and physical. When Jesus speaks, he commands. His commands will be obeyed. Before the centurion could even ask Jesus to heal his servant with His word, the Centurion had to do 4 things.
- The Centurion had to seek Jesus out, and go to where Jesus was. Just as the centurion sought after Jesus, we need to seek after God.
- The Centurion had to ask Jesus to heal his servant. Just as the Centurion asked, we also need to ask God for what we want.
- The Centurion had to believe Jesus could heal his servant without having to touch the servant.
- The centurion humbled himself, and said he was not worthy to have Jesus go into his house.
This is the type of humbleness and reverence for God we need to have. The more we humble ourselves and reverence God, the closer we can get to a personal relationship with God. As our relationship with God grows, the more God will entrust us with His gifts and blessings which he will multiply. God is waiting for many of us not only to get into boot camp, but also to get out of boot camp so we can go on to greater and better things that He has planned for us.
You will never get to be a general if you don't get through boot camp first and keep following directions afterwords. We will never have the relationship with God that we want if we don't obey God's commandments, don't follow His word, and don't let Him guide us. We will never do great things in God, if we do not let Him mold us to be able to do the things he has planned for us. Just as the military molds their soldiers to be able to have the strength, courage and wisdom to fight in a battle, and do the things that needs to be done, God wants to mold us into what He wants us to become.
When Jesus gets done saying in verse 10 "... I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel." He goes on to say in verse 11 that many will come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. I believe the many who come from the east and west represents the gentile nations in the rest of the world. Jesus just got done saying that he has found greater faith in a gentile than in the Jews. This would have been a harsh word for the Jews, since they are God's chosen people and the gentiles who do not know their God would be raised above them.
Then Jesus really hits them with a blow when he says in verse 12 that "the children of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." The children of the kingdom are the Jews. The are the ones that God called to be His people. They are the ones whom God has done many miracles for over the years. Yet Jesus just told them that the gentiles would be sitting with their fathers in heaven, and they themselves would be cast into hell.
Why? Not because the gentiles have more faith, but because the gentiles would recognize who Jesus really was. They would believe and have faith that Jesus is the messiah, the Son of God, and that the way to the Father and heaven is through the Son. John 14:6 "Jesus said unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."