Matthew 8:5-13 (ESV)
5 When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, 6 “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” 7 And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8 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. 9 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.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. 11 I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.
Jesus went back to Capernaum, the central hub of his ministry, and performed the second of ten miracles recorded by Matthew in chapters 8 and 9. Again, we find another unlikely candidate for the ministry of Jesus: the Gentile servant boy of a Gentile centurion. The centurion, an officer in the army and probably Roman, recognized who Jesus was and believed Jesus had the power to heal his servant. The boy suffered great pain, and the centurion was quite concerned. In verse 7, Jesus responds to the centurion’s faith by saying, “I will come and heal him.” Think about Jesus’ compassion for this man and his servant. Jesus was actually willing to enter a Gentile home to heal this suffering boy. The centurion knew the Jews considered it “unclean” to enter the residence of a Gentile, and so, to keep Jesus from an awkward position, he demonstrated tremendous faith. The centurion told Jesus he was aware of his ability to heal without even being present. The centurion gave orders, and men under him followed. In the same way, Jesus could give orders, and all creation would follow. Jesus was more than impressed with the great faith of this man. According to verse 13, “The servant was healed at that very moment.”
No record of Jesus healing from a distance existed before this incident, yet the centurion didn’t limit the rule of Jesus. Instead, he trusted in Jesus’ ability to do whatever he wanted. How often do we limit God’s power to work in our lives? We can wrongly think that “A” or “B” must be in place for God to act. This centurion realized the authority of Jesus. When he addressed Jesus as Lord, he knew that Jesus was the ultimate boss with influence over not only the seen realm, but the unseen realm as well. Determine to be like the centurion today. Let’s acknowledge that Jesus can do whatever he wants, however he wants, and whenever he wants. Jesus is the Lord of all, and nothing is too difficult for him. Bring him your toughest requests, confident that no matter what answer you get, he is completely able to do whatever is best for your life. If it appears he is saying “no” to your request, trust that he’s got a reason. The “no” is never because your desire is too difficult for him to accomplish.