“When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die.
“The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” So Jesus went with them.
“He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
“When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well” Luke 7:1-10
I think what made the centurion have such great faith is the fact that given that someone he cared about (his servant) was sick, his human side would have wanted to see this man Jesus, whom he didn’t know, heal his servant before his eyes.
His human side would’ve wanted to see Jesus heal his servant before him to calm any doubts he may have had as to whether or not this man, Jesus, would’ve been able to do it. It truly must have been a scary situation for the centurion.
Yet his faith was so great that out of humility he asked Jesus not to come to his house, and to heal the servant from afar. He just knew with all his heart that Jesus, a man whom he didn’t know, could heal his servant from afar.
Any normal human would have had doubtful thoughts flash through their mind, such as: “What if this man can’t heal my servant from afar?” “What if he’s not really the Messiah?” or “What if this God who works these miracles isn’t real and is imaginary?”
I believe Jesus was amazed at the centurion’s humility and at the fact that the centurion didn’t doubt Jesus’ abilities to heal the servant from afar.
The centurion had to have a childlike faith to be brave and trust in Jesus to this extent.
How ironic it is that a soldier who was a commander of whole armies was the one to display such child-like faith? How ironic that he was the one whom Jesus proclaimed to have the greatest faith in Israel for truly having faith like that of a child?
Remember as Jesus says “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3-4
We must have a childlike faith, trusting that the more grace we receive, the more able we are to have a childlike faith.
What humility of the centurion. I hope we can all be like him in this increasingly selfish world.
It takes a childlike faith to survive and prevail in this world for Christ. It takes a childlike faith to know that Christ will back up and bless our boldness for him.