There are many people from the Bible who had faith – Abraham, Moses, David, Noah, Enoch to name a few. But there are a few whose faith made an impression on Jesus and we don’t even know their names. One of these people was the Roman centurion whose servant was dying. In fact, Jesus called this man’s faith great. What was it about his faith that impressed Jesus so much? The centurion told Jesus that it wasn’t necessary for Him to come to his servant. All Jesus needed to do was speak it out and his servant would be healed. The centurion knew that Jesus’ words carried authority. He went on to explain his knowledge of authority. He was a man under authority so he knew what it meant to be submitted. He also was in authority and when he spoke a command, his soldiers obeyed. The centurion knew how submission and authority worked. He knew that the words that Jesus spoke caused things to happen! Scripture doesn’t tell us how the centurion knew about Jesus, whether he saw Jesus in action or possibly just heard of Him. But we know that his working knowledge of submission and authority was enough for Jesus to say “I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” Jesus had authority and that authority was actuated through His words. When He spoke, the object of His words had to submit so whatever He spoke came to pass. And the exciting part is Jesus gave that authority to us!
5 When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with him, 6 “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.” 7 Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.” 8 But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. 9 I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel! 11 And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world—from east and west—and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven. 12 But many Israelites—those for whom the Kingdom was prepared—will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.” And the young servant was healed that same hour. Matthew 8:5-13 (NLT)
19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. Luke 10:19 (NLT)