Matthew 8:5-13 …

Matthew 8:5-13

5 ¶ And when Jesus was entered into Caper’na-um, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
6  and saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
7  And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
8  The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
9  For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
10  When Jesus heard it, he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
11  And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven: Lk. 13.29
12  but the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Mt. 22.13 ; 25.30 · Lk. 13.28.

And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.

What is Biblical leadership?  Look at the centurion in this passage, and consider a few points.

1)  The centurion recognized proper authority.  Although he was himself a man having authority over others, he also recognized the authority of Christ as superior to his own.  As a Roman military leader he humbled himself before a Jew in a conquered land.  True leadership begins by recognizing true authority.   The centurion recognized the authority of God, and whether he realized that Jesus was the Christ or merely thought Him to be a prophet he still spoke to Him with humility.

2) The centurion cared for the welfare of those who served under him.  Notice that the sick individual is not a member of his family, nor is it one of his soldiers.  It is his servant, a slave.  How can it be that a Roman soldier would humble himself before a Jew on behalf of a slave?  This is one of the most amazing, and often overlooked aspects of this passage.

3) The centurion put himself at risk for his servant.  This centurion publicly acknowledged the authority of Jesus, and confessed that authority to be greater than his own.  Had he had an enemy present who might have chosen to report his words it is entirely possible he could have been held guilty of recognizing an authority other than Rome, and outside the hierarchy that Rome had established in the region, an offense which would almost certainly led to his death.  His confession of Jesus’ authority was not only an act of humility, it was an act of courage.

The selflessness, compassion and courage of the centurion were all integral aspects of the faith he demonstrated when he asked Jesus to heal his servant.  His recognition of the proper role of Divinely established authority, and his place in that order, were hallmarks of the faith Jesus said was the greatest He had encountered. 

Now what else do we learn?  The centurion looked out for the best interest of those who served under him, and in return expected their immediate obedience in all things.  This is the nature of Biblical authority, a fact that many churches today neglect.  If we do not adhere to God’s authority in all spheres then we are not acting with faith.

How may we have this type of faith today?  By humbling ourselves before the authority of God.  Yet how can we know if we have truly done that?  Only if we humble ourselves before the authority God has established in all realms. 

In the family the wife must humble herself to the husband’s authority, and recognize that this authority comes from God.  A woman cannot rebel against her husband and serve God at the same time.

Children must obey their parents, once again recognizing this as God’s plan.  A child who is rebellious against his parents can no more be pleasing to God than any other sinner who chooses a life of rebellion against God.

The husband and father must humble himself before Christ, just as the centurion did, and lead his family with courage and faith, recognizing that he will give answer in the day of judgement for how he has led his family.

This is God’s plan, and should we choose to substitute the progressive/feminist model, or any other plan, for it then we prove we do not have faith.  True, Biblical faith discovers God’s plan within His Word, and having discovered it adheres to it through all the trials of life.


1 Comment

August 7, 2012 · 10:04 pm

One response to “Matthew 8:5-13 …

  1. Great passage. I’d never thought too much about the jeering the centurion might have suffered for submitting to a Jew.

    I’ve seen some of your criticism of me, but I don’t think we’re very different.

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