And when Jesus had entered into Capernaum, there came unto Him a centurion, beseeching Him and saying, “Lord, my servant lieth at home sick with the palsy and grievously tormented.”
And Jesus said unto him, “I will come and heal him.”
Somebody needs Jesus. This is not news. Everybody will need Him one day. It is good to recognize our need for Him everyday, and cultivate a relationship with Him. But here is a man who is outside of the covenant of promise. Actually, this man is a pagan. His servant may be a pagan, also. He may be a Hebrew, but the nationality of the servant is not known. It is probably not important. This story lets us know that God’s word is not a respecter of persons. Wherever the Word is believed and acted upon, Jesus will manifest Himself. He will cause to happen that which you request. He manifests Himself as Healer where we desire to be healed.
The person making the request here has compassion on his servant. There must be some element of love, care, and concern for the servant before a faith request can be made. That is why God judges us according to how much we love. Faith worketh by love. So here we have a man who is an idol worshipper requesting mercy for a servant who perhaps is not a worshipper of God either. What do you think their chances are for a healing? Well, that should give you hope, child of God, for you have a covenant of healing with Jesus, but you must initiate that covenant. You must make Him your healer.
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. 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.”
So Jesus has agreed to come and heal the servant. This man made Jesus his Healer through asking in faith. When Jesus agrees to come, the man is overwhelmed at His graciousness. Then he remembers something. Perhaps it is the condition of his house. Perhaps it is the carnality of his life represented by his manner of living. Perhaps he has carvings of Zeus and Juno. Perhaps there are dedicated things in his home. He knows that Jesus may be offended that he has not served Him, or that Jesus will know something about him that will make Him change His mind about healing his servant. He should not fear. Once Jesus gives His word about something, He will do it.
This man goes on to tell Jesus that he knows only His word of power is needed to heal the man. This is the highest form of faith. There are many people who brought the sick to Jesus, and there were many who He visited in their homes, as they were too sick to travel. Lazarus was one whom Jesus had to visit to heal. Jesus still makes house calls, and this centurion had the key to it. He knew that Jesus healed by His word only. His word was anointed with power, but the centurion had to get Jesus to speak the Word specifically to his servant. It is not enough to know that Jesus heals others. We must know that He heals us. This centurion knew this.
When Jesus heard it, He marveled and said to those who followed, “Verily I say unto you, I have not found such great faith, no, not in Israel.”
His understanding caused Jesus to marvel. Jesus then compares this pagan to Israel, His own. He came unto His own, but His own received Him not. Jesus comes to us many times offering help, and we refuse it. Have you ever been in a service where an altar call is made, and you know you should go up, but you’re “not sure”? Perhaps you felt moved to write to a ministry or sign up for mailings, or publications, but you don’t because you don’t want another piece of mail to come to your house. This is Jesus offering help, but we must first obey in order to get it. This is why he marveled at the centurion’s faith. He saw that this man had gone beyond a mere superficial understanding of Him. This man had spent time studying the works of Jesus and had decided that Jesus will heal all who come by faith, and that He uses His authority over disease to do it. How did Jesus do this? Well, Himself took our sicknesses and bare our infirmities. He took them already. Whatever he has taken, He has possession of and authority over. He took it from us, so that we could be healed by His Word. He has given His word to all believers that He has paid for our healing…He has certainly taken it by the stripes of His body. We are healed.
“…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. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Jesus teaches the people that there is a reward for faith and a penalty for unbelief. If the centurion can have faith, then anybody can. He rebukes the children of Israel for their unbelief and lets them know that there is accountability for using or not using our faith to trust God. The people who are cast into outer darkness will be frustrated enough to gnash their teeth in anger at themselves for not believing Jesus, even though He proved His ministry with signs and wonders. This teaching also opens the kingdom to whosoever believes. Until this time the children of Israel felt that they had a “corner” on the knowledge of the Kingdom, but now they see Jesus accepting and commending a pagan Roman. God honors faith in Him and He is no respecter of persons. Jesus demonstrates that faith has no color, nationality or race. Faith is the Spirit of God, and God pours out His Spirit on all flesh.
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 that selfsame hour.
So Jesus confirms His word with signs following. This is the reward of using our faith to believe God and take Him at His word. This centurion has now partaken of God’s covenant. He has believed and trusted solely in God’s word. He knows how the Kingdom works and has made Jesus his Healer. He has reached into a revelation that is necessary for us today. We must understand that the word of God has healing power in it. We must believe that the word of God is life and medicine to our flesh and if we receive it by hearing and believing, we can make Jesus our healer. We can be healed over and over again, because the word never fails, and all the words of God are full of power. We can trust Jesus as our healer by trusting and taking Him at His word.