Matthew 8:5-13 (NLT)
When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.”
7Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”
8But 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. 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.”
10When 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! 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. 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.”
13Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.” And the young servant was healed that same hour.
Are You Under Authority?
And what does that mean, “Under Authority”?
The youth group I serve at just studied this passage from the Biblical book of Matthew and there are several application points that we can apply to our life from it. The study we are doing is called “FLIPPED” because when we encounter certain stories in the Bible, God will FLIP our perspective on life. Consider the passage quoted above.
Here are several “Flipped” ideas that the youth group saw:
- The Roman official (Centurion specifically) came to Jesus. This is a flipped idea because in this culture the Romans did not associate with the Jews or even come to them for help. Here, a Roman Centurion-a man who is in charge-is coming to Jesus (a Jew) for help.
- The Roman official address Jesus as Lord; again, a FLIPPED perspective. Romans could and would enlist the Jews as slaves, not as Lords.
- The Roman official is coming on behalf of his servant. The Roman official is in the position to be served not to serve his own servant.
- The Roman official humbles himself further by saying he is not worthy of Christ to come into his house; what’s more, he then TELLS Jesus how Jesus can heal the servant; “Just say the word… and he will be healed.” This is very interesting to me because the Roman official is both submissive to Jesus and telling Jesus how to do the miracle.
- Jesus was amazed. What amazes Jesus? Simple, when we live by faith!
- It amazes Jesus that a Roman understands more about faith then the very people who have been given the Bible. Our knowledge of the Bible should never come before our living by faith in what the Bible says.
So again, what does it mean to be “Under Authority”? I really like the approach of the Roman official; he is a man who is in charge – a man of responsibility. And that is what he does, he takes responsibility for the great things and the small things. Yet, he also has the character to submit to his TRUE Lord – Jesus.
Under Authority means Jesus is my Lord and I follow through on what He tells me to do. If He tells me to go, I go. If He tells me to Do This, I Do It.
Jesus is my Lord and He is also my Savior; He died for my sins so that I can have a Real Life.