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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

A Soldier’s Faith


Matthew 8:5-13

Verse 10  When Jesus heard this, He was amazed and said to those following Him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.

 

    We talked yesterday about how the foundation of our faith begins with how we see God’s role in creation.  Though the soldier in our reading today was Roman he seems to understand something many of the Jews didn’t, there was something different about this man Jesus who was causing quite the stir around the area.

 

    The Roman soldier understood power, he had at least 100 soldiers under his command and apparently from our story today he had enough standing to have a servant.  It doesn’t tell us how but the servant had become paralyzed which meant he had become practically useless but the Roman soldier wanting him healed tells us something about how useful he had been to his master.  The reason he wanted the servant healed may have been as simple as wanting the man doing his work again but the fact the officer didn’t think he could be replaced says more about his actually caring for the servant.

 

    Luke’s account of this story tells of a person coming to Jesus with the message asking for the healing of this servant.  No matter if the Roman officer came himself or sent word with a messenger, Jesus knew it was faith which brought the message.  The Romans were not known for their belief in the God of creation.  They had an earthly leader which held their devotion but this Roman soldier had at least heard the things Jesus had done, and he knew of no one else who could claim the same abilities.

 

    It wasn’t the request for healing which spoke to Jesus, it was the option given in faith.  This man knew Jesus wasn’t just an ordinary man, He had some power which wasn’t limited to making humans do what he wanted.  The Roman officer had faith Jesus could heal his servant without even having to come to his house.  This could also have been the officer respecting Jesus as he would have known He couldn’t enter the Roman’s home without breaking Jewish law regarding gentiles.

 

    Seeing how this man knew Jesus could heal the man from a distance, Jesus declares the Roman officer’s faith better than those in all of Israel.  It wasn’t that the officer knew Jesus better, he just understood why Jesus was worthy of his faith.  This is what we need to examine about ourselves during this season of Advent.  Do we see Jesus as worthy of our faith?

 

Making It Personal

    When was the last time you had faith in Jesus doing something in your life?  Has He proven Himself faithful in the past?  Why do you fear He won’t do right by you every time?

 

Making It Personal Kids

    Why didn’t Jesus have to be in the same place as the servant to heal him?  Do you think Jesus can still do miracles while He is in heaven?  Do you feel like Jesus is worthy of your trust?

 

Closing Prayer

    Father, thank You for this reminder of what faith can look like.  Help us to see the truth of who You are so we can display faith which shows Your power.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

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