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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

Power without Presence

Matthew 8:5-13

Verse 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

We continue looking at various times when Jesus fulfilled the prophecy given about the Messiah healing people. One of the lepers from yesterday’s reading was a Samaritan but he wasn’t the only one that Jesus took notice of that was not Jewish.

The man in our reading today would have seemed like the least likely to be coming to the Messiah wanting help. Not only was he not a Jewish man, he was a Roman. He likely could afford other medical treatment, or maybe he had already tried that. In a time when most Jewish people were only tolerating the control the Romans held over them Jesus doesn’t hold it against him and this Roman official doesn’t look at Jesus as just another subject. In fact he considers Jesus an equal of sorts.

The fact that this man calls Jesus “Lord” shows a respect he has for the Lord. More than just hearing about this man traveling around doing miraculous things the centurion seems to have done a background check like thing on Him as he seems to know about Jesus than he says. This Roman is a man of integrity and doesn’t seem to fit the mold that most of us would think of when thinking of a Roman soldier.

From reading this passage we know that he actually cared about his servant. The servant seems to have suffered some kind of trauma or something that left him paralyzed and while it would have been easy for the officer to just put him out as someone that had no value in society, this man wanted his servant healed. His coming to Jesus shows that he understood at least a little bit of the Jewish religion. Though it is his faith in Jesus that should be most inspiring for us.

When Jesus asks if the man is wanting Him to come to the man’s home the Roman officer makes one of the most profound declarations of Jesus’ Godly authority. The man knows that Jesus has the power over humanity, not just when it is in front of Him but when it is out of His physical reach. He knew Jesus could do this without being there, meaning that he knew Jesus wasn’t just a man. That is a realization that changed his life forever. And also set forth a series of happenings that would have the truth of Jesus spreading among non-Jewish people. Jesus’ work with saving the Gentiles continued.

Making It Personal

Have you ever wanted Jesus to do something that didn’t make physical sense? Did you trust that He could do it? When have you seen Him work miraculous events?

Making It Personal Kids

Have you ever seen something happen that only Jesus could do? Do you think He can still do miracles? If you could see Him do a miracle what would you want it to be?

Closing Prayer

Father, thank You for this example of Your omnipresence. It is comforting to remember that You are always near. Help us to trust You and Your power more than we do. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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