Tuesday February 20
“When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with him, Lord, my servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.” Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.” But 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.” When 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! Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.” And the young servant was healed that same hour.” Matthew 8:5-10, 13
This story of Jesus’ interaction with the Roman officer has always challenged and inspired me. It is truly a unique interaction since this is they only time recorded in the Gospels that Jesus was amazed at the faith he found in a man. And to think the man that he was amazed with wasn’t a rabbi or even a disciple but a Roman soldier!
This Roman officer was a man that understood how authority worked and evidently had been keeping an eye on Jesus. In fact, since this interaction follows right on the heels of Jesus’ most famous sermon, the sermon on the mount, it is safe to assume he very well might have been in the crowd himself hearing Jesus speak with his disciples. Whether he was there or not though he had been paying attention to what Jesus said and that most definitely was the source of his extraordinary faith, a faith worth being amazed by. It ties in with Romans 10:17 where Paul writes “So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.” So the faith he had only could have come from hearing the Good News from Jesus.
The good news to you and I is that we have the same source of amazing faith available to us. We have incredible access to God’s love letter to each of us and if we will be faithful to it our faith will grow as well! Think about it, as you and I spend time getting to know God, through His word and thereby learn more and more how faithful He is and how He operates, our faith, our trust in Him will grow!
Billy Graham is quoted as saying “God will not reward fruitfulness, he will reward faithfulness.” Let’s grow our faith by being more faithful to His Word! Start simple, start small but most importantly keep doing what you’re doing! You’re reading His word now! Whether you know it or not your faith is growing and so is His amazement in you!
Lord may my faith in you increase day by day. May the goal of my life be for you to be amazed by my faith. Amen.