Verse of the Day Devotion Luke 7:9
“Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled at him, and turned and said to the crowd that was following Him, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith.” – Luke 7:9
After Jesus finished His discourse with the Pharisees, He left and went to Capernaum. And when He arrived, he is informed of the critical illness of a valuable servant of a centurion, one who was close to death. As a note, a centurion in the Roman army was an officer in charge of one hundred men. And six centurions and their men served under a tribune. In this instance the centurion was not serving in a direct Roman military capacity because Roman soldiers were not stationed in Capernaum. As a result he may have been in the service of Herod Antipas, who used non-Jewish soldiers. Also, Roman centurions were typically persons of economic means, and the use of their means for civic projects played an important role in their appointment and promotion to the upper ranks of Roman military and political life.
Now, we next read, “And when he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders asking Him to come and save the life of his slave. And when they had come to Jesus, they earnestly entreated Him, saying, “He is worthy for You to grant this to him; for he loves our nation, and it was he who built us our synagogue.” Luke 7:3-5. Now we see that when this centurion heard about Jesus, he sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. And when they asked Jesus, they said he was worthy of having his servant healed because he loved the Jews and had built a synagogue for them. So because of this, it was not improper to show him kindness.
So, Jesus agreed to go to him. “Now Jesus started on His way with them; and when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to Him, Lord, do not trouble Yourself further, for I am not worthy for You to come under my roof; for this reason I did not even consider myself worthy to come to You, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed.” Luke 7:6-7. In these verses, we see humility in the centurion. Where the elders said he was worthy of him coming and granting this request, the centurion said he was not worthy of Him coming to his place, therefore do not take the time to come. Also, notice how he addresses Jesus. He calls Him Lord.
Now, this is where it gets interesting. Note verse eight. “For I, too, am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” Luke 7:8. At the very end of verse seven we read, “You, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed.” Luke 7:7b. Then he explains what he means in the next verse. What is interesting is that He compares Jesus’ authority to his own. He stated those under himself obey him in all ways. And just as his soldiers do what he says, the sickness will obey Jesus and leave his slave. And all He has to do is declare it, and it will happen. He does not need to be there, just to declare the healing.
Now, Jesus totally understood what he was saying. “Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled at him, and turned and said to the multitude that was following Him, “I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith. And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.” Luke 7:9-10. The centurion’s understanding of Jesus’ spiritual authority made Jesus marvel. His simple confidence in the ability of Jesus’ mere words to heal showed a faith that was free of superstitious reliance on merely external things. True faith realizes that God can heal apart from rituals, special ointments, touch, or monetary gifts to the healer. The centurion recognized that all Jesus needed to say was a single word. His faith in Jesus was absolute and unlimited. Even a single word from the Lord spoken at a distance could heal his servant, for the Spirit of the Lord was present with Jesus to heal.
This is true faith. The centurion had come to understand that Jesus was not limited at all by distance and could do anything. I now ask the question; do we have this type of faith? God has shown us through His word, and with some, experiences of His miraculous abilities. Jesus marveled at the faith this man had. He expressed here that He had not seen Faith like this in all of Israel, God’s people. This is sad because they claimed faith in God. But was their faith real, or simply tradition. It is important that we look at our faith to see if ours is real or simply tradition. And then go to God as we see where we fall short. This is essential and will help us have the faith we ought to have in such a wonderful and powerful God who loves us.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.