40 Bible Stories Devotional, Day 21: The Centurion’s Servant

The Centurion’s Servantauthority

Matthew 8:5-13

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.”

 Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.”

 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 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.”

 When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, “I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! It will be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that very hour.

(NIV1984)

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The centurion would have seen a miracle either way.  Jesus was headed to his home, but the faith he displayed caused Jesus to stop everything and tell everyone there that he had not found such great faith in Israel.  Great faith.  There are different levels of faith just as there are different levels of trust.  We would all say that Moses trusted the Lord, but there was one time that God spoke to Moses and said, “Because you did not trust me enough…”  The greater our faith, the more the Lord is able to work in our lives.

In this passage, we see the ability to work within the principle of authority and submission is great faith.  We all have authorities.  Wives submit to your husband.  Children, obey your parents.  Slaves, submit to your masters, even if your master is harsh.  Everyone has an authority and everyone must submit to an authority.  And we would all say ‘no problem’ as long as the authority asks us to do exactly what we want to do.  But what do you do when your authority is harsh?  What do you do, teenagers, when your parents are harsh, mean, unfair, or even wrong. (By the way, you may think they are always wrong, but when you turn 30, you will realize otherwiseJ)  What do you do when your boss is a jerk?  What do you do husband has no desire to follow the ways of God?  Do we still submit even then?  The answer is an absolute yes.

The one exception is if they ask you to sin.  The Lord would never expect us to dishonor Him by submitting to an authorities command that we sin.  Other than this though, God commands us to submit to our authorities.  Now submission includes attitude.  So if we do what our authority asks us to do, but we do it with a bad attitude, it is not submission.  Great faith comes when we learn to operate within this principle because we must trust the Lord to take care of us even if our authority does not.  It takes great faith in the Lord for a wife to submit to her husband when she feels like he is doing something stupid.  It takes great faith for an employee to submit to a boss who is unethical.  The only way it is possible is if we trust the Lord to protect our interests, our desires, our dreams, our vision, our future despite an ungodly authority.  This great faith will bring miracles.

Not only this, but the principle blesses us here with our authorities.  Does a boss want to promote someone who has been difficult with attitude?  No, he wants to promote someone he feels will do exactly what is asked and with a good attitude.  It really does not matter if the boss is intelligent, stupid, worldly, or Christian.  It is human nature to look out for our best interests and a boss is going to look for someone who makes their life easier.  The Bible even says that all authority has been put in place by God.  If you have a difficult boss, difficult parents, or difficult husband, the Lord has placed them there to help you develop this great faith because He desires to do greater things in your life.

Finally, submission is a form of love.  Therefore, it spreads like yeast in the dough.  It slowly begins to affect the receptor.  Hearts will change more when we are submissive than when we argue and have negative attitudes.  It keeps the peace and the Holy Spirit works through peace.  And the peace and presence of the Holy Spirit will influence our authorities and the Lord will work through us as He works in us.

If you would like greater things from God, have great faith.  Submit to your authority.  Obey with a positive attitude.  Don’t argue.  Don’t balk.  Don’t rebel.  And the Lord who is the authority over every angel in Heaven will command them to guard you and lift you up.  When you submit to your authority, you honor God.  When you honor Him, He honors you.

Pastor Lee is the Lead Pastor at CrossRoads Community Church in San Antonio, Texas. His message focuses on the healing power of Scripture through the power of the Holy Spirit. He is the Father of three awesome sons and he is madly in love with his wife, Amy. And his favorite past time is losing golf balls in the rough while attempting to play a round of golf.

Posted in 40 Bible Stories Devotion, Leadership, Miracles, Obedience, Pride, Spiritual Growth, Submission and Authority Tagged with: , , , ,

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