I don’t know about you, but when Jesus praises someone’s faith, it usually makes me uncomfortable. The faith of the centurion offers an excellent example!
Jesus often uses outsiders as positive examples of the way that people living in the kingdom of God would conduct themselves. In today’s passage, Jesus praises the faith of a Roman centurion, a leader in the Roman military who would have commanded a significant number of soldiers.
The centurion, a man of great authority, gives way to the greater authority of Jesus; “I am unworthy, just say the word.” While this story raises a number of questions, two aspects come clear. First, Jesus is able and willing to heal the sick. Second, Jesus praises the faith of the centurion and lifts it up as an example for the Israelites to follow.
The centurion believes that Jesus can and will heal his servant. His faith leads him to act by sending people to Jesus with requests for healing; not even in Israel has Jesus witnessed such faith.
Today, this story continues to call forth faith in Jesus Christ, not merely as a good moral teacher but as God in the flesh who brings physical, spiritual, and emotional healing to our lives. We are invited to active faith in Jesus, a faith that expects to encounter God in transformative ways in our lives.
What might active faith look like for you today? What specific concern do you need to bring to God in prayer? What holds you back? In stepping out in faith, may you experience God’s active and living presence!
Jesus, help me believe that you are able and willing to bring life and light in the darkness. Give me a trusting and confident faith in you that leads me to follow actively. Amen.