How did the Centurion show faith?
The centurion showed faith by demonstrating his understanding of how faith operates. The Centurion understood that Jesus was Lord over everything, including sicknesses, so all He had to do was speak a word and his servant would be healed.
The Bible says that “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). This verse reveals that faith is based on the Word.
The Centurion demonstrated this by saying, “But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go’, and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,‘ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it” (Matthew 8:8-9).
As you can see, the Centurion had faith in the word that would be spoken. He told the Lord Jesus, “all you need to do is speak.”
Notice also that the centurion believed that his servant would be healed right when Christ spoke. He didn’t need to see a manifestation of healing, he knew that when the word was spoken it must come to pass. He had no doubts.
Jesus taught the same thing to His disciples.
“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” (Mark 11:23).
Notice that Jesus said that when we ask for things in prayer, we must believe that we receive them and then we will have them. In other words, you have to believe you have what you prayed for, and then you get it.
A lot of people want to get what they prayed for, and then believe that they got it. But it’s the other way around. The believing comes before the receiving.
The centurion understood this when he said, “But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.” He didn’t need to see anything remarkable. In fact, he didn’t even need Jesus to come to his home. He came to Jesus for one thing: His Word.
How to have faith like the Centurion (Step by Step)
Step 1: Receive the Word of God
The Bible says that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17). So, the only way to ever have faith, we must first learn to receive the seed of faith which is the Word of God.
If you pay special attention to the passage of the centurion, you will find that he did this without realizing it.
“Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented” (Matthew 8:5-6).
The only reason the centurion would come straight to Jesus is because he heard of Him, and he believed in Him. Not only did the centurion believe in who Jesus was, but he also believed that he was able to heal the sick, including his servant.
The only way that the centurion could come to this conclusion is if he first heard of the things that Jesus has done. And how does faith come again? “By hearing and hearing by the Word of God.”
So, the first step is to receive the seed of faith, which is the Word of God.
Step 2: Understand the Word’s authority
The second thing that the centurion did was he understood the power and authority of the Word, specifically the Words of Jesus.
“Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” (Matthew 8:8-9)
Notice how the centurion connected the spoken word with the authority that was backing it. A word spoken can only carry weight if it has authority supporting it. The centurion understood this.
He heard about Jesus healing people and casting out demons with a word (Matthew 8:16), and he understood that the only way that this could be possible is if Jesus’ words had authority over the sicknesses and demonics.
The Word today still has power and authority to heal sicknesses and cast out demons.
“He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions” (Psalm 107:20).
“My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart; For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.” (Proverbs 4:20-22)
“Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over my word to perform it.” (Jeremiah 1:12)
Step 3: Grow your faith by keeping your eyes on Jesus
Another important thing that the centurion did was he didn’t let doubt creep into his mind about Jesus’ ability to heal his servant, instead, he kept his eyes on Jesus.
From the time the centurion heard about Jesus healing the sick, to the moment he actually encountered Jesus, he could of let the naysayers change his mind.
The only way to overcome this is by not allowing any human opinion (including your own) to matter more than what God says. That’s why the Bible says, “Let God be true and every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).
If Peter would of done this when he was walking on the water with Jesus, he would of never sinked.
“When Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:29-30)
Notice that when Peter paid attention to the waves, and got his eyes off Jesus, he began to sink. The humorous thing about this story is what did the high waves have anything to do with walking on water?
Peter stepped out of faith, into natural reasoning and it caused him to sink.
On the contrary, the centurion chose to focus on all of the things he heard about Jesus and believe that his servant would be healed as soon as Christ spoke the Word.
The main difference between the two is: one focused on Jesus and His Word, and didn’t allow natural reasoning to creep in, and the other got distracted by natural reasoning and sunk.
Let’s be like the centurion and live our lives fixed on Christ and His Word.
Just a side note, if you want a more in depth teaching on how to grow in faith, just click that link and it will take you to an article where I cover it more thoroughly.
Where did the Centurion get his faith?
The Centurion got his faith from understanding the power of words when they are spoken with authority. He most likely began to understand faith even more clearly when he heard about Jesus healing the sick and casting out demons.
As we mentioned briefly in the above section of this article, the centurion received his faith just like anyone receives faith: through the Word of God.
When we pay close attention to the context of the passage, we can see clearly that the centurion had already heard about Jesus working miracles before he actually encountered Him.
That is why as soon as Christ entered the city that the centurion was staying at, he immediately approached Him with the request for Jesus to heal his servant (Matthew 8:5-6).
The Bible makes it clear that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).
So, the only logical conclusion is that when the centurion heard about Jesus, he had the realization that Christ had authority to heal sicknesses just like he has the authority to command soldiers. This realization created faith in God’s ability to heal his servant.
5 Main Things the faith of the Centurion teaches us
- The faith of the centurion teaches us that faith is based solely on the Word of God. “But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed” (Matthew 8:8).
- The centurion teaches us that a spoken word only carries weight as long as there is authority backing it. “For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go’, and he goes; and to another, ‘Come’, and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this’, and he does it” (Matthew 8:9).
- The story of the centurion demonstrates that faith comes by hearing the Word of God. (Matthew 8:5-6)
- Faith can only grow in an environment that is saturated with Christ. (Matthew 8: 5-8)
- The centurion teaches us to have faith in God’s Word, not in an outward manifestation. “Lord I am not worthy that you should come under my roof. But only speak the word, and my servant will be healed” (Matthew 8:8-9).
Why did the Centurion feel unworthy?
The centurion felt unworthy because he recognized Jesus as one with great spiritual authority, and he felt that his position was not great enough to receive such a Person.
The centurion only understood wordly greatness, and earthly authority. He had no clue what heavenly greatness and authority was. So his natural response was to feel unworthy of one so great willing to come under his roof.
Jesus taught his disciples the difference between the worldly view of greatness and heavens view of greatness in Matthew 20:25-28.
““You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
If the centurion understood that Christ was there to serve him and give His life for him, he would of felt grateful, not unworthy.
Now, I’m sure he would feel a little unworthy due to the fact that he would have a realization of his sin. However, the primary emotion he would be feeling would be gratitude for Christ’s work on the cross.
Let’s grow past our feeling of unworthiness and realize that Christ has made us worthy through His death and resurrection. And let us press into Him with thankfulness, realizing that He came as our ransom!