2 February 2023 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide


The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. 9For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.” (Gospel of St. Matthew 8:8-9; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)


Our Lord Jesus Christ is the very Word of God Incarnate. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)    Our Lord has Hands to touch, but He also has Words that are able to heal to the uttermost. There is an immediate faith demonstrated by the leper of Matthew 8:1-4, but also a faith that knows no geographical boundaries or selfish intent as demonstrated in our leading text today by the Roman Centurion.

This Centurion (a captain of one hundred soldiers) demonstrates a goldy compassion for his servant. Though he is a man under arms, he nonetheless cares and loves those under his roof, and under his command. This is the fullest definition of a good soldier who loves his country and his fellows in the profession of arms.

We know not the source of the Centurion’s faith in Christ to heal – perhaps he had only heard rumors of the Lord’s healing ministry that germinated the seed of faith, or perhaps he was even present on the Mount when the Lord recently delivered His wonderful sermon. In the end, as with every sinner who comes to Christ, the faith of the Centurion was planted and watered by His Word and Holy Spirit. The circumstances of the healing of this passage is different from that of the leper. The Centurion is beseeching Christ, out of the goodness of a compassionate heart, for the healing of another of his household staff.

And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.” (Matthew 8:5-7). Do not be led to believe that Jesus did not already perceive the faith hidden deep within the heart of the Centurion. His response at the Centurion’s request is intended to enlighten our own hearts of faith with understanding. He knows the hearts of men before words are ever uttered.

Our leading text gives the Centurion’s response to the Lord’s willingness to go to where his servant lay ill and to heal him of his palsy. His faith and conviction are lessons for us all. The power of God knows no limits of distance or space. His Word has a power and authority borne of the Spirit and not a physical presence.

Jesus responded at the evidence of the Centurion’s faith to those around Him: “Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 11And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 12But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matthew 8:10-12)

The faith of the Centurion is an ‘unlimited’ faith. The leper was likely Jewish. But this Centurion is a gentile which reveals the spirit of Epiphany to begin with. Christ came to the Jew first, and then the Greek (gentile). The gates of the Kingdom are hereby flung wide to all who have believed the promise of a Messiah made to Abraham through a faith granted in grace. We have that lovely promise made by God in Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians: “Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 8And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. 9So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. 10For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. 11But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.” (Galatians 3:7-11) God is not a discerner of persons – it is not a racial blood that justifies, but the blood of Christ!

And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.” (Matthew 8:13) The proof of the Centurion’s faith is discovered in the words of Jesus – “. . . . as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee.”  The power of the Word of the Lord can pierce stone sepulchres and unlimited distances. Though He sits on the right Hand of God the Father on High, His power to redeem, to heal, to rule as Sovereign in the affairs of men is infinite and eternal. His Word cleanses first, the inside of the heart; and secondly, the outside and visible man.

By |2023-02-02T18:35:44+00:00February 2nd, 2023|Blog|Comments Off on BY THE POWER OF THE MASTER’S WORD

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