Written by Rhonda Neal
Scripture to Read: Matthew 8:5-13
Do you trust Jesus’ authority? “Of course,” you say. “I am a Christian!” Consider the Roman Centurion who desperately sought Jesus’ intervention to heal and save the life of his servant. “Just say the word and my servant will be healed,” he declared. Jesus “marveled “at his great faith.” The centurion was assured of His authority when Jesus said, “let it be done to you as you have believed.” The servant, lying paralyzed and in agony in another town, was healed “that very hour.”
Matthew may have included this encounter to emphasize Jesus, the Son of God, is for Gentile and Jew alike. The future banquet Jesus referred to in verse 11 is to include peoples of all nations. The idea of welcoming a Roman Centurion to the feast or any non-Jew was abhorrent. Trust in the authority of Jesus moves us to inclusive action beyond our comfort. How might the following incident reflect your willingness to embrace where the authority of Jesus leads?
A Christian couple fearlessly shared Christ in Iran. One day they stopped at a store to get supplies and past an “unpleasant-looking, unshaven, scruffy-looking man with a scowl on his face” who seemed to be waiting for someone. The husband discretely told his wife, “We don’t need to share the Good News today.”
Some distance down the road conviction led them to turn back and share the Good News with the unsightly man they had ignored. The husband handed some Farsi-language literature to the man. “Sir, I have the word of the living God for you.”
“Where have you been?”, the man responded with joy. “For one month I’ve been seeking God, and He told me that if I stood right here in front of this store, someone would bring me the Scriptures.”
(Taken from a SAT7 mission newsletter) By his authority and love Jesus gathers all people to himself, and He wants to use us for this mission!