Friday, July 30, 2010

Faith needs no special credentials.

1When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2There a centurion's servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, "This man deserves to have you do this, 5because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue." 6So Jesus went with them.
He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: "Lord, don't trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. 7That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8For 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."
9When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel." 10Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well. (Luke 7:1-10)

The story of the believing centurion is probably the best example of great faith in the New Testament. Jesus was so impressed with the centurion’s faith, he remarked that he had not found such great faith in Israel, the entire Jewish nation. One might think that such faith should have emerged from one of the religious leaders of the day, such as the Scribes or Pharisees, most of whom had been students of the scriptures from their early youth. But this man was not even a Jew, but a gentile. To make matters more unique, he was a soldier in the Roman army, whose military occupation of Palestine was viewed with disdain by most Jews.

Ironic as it may seem, it isn’t always the religious leaders, ministers, or theologians who aspire toward spiritual things. Often, it is the unsuspecting layman, the housewife, the farmer, the soldier or other humble, common people who demonstrate great faith in God. We must never lose sight that the Gospel is a simple message which has no respect of persons, nor requires any special credentials to believe it.

Peace and love,


"Then Jesus said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me". (Luke 9:23)

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