BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. “Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed.” Luke 7:7 NLT
We see in scriptures some of the greatest faith expressed from some of the most unlikely individuals. Perhaps it is because some people don’t know any better than to take Jesus as His Word. That simple child-like faith can be a challenge to us who have been followers of Christ for years.
What is interesting in this account is that Jesus was not approached by the disciples in behalf of the centurion, but by some of the “elders of the Jews.” This is part of the group that was constantly at odds with Jesus. But we see their request included this plea, “If anyone deserves your help, he does,” they said, “for he loves the Jewish people and even built a synagogue for us.” (Luke 7:4-5 NLT)
The motives of the elders of the Jews was perhaps more related to maintaining the favor of an important military leader of the occupying force of Rome more than a recognition of Christ as Messiah. But none the less Jesus was willing to go.
The centurion then takes actions that reveal his faith and understanding of authority. He tells Jesus he is not worthy for Him to come to his house, but if He would just “speak the word” his servant would be healed.
I began to recall the power of Jesus words we see in scripture. He stopped the storm with “peace, be still.” He raised the dead by saying, “arise.” To others He affirmed that their faith had already made them well, “go in peace, your faith has made you whole.” To the leper He said, “be clean.” When the world was created the Lord said, “Let their be light.”
John’s gospel opens with simply referencing Jesus as “the Word.” People often say, “enough talk, we need action!” For Jesus His word is action.
In the Old Testament another solider named Naaman, an Assyrian, came to the prophet to be healed. In this account he was told to go wash in the Jordan river. He at first refused and was insulted because he had in his mind how the prophet would bring healing. But a servant girl urged him to simply obey and as a result he was healed.
What we can observe is that faith, trust and obedience are interwoven. The Roman centurion allowed his understanding of authority in the military realm, give him faith for the Lord to act in the spiritual realm. For Naaman, his preconceptions of how the spiritual realm works for a moment, hindered his obedience in how the Lord was going to reveal Himself to him and bring healing.
Finally we see at the living word of God, the name “Jesus” is a word of power. Paul declares, “…at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10,11 NLT)
Jesus told His disciples, “…whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” (John 15:16 NIV) We read, “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
There is power in the name of Jesus. There is power in Jesus speaking a single word, to bring life, healing, hope and help to your situation. Our part is to believe, trust and obey.