By David J. Stewart,
"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... When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel" (Matthew 8:8,10).
The Bible tells us of a Roman centurion (a centurion was in authority over 100 soldiers) who had a sickly servant. The centurion humbly came to Jesus and asked for the Lord to heal his friend. Jesus said he would come heal the sick servant. Then the centurion said something to Jesus that impressed Him greatly. Whatever it was that the centurion said, Jesus told the crowd that He'd not found so great a faith in all of Israel. This is quite remarkable.
Now when Jesus says that He hasn't found so great faith in all of Israel, we ought to sit at the edge of our chair and pay close attention to what the centurion said. What was it that this man said that impressed Jesus so greatly? Hebrews 11:6 states, "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Since it is faith that pleases God, and this centurion had the greatest faith in Israel, then we ought to seriously ponder over the words that he spoke to Jesus. What did this centurion say to Jesus?
Let's read Matthew 8:5-10...
"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. 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. For 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. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel." —Matthew 8:5-10
The centurion had so much faith in Jesus that He recognized the power of Jesus' very Words. This man had faith in the Word of God! The centurion was a man of authority and recognized Jesus' omnipotence. There is no greater faith than to trust the Words of God, i.e., the Bible.
The Word of God is Above the Name of Jesus
"I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name." —Psalm 138:2
There is NO name any greater than the name of "Jesus"; yet the Bible proclaims in Psalm 138:2 that the Word of God is ABOVE the name of God. Philippians 2:9-11 state...
"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
Why does God elevate His Word above His holy name? It's because God is only as trustworthy as His Word. We've all heard the saying, "A man is only as good as his word." We'll, the same holds true for God. If God's Word is not correct and reliable, then God is unfair and dishonest for misleading us. If Jesus wasn't referring to literal fire and torment in Luke 16:19-31, then He was misleading His listeners. Jesus plainly states in John 14:1,2... "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." Jesus said what He meant, and meant what He said. God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). John 18:20 states, "Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort; and in secret have I said nothing." Beware of all these quacks nowadays who claim to have discovered "new" and "secret" revelations, codes and hidden messages in the Bible. Not so! Jesus said He spoke OPENLY TO THE WORLD. Amen!
The Bible contains literally THOUSANDS of promises from God, and you can rest assure that He will faithfully fulfill every one of them. God's credibility is important to Him, which is why He gave the rainbow to mankind as a token of His promise never to destroy the world again by flooding (Genesis 9:12-17). The rainbow is a frequent reminder that God keeps all His promises. Jesus is Precious!
Salvation is of the Heart
There are many naysayers, skeptics and mockers in the world today (as there were in Jesus' time). They continually place God on trial and demand "proof" of everything. Something is wrong with their heart. Interesting, 2nd Corinthians 4:4 teaches that Satan blinds the MIND on unbelievers to prevent them from getting saved; but the Bible plainly declares in Romans 10:9,10 that salvation is of the HEART...
"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (2nd Corinthians 4:4).
"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Romans 10:9,10).
Salvation is NOT an intellectual experience, nor a philosophy that one adopts; it is trusting in one's heart upon the Lord Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God Who washes away our sins... "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins."
The Greatest Faith is to Trust God's Word,
The greatest faith in the world is to simply trust upon the Word of God, i.e., to take God at His Word. When God doesn't answer your prayers—trust His Word. When you don't see God working in your life—trust God's Word. When everything seems so wrong, and the walls are closing in around you, and you just don't want to face another day of life—trust God's Word. When all hope seems lost, and things just couldn't seem to get worse—trust God's Word. When people hurt you, and defraud you, and hypocritically judge you—trust God's Word. When others hurt your feelings and do you wrong—trust God's Word. When you don't understand why the world is so messed up and children are starving to death daily—trust God's Word. Trust what God hath promised and know that He is God. While the heathen world relentlessly places God on trial, let every believer proclaim with the psalmist in 136:1... "O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever." God is a good God.
I don't need to see signs or evidences from God, I trust His Word. I don't need to experience visions or dreams from God, I trust His Word. I don't need to understand "why" things are the way they are, I trust His Word. I trust God's Word, and that's all that matters. If my health is gone, and my wife is gone, and my job is gone, and my happiness is gone... "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him" (Job 13:15).
Halleluyah to the Lamb of Glory