The Bible records only one incident in which Jesus marveled over the faith of another–the centurion ruler. This raises the question, what about the centurions’ faith so deeply impressed Christ?
How can we obtain that level of faith?
Faith is a deceptively simple concept, yet countless Christians fail to truly understand it. You might think of faith as summoning a superhuman burst of emotional enthusiasm or blind obedience. After all, faith is called “a leap.” Many Christians beat themselves up, thinking they can never seem to rally enough faith.
*Yet, it may surprise you to learn that “blind faith” does not describe the Centurion*
Based on the Centurion’s faith, Jesus acted. We would all love to see God powerfully move in our lives. What must we do to reciprocate this level of faith? To see God answer our prayers with such a manifestation of power and grace?
The Centurion’s faith was not an emotional rush. Listed below are a few characteristics of the centurion’s faith that we can learn from:
- FAITH COMES FROM UNDERSTANDING
The Centurion said, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For 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” (Matthew 8).
The centurion showed a deep understanding of first who Christ is and second who he is in relation to that. That he was, in himself, unworthy to seek God’s help. This deeply reverent understanding is the beginning of faith.
- FAITH COMES FROM THE RIGHT AUTHORITY
The centurion also understood the way authority works. If you are not in obedience to authority, you cannot exercise it. You will never possess the power to make real change in your life unless you first submit to the authority of Christ. Christ Himself submitted to the authority of God the
The centurion knew what authority was. He knew that Jesus had it. Jesus had the authority over the elements, He turned water into wine because He lived in submission to God’s authority.
Key Point: You cannot have authority *over* unless you are submitted *under.*
We are told that we have authority over Satan. For this to be a reality, however, we must first understand how authority works.
Authority only works when the power is also under authority. For example, a police officer has the authority to pull you over because he or she is under another greater authority. Jesus had authority over the elements because He submitted to the authority of God.
This principle is often entirely misunderstood. If you want to see God at work in your life, it is essential that you operate under His authority.
What does that mean?
What areas must you bring into alignment with God’s authority? Paul tells us, “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).
- Live every second of your life in alignment with God’s commands.
God has the rightful authority to overrule your decisions, your words, and actions. Therefore, allow Him to work in your life. I am not talking about perfection. That’s what repentance is for.
- Live in alignment with God’s authority.
After Paul admonishes us to do everything under the authority of Christ, he then applies this teaching in practice. What does it mean to submit to authority on a daily basis? First, he says, “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord” (Colossians 3:18).
Meaning to her husband’s *legitimate* authority. This does not mean a wife must submit to anything her husband says. If her husband wants to watch porn with her, for example, she should not submit. Nor is submission demeaning to the wife. Remember, Jesus–even though He possessed all the power and authority of God–submitted to God’s authority. This did not make Him unequal to God. To think of submission to authority as inequality is to misunderstand how authority works.
Husbands, you are admonished likewise to “love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.” God gave husbands authority, not so they could play the great man, not so they could tyrannize. Again, this is a false understanding of authority.
In this scale of authority, wives, husbands, children, and even employees all have their place. Everyone is both submitting to authority and exercising authority when appropriate, all ultimately submitting to the final authority of God.
*If your prayers are not answered, it might be because you are out of alignment with God’s authority.*
What about the centurion?
Jesus healed the centurion’s servant because the centurion had a faith grounded in understanding and grounded in the appropriate exercise of authority, God answered his prayers.
Are You Facing A Death?
When he first approached Christ, the centurion’s servant was dying. Is there something or someone dying in your life? A dream? A friend or a venture? God can and does hear you.
God did not have to be with the centurion’s servant in person, he healed him from afar. God has daily authority over your life and can answer your prayers. But to see God’s hand at work, cultivate the centurion’s faith.
The above is an abbreviated version of the message that Pastor Luke originally preached on February 8, 2023. We invite you to join us for Sunday Service at Dream City Church each week to hear Pastor Luke and other speakers in person. You can also stream our services online here. If you enjoyed this article, don’t forget to share it with someone who might need to hear this powerful message!