When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, "Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly." And he said to him, "I will come and heal him." But the centurion replied, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes, and to another, 'Come,' and he comes, and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it." When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, "Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith...And to the centurion Jesus said, "Go; let it be done for you as you have believed." And the servant was healed at that very moment. (Matthew 8:5-13)
As I read this passage this morning I found my faith freshly stirred. A Roman Centurion came to Jesus, appealing for mercy on behalf of a servant who was suffering terribly. Jesus had thousands of people come to Him and appeal for healing. Some demanded. Some cried out in pain. Some simply reached out to touch Him. But there was something different about this appeal. Something that called Jesus to marvel at the faith of the centurion. What was that difference? The centurion understood what it meant to have authority. When he ordered soldiers into battle, they went, no questions asked. He knew that when someone in authority speaks, things get done. And He knew that Jesus had authority. He knew that when Jesus spoke, massive, life-altering, mountain-moving things happened. When Jesus spoke, raging storms instantly ceased. When Jesus spoke, disease ridden flesh was restored and evil spirits fled. When Jesus spoke, life surged back into dead people. The centurion knew without a doubt that if Jesus simply spoke the word, his servant would be restored to health. So he asked Jesus to speak. He asked Him to speak the words that would bring healing to his servant. How did the Savior respond to the centurion’s faith? First, He marveled. Then He healed.
Oh let this truth be fuel for your prayers! Jesus, the living Savior, has all authority. He has authority over nature and life and death and comas and Ian. With but a word He can cause neurons to begin firing and brain tissue to begin repairing itself. With but a word He can restore shattered bones and torn ligaments. When Christ speaks things happen! And He invites us to draw near and lay our requests at His feet! Oh how this stirs my faith! The mighty King of the Universe who spoke the galaxies into existence invites me to pray for Ian. When you pray for Ian, take a moment to praise Christ for His absolute authority over all things. Then humbly ask Him to touch our dear friend Ian.