Today is a special day in our country as we take the time to honor and thank those men and women who have served our country. Words cannot express how eternally grateful we are to those men and women as they chose to serve to protect the very freedoms you and I have. As I ponder on the sacrifice they have made, I can’t help but think of the great faith of a soldier.
In scripture we find many passages about war, but perhaps my favorite passage about a soldier is found in Matthew 8:5-13 when Jesus encountered the Centurion.
The Faith of the Centurion
5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”
7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”
8 The centurion replied, “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.”
10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west,and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.
Three things stick out to me in this passage.
1. Humility – The Centurion did not allow his position to keep him from asking for help. Many people think they are above needing help.
Some people have more faith in themselves than they do in God. They try to control and fix everything on their own merits but no matter what your status or rank is, we all need help. Faith asks for help for anything. This man was not going to let anything keep him from Jesus especially not his pride. The question we must answer is, will we humble ourselves like this Centurion?
2. Care – The Centurion cared for his servant. In his position, he could have easily found another servant. But he cared about people. Something incredible happens to our faith when we begin to care about other people. I often think of the stories of first responders on 9/11 who ran into danger to save complete strangers. Many sacrificed their life to save those they didn’t know because they cared about people more than they cared about themselves.
When you are in war, you are not concerned about personal affairs, your only concern is of how you can help those in need.
3. Belief – He believed in Jesus and the Word of God. He did not doubt the power of Jesus to speak and heal. If you want great faith, you need to believe His Word. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (another good reason to go to church and surround yourselves with the body of Christ). If you want great faith, speak His Word, and live by what it says.
When the Centurion’s faith was on full display, even Jesus was impressed! His servant was healed that hour!
You see, the faith of a soldier is a great faith. And great faith will do great things. It reminds me of the story in Matthew 17:14-21, when Jesus healed the demon possessed boy. The disciples wondered why they couldn’t heal the boy as Jesus had and this is how Jesus responded:
He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” – Matthew 17:20
Today is not about saying our country is perfect or even that our veterans are perfect people. But we do have a lot to be thankful for when it comes to those who sacrificed for our freedom. Our military sacrifice their time, comforts, and lives to ensure that we the people can have the freedoms we so often take for granted. In the same way the Father sacrificed his son, Jesus Christ, so that we could be free from the bondage of sin. Ultimately we could never pay the price that was necessary, but through the father’s love, His son Jesus paid that price for you and I. To embrace in that freedom we must place our faith in Jesus in the same way as the Centurion Soldier.
As we look at the wonderful story of the Centurion, we see his faith on full display and what a wonderful story of victory it is as his faith was rewarded. There is victory in Jesus, and it only takes a little faith. The faith of a soldier!
By: Jonathan Carmack