“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’… 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.’” Mt. 8:8,10 (ESV)
Yesterday I mentioned that there are 3 components to true Biblical faith… knowledge, trust and action.
Today I want to address the component of trust.
In today’s verse, Jesus makes an astounding statement.
He tells those who are with Him that this centurion…a gentile…has faith greater than anyone Jesus has encountered in all of Israel.
The greatest faith Jesus encounters is not in a religious leader…not in a devout Pharisee or scribe. The person Jesus finds with the greatest faith is a gentile…and not just a gentile…but an official representative of the nation that is currently oppressing Israel.
What was there about the faith of this centurion that so impressed Jesus?
It was his trust.
The centurion trusted that all Jesus had to do was speak one word from a distance, and his servant would be healed.
There is a vast difference between faith as intellectual belief and faith as trusting. I’ve previously written about the difference between intellectual belief and true faith.
To illustrate the difference, I like the example of a bulletproof vest. It is one thing to look at a bulletproof vest and say that you “believe” it will stop a bullet. It is something entirely different to put on that bulletproof vest and have someone fire a gun at you.
Biblical faith is putting on the bulletproof vest and trusting that it will protect you.
When we come to true faith in Jesus Christ, we lay down our own will and place our trust in Him.
Through our rigorous training as physicians, we have been taught to accept the veracity of facts given to us in medical school, residency and within our medical journals. We are used to the concept of intellectual assent on a topic.
We must be careful that we don’t approach the Gospel as a truth that only requires intellectual assent.
Trust in the Lord…don’t simply believe in Him.
Prayer: Lord, help me to place my full trust in You to live according to Your will.