Ever had times in your life when you wish you could just sit and talk to Jesus face to face? Wanted to hear His voice so that you knew what to do and where to go? Many of us feel like that would make things so much better.
If we could talk to Jesus in the flesh, we wouldn’t have to worry about whether we were doing it all right, we could ask. Living as a Christian is already so hard, it would just be easier if Jesus were here. We wouldn’t have to have….oh yes, we wouldn’t have to have faith, right?
Many of us have learned since we were young that faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
It is easy to believe in things we see. It is a much different thing to put my hope and trust in something unseen. What if you’re wrong? It might be all cleared up if we were around when Jesus walked…they didn’t need faith, did they?
Let’s look at an account told in Matthew 8:5-13
What do we see here? Let’s look at this scripture for just a few moments…
Jesus talks with a centurion, a man of military position. He would be a Gentile (important to note) and he would most likely be in a ‘middle management’ type position with people who reported to him, but people above him who he reported to.
Couple of things to note:
This centurion comes to Jesus pleading with Him because he has a servant at home who is very ill – the Bible uses the word tormented giving us the idea that this servant was sick but truly suffering. For the centurion to come to Jesus on behalf of his servant is the first thing.
Second, Jesus is willing to come and heal the servant, but the centurion stops him…he could have just let Jesus do what he was going to do. The centurion tells Jesus how he is not worthy to have Him in his home. It wasn’t because he hadn’t made his bed or the dishes from last night are in the sink.
He doesn’t want him to come because for Jesus to go into a Gentile’s home would make him ceremonially unclean. The centurion seems to be respectful of this.
Third, the centurion seems to have some understanding of who Jesus is, which is major! The centurion seems to understand that Jesus has the power to heal through the spoken word and that His power comes from someone above Him. This is signified by his understanding of how his life in the military works. He gives the commands on behalf of his superior, and he knows it gets done by his spoken word.
The disciples often didn’t even get this! Here a Gentile has gotten it. Jesus commends his faith, talks about how he is rejected by His own people and there are consequences, and heals the servant.
This story is packed full of lessons. What I want you to hear is what Jesus commends him for…FAITH.
But, I thought that if Jesus were walking the earth, we wouldn’t have to have that?
Jesus requires us to act on our faith. He knows how important faith is to our lives.
It is true that Jesus isn’t face to face for us to ask questions…but because Jesus died on the cross, shed his blood, and reigns on high, we get a special privilege…the helper…the Holy Spirit
We get a guide for our lives. We get Someone who leads us personally, that is with us every step of the way.
Problem is that we don’t listen! We don’t want to have faith because it requires work on our part…and who wants to put effort into it?
We want the easy way out of everything when in reality Jesus commended the centurion for his faith and answered his request based on his faith!
If Jesus answers you based on your faith, that could answer why we don’t know what to do…
We don’t often put our faith in Him…we want to touch it, to see it in order to believe it. Shame on us…when Jesus has given us so much more.
What is your faith in?