First of all, I want to say THANK YOU for all the wonderful feedback I’ve received from my School of Cinderella series on Rick’s television program. And THANK YOU to everyone who is taking part in the School of Cinderella through my Facebook page. I’m enjoying our time together!
I want to write to you this month about a story found in the Gospel of Luke that I believe will help us find many answers to our questions and needs today. The story begins, “And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die” (Luke 7:2). This Centurion — a high-ranking Roman soldier — had 100 men under his authority. No one gets this kind of authority over 100 men by accident. This Roman Centurion must have worked very hard and earned the respect of those over him to have this position of authority. But when death threatened his beloved servant, the Centurion had no authority. He had no power over this sickness that had taken his servant to a point of death.
How many rock stars and movie stars, millionaires and billionaires, and rulers and leaders had great authority over others, but when sickness or death came to them, they had no power over it. There is only One who has power and authority over death — and His name is Jesus. And still today, He is doing miracles and meeting death at its intimidating presence and saying, “No, not this time. You have no authority here! This one will live longer. Death, you cannot have her.”
But this is the situation of not having authority that the Roman Centurion found himself in. Though he had a lot of power, authority, and prestige as a Centurion, he did not have power and authority over the sickness and death that was trying to take his servant. Verse 3 says, “So when he heard about Jesus….” What did he hear? The Bible doesn’t say, but we can imagine he had heard about the miracles that Jesus had performed. Why else would he have asked Jesus to come heal his servant?
Verse 3 continues, “So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant.” The Centurion went to the trouble to ask elders of the Jews to plead with Jesus to come and heal his servant. Think about how amazing that is — that he would send Jewish elders to Jesus to ask for a miracle. Romans despised Jews, and the Jewish elders hated Jesus. Nonetheless, the Roman Centurion sent Jewish elders; he used his authority and they obeyed.
The elders went to Jesus and begged and pleaded earnestly. It’s interesting that these Jewish elders told Jesus that this man (a Roman, no less!) was worthy and deserving. They pleaded with Jesus saying that the Centurion even loved their nation and had built them a synagogue (see Luke 7:4,5).
Jesus was on His way to the Roman Centurion’s house, but He never saw the Centurion or the servant. “Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, ‘Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man placed under authority, having 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’” (Luke 7:6-8).
The Centurion and the dying servant never looked into Jesus’ eyes; they never felt His loving touch. But the Centurion knew the power of the spoken word and had sent a message to Jesus to just say the word. The Roman Centurion believed if Jesus would just say it, it would happen.
So we have to assume that the Centurion’s friends were just standing there waiting for Jesus to “say it.” So what did Jesus “say”? We don’t know. Although His response is not recorded, verse 10 confirms, “And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick.”
Here is my question for you and me: Does God’s Word have such a place in our heart as to stop death at its door? What was different about this Roman Centurion? He heard about Jesus, he believed, and asked for Jesus to say the Word.
Jesus marveled at the faith of this Centurion. He was amazed! “When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, ‘I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!’” (Luke 7:9) The Centurion simply believed the Word.
I want to say to you today what Jesus said to Thomas in John 20:29: “Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” That’s you! You do believe even though you have not seen. And because of that, Jesus calls you blessed!
Hebrews 11:27 agrees: “By faith he [Moses] forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.” Moses also had faith in the One he couldn’t see.
Friend, keep believing His Word. Do you need healing? He is your Healer (see 1 Peter 2:24). Do you need a miracle? He is your Miracle Worker (see Luke 7:18-23). Do you need peace? He is your Prince of Peace (see John 14:27). Do you need finances? He is your Provider (see Philippians 4:19). Jesus and His Word are one, and He is the only One you need!
The Centurion knew who to look to for the answer. He wasn’t seeking the answer from the religious leaders — he passed right over them. They didn’t have the power he needed for this critically ill servant to be healed. No, it was Jesus who had that power, and it is the same today. The only one with the power to heal, to deliver, to save, and to provide is Jesus.
Look how eager Jesus was to come and heal. And He is the same yesterday, today and forever (see Hebrews 13:8). He is still eager to come to you through the power of the Holy Spirit and bring to you the answers that you so desperately need. What is it you need? He paid for it all on the Cross to get it to you. Our part is to ask Him and to believe Him — just like the Centurion.
Thank you for spending this time with me. I believe this message is very important for all of us. As always, please let us know your prayer needs and if God is doing something special in your life — let us know because we want to pray with you, and we want to rejoice with you. Just call us at 1-800-742-5593 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are moving forward together,