The Power of Pure Faith
Key Verse: Luke 7:9
When Jesus heard this, He was amazed. Turning to the crowd that was following Him, he said, “I tell you; I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!”
Additional Reading: Luke 7:1-10
Today’s Additional Reading is one of my favorite stories in the New Testament.
It’s about a Roman officer in the Roman army who had a highly valued servant that was near death. This Roman officer was a friend of the Jewish people which was rare in those days. He had heard stories of Jesus and his many miracles, so this officer requested of some local Jewish elders to go ask Jesus to heal his servant. They agreed and when they asked Jesus about it, Jesus readily agreed to come with them. However, on their way to see the servant, the Roman officer sent some of his friends to meet Jesus and to stop Him from coming all the way to his house, it was the officer’s reason behind this that amazed Jesus.
Let’s stop at this point and think about how you would feel if you knew you amazed Jesus! Our amazing Jesus didn’t get amazed even with His own disciples. In fact, many times Jesus was brought to the point of frustration with them, saying things like: “how long must I be with you before you believe!” (Luke 9:41). But this Roman officer spoke words of total confidence in Jesus that caused Jesus to say, “I tell you, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel” (Luke 7:9).
I’ll summarize what the Roman officer said: “Jesus, I’m not worthy of your presence in my house. I know you need only say the word, and my servant will be healed. I know that because I understand authority, when I say the word, my soldiers and servants quickly obey me. So please, just say the word!” That summarized scenario is what amazed Jesus. Jesus knew that this Roman officer had the kind of faith that brought divine healing to his servant!
If you have ever wanted a miracle from God, this story should catch your attention and deserve some serious study!
What kind of faith did this Roman officer have? It was a faith that knew Jesus had the power to heal. It seems obvious to me that this kind of faith would be described as total confidence! There was zero doubt about the power that Jesus could bring to the problem!
Secondly, it was a very humble faith. This Roman officer had a lot of power over people, yet he didn’t feel worthy of Jesus’s presence in his home. The Bible reminds us of how much God hates pride: “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished” (Proverbs 16:5) and “… God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). When we come to our God asking for favors, we must realize — truly realize — how unworthy we are of His favors!
There is one more thing about this story that I want to point out. The Roman officer asked, not knowing if Jesus would come or honor him by healing his servant. This officer knew, beyond a shadow of doubt, that Jesus could come and heal his servant. But he didn’t presume by demanding that Jesus do so.
Have you ever heard modern day faith healers demand that Jesus heal someone? In my opinion, we must come with great faith in the power to give us a miracle without feeling that God owes us, or that we won’t trust Him, if He doesn’t do what we want.
Faith must be pure and humble, surrendered to the will of God, trusting His wisdom as well as His power!
Father, I do know you are able, but I trust your wisdom! Not my will but yours be done. In Jesus’s Name, amen.