Summary: Genuine faith that pleases God is sometimes found in the least expected places.
We all like to get the genuine article when we buy something.
When we put our money down for the real deal we rightfully expect to get the real deal.
Once I bought a .22 caliber rifle that was a “knock off” of a Browning rifle.
Believe me it did not work like a Browning. You get what you pay for.
It’s good to get the genuine article.
When it comes to faith we want to be sure we have the genuine article.
Read the passage Matthew 8:5-13.
This incident took place shortly after He preached the Sermon on the Mount.
Centurion was like a captain, he was responsible for 100 people.
Interestingly every centurion mentioned in the NT was a man of good character.
This is Jesus’ first healing miracle for a Gentile. (See also the Syro-Phoenician woman in 15:21-28).
This was also Jesus’ first “long-distance” miracle.
What does this incident have to teach us about genuine faith?
1. Genuine faith is confident of the Lord’s goodness. (5-7)
In Luke 7:3 we’re told, “when he heard about Jesus”. The Centurion had heard the good reports about what Jesus had done for others and it inspired faith in his heart.
Unlike the leper (Mt. 8:2) the centurion was not unsure about the Lord’s willingness. Where do you fit in on that scale? Are you more like the leper or the Centurion?
Verse 7 can, and probably should be, put into a question, “Shall I come and heal him?” Designed to clarify the centurion’s request and reveal his faith.
heal (7) gives us our English word theraputic = to serve with medical attention and then to heal.
2. Genuine faith does not make demands of the Lord, but approaches Him humbly. (8)
The centurion was NOT demanding of the Lord....
Prayer, although bold, should never deteriorate into presumption.
We are never in a position to "tell" the Lord what to do.
3. Genuine faith understands the flow of authority. (9)
“Only those who are under authority can truly exercise authority.”
Unfortunately lots of people want to side-step authority....
Our Lord worked through a "chain of command" while He was on this earth,(John 5:19) how can we expect to do anything less than He did?
4. Genuine faith must be put into action to be effective. (10)
The centurion loved the Jews so he built them a synagogue (Luke 7:5)
The centurion loved his servant so he sought out the healer....
Here Jesus marveled at the centurion’s faith, in Mark 6:6 Jesus marveled at the people’s unbelief.
Verses 11,12 show the tension between faith and unbelief.
The fact is that faith is where you find it and not often where you expect to find it. Jesus Christ was impressed with the strength of the Centurion’s faith.
It was genuine faith to be sure.
5. Genuine faith will always be rewarded by God. (13)
God is pleased when we demonstrate our faith in Him. (Hebrews 11:6)
The is a direct correlation between our faith and our capacity to receive from God.
What is the quality of your faith?
Is it the genuine article that pleases the Lord?