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Summary: DOES THIS MEAN THAT I CAN BELIEVE FOR OTHERS TO BE HEALED even if they don't have the faith? It seems to say this to me. Does it to you? But even more importantly is who I have faith in - JESUS, WHO HAS THE AUTHORITY TO HEAL.

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Matthew 8:5-13 WHEN MY BELIEF AND HIS AUTHORITY COLLIDE!

The first person that Jesus heals as recorded in Matthew was an outcast - a person with leprosy and Jesus told him to keep it a secret. The second person is someone of low social status - a servant. These are people who are the forgotten ones. If he had healed a Pharisee or someone rich and famous, then people would really have been impressed. But Jesus' intervention into our lives is not based on social standing, but on whether or not we are willing to come to Him and trust Him.

Somehow news was out that Jesus healed people. A Roman Officer came to Jesus. Apparently he was a Centurion. His servant is paralysed. He doesn't ask Jesus to heal his servant directly. He just says, "Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain." (Matthew 8:6). HE JUST GIVES THE FACTS AND WAITS FOR JESUS TO RESPOND. Lord, teach me to get to the point. To bring others I have come to love and who need your help to You, intercede for them, and leave them in Your hands.

And you know the rest of the story. "Jesus said, "I will come and heal him." I love the fact that Jesus is always willing to come. But the officer said, "Lord, I AM NOT WORTHY to have you come into my home." Again, this is something unusual for a Roman Officer to say to a Jew. He didn't say "My servant is not worthy". He said "I am not worthy." To me this indicates that he had already come to faith in Christ. He had already placed himself under the authority of Jesus' command. This man knew AUTHORITY when he heard it.

Paul says in Romans 12:3 (NLT) "...I give each of you this warning: Don't think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us."

This Roman Officer wasn't trying to impress Jesus. He was genuinely concerned for his servant. Philippians 2:3-4 (NLT) "Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too."

The Roman Officer also knew that if a Jewish person came to his house that other Jews would have poured scorn on Jesus. It wasn't done! Unless you were ordered to go there, you stayed away, and even if you were forced to go, then you went with great relunctance. BUT JESUS OFFERS TO GO THERE. Everything about Jesus at times is upside down with the culture of His day and with ours.

The Roman officer says, "Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,' and they go, or ‘Come,' and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,' they do it." (Matthew 8:8,9). This man knew about AUTHORITY! The gospel is about coming under the authority of God, by believing in Christ. We neglect that thought sometimes. But that's what it is. COMING UNDER GOD'S AUTHORITY AND ALLOWING HIM TO RULE OUR LIVES.

This also tells me that time and distance and sickness isn't a barrier for Jesus when it comes to intervening into our circumstances. All He has to do is say the word.

The Roman Officer understood authority and applied it to Jesus. Jesus was impressed! And surely it would take a lot to impress Jesus. It makes me ask "what are the things that impress me?" Unfortunately they are not always the things that would impress Jesus. Matthew 8:10-12 (NLT) Says "When Jesus heard this, He was amazed. Turning to those who were following Him, He said, "I tell you the truth, I haven't seen faith like this in all Israel! And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world-from east and west-and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven."

Did you get that. Jesus says that GENTILES WILL BE SAVED! That was unheard of! That was a radical statement! HE EVEN SAVES AUSTRALIANS, LIKE ME! And to make things worse Jesus says, "But many Israelites-those for whom the Kingdom was prepared-will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Ephesians 2:14-18 (NLT) says, "For Christ Himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in His own body on the cross, He broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. ... Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us."

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