The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
–Matthew 8:8 (KJV)
The last time we talked about the centurion, we talked about his faith. But this time we’re going to look at his fear. Not a cowardly fear, but a righteous fear of God. This centurion was a man of understanding, a man with an open-mind who saw the world around him as it truly was, rather than the constructs his culture imposed upon him.
The centurion realized his position
“Lord, I am not worthy that though shouldest come under my roof;”
The humility and fear in these words leads me to believe that this man had respect for the God of the Israelites. Not only that, but he had an awareness of his mortal inadequacy, in light of Christ’s mortal perfection. By comparison, Jesus was so much greater, so much more worthy than this Roman that the man would refuse to receive the earthly honor and prestige of having the Savior of the world in his own house. His faith knew Christ could heal his servant with a word, but his fear of God caused him to have such great faith.
Fear of God always increases with knowledge of God.
The more we discover and learn about God, the more our faith and our fear will grow. They say that people fear what they do not understand. If that is so, God should inspire the greatest fear of all; for the more we discover, the more we realize the undiscoverable, unfathomable nature of the Almighty Creator. The centurion had great faith because he had great fear.
The centurion respected Christ’s power
“But speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.”
He told Christ to speak the word, not to perform the rites, not to touch his servant, just to speak the word. Jesus could have easily told the man, “I am the Word”, He’s done this before in scripture when questions or comments were made regarding His nature. But Jesus knew this man realized that. The centurion was aware of Christ’s power over the earth in that a word from Him could heal the sick. The centurion said, “Speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.”
The faith said “shall” be healed and not would, might, or could be healed. This centurion knew the words of Christ had power and he sought them out.
This is the Killstroke: the part of the story where the scripts are flipped, the bucks have stopped, and upon all the jokes shall be. This is where it comes to life and hits home. The centurion is where you ought to be. Not where you are; where you ought to be.
When was the last time we called our depravity what it is? This mortal flesh is our house, our temple, and we are woefully unworthy of God’s presence. If you want Jesus to bring a miracle to your life, maybe you should start by fearing God. Fear brings about faith, faith brings about miracles. But also, like the centurion, we must seek the words of God. Not just His deeds and His blessings, but His words; realizing the power therein. When was the last time we listened to God? Not talked with, but listened to. And when was the last time we heard from Him? I think it may be that fearing and hearing go hand in hand.
Without a fear of God, you may not hear from God.
Be like the centurion.
As always, thanks for reading.
—the anonymous novelist