The Centurion’s Faith (2) – Could-faith and Would-faith

Previously I noted that the theme of authority – Jesus’ authority – was woven all throughout Luke. I cited some overt examples that demonstrated Jesus’ authority over disease, demons, nature, etc. I did not cite every example possible.  Just a handful. I continue now with the Centurion account found in Luke 7 noting that the theme is evident there.

When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” So Jesus went with them.

He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” 10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.” 

~ The Centurion, a gentile basically got Jesus. He got Him. He someway somehow knew who Jesus was in a way many others did not. Here are some of my takeaways:

1. The Centurion story shows us once again that Luke is again and again weaving the theme of authority into his account.

2. The Centurion had a very high level of faith… but the funny thing is that he did not really realize it.  Yet isn’t it interesting how often we (my circles anyway) so emphasize the need to have faith. “Trust in God ! Trust in God ! Trust in God !” we keep saying to ourselves over and over again. Yet here is this outsider…

3. Could-faith and Would-faith:

~ The Centurion had great Could-faith. He knew what Jesus could do, but did not know what Jesus would do.  Shadrach, Meschach & Abednego were in the same boat when they were threatened with death in the fiery furnace.  They knew that God could save them, but did not know if God actually would.

In contrast to the Centurion’s faith, there is such a thing as Would-faith. Abraham knew that God would give him a child about a year from the time the angels told him so.  He did not simply believe that God could do that.

Would-faith: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” ~ Mark 11:24