God’s Grace Part Ten
I am writing this post from Focus Marines Foundation in Defiance Missouri. I am here working with these warriors trying to show them the grace of God. I thought that in honor of the compassionate leader/warriors I have the privilege of being in the presence of there are few more appropriate stories in the New Testament than this one.
[Mat 8:5-13 NKJV] 5 Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, 6 saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” 7 And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8 The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. 9 “For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this [one], ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does [it].” 10 When Jesus heard [it], He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! 11 “And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 “But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, [so] let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour.
(This account is also found in Luke 7:2-10)
This account is often used more to describe faith and healing than God’s redemptive grace. But the fact is that it requires faith and healing for God’s grace to be experienced. This account shows us a couple different avenues that God’s grace can be administered through. The first is the health of the servant himself. This man was paralyzed and tormented by who knows what. He was fortunate, however to have a person in his life who loved him enough to go seek out the best help available. It was because of this love that Jesus healed the servant, showing him a very personal and powerful example of grace. This man experienced God’s grace in two ways on that day. The obvious one is his physical healing. Jesus could have decided to leave him in his condition because the request came from a gentile (non-jewish) Roman soldier. But instead he was released of his torment and paralysis in one miraculous instant. The other way that this servant was the recipient of God’s grace was the fact that he was blessed to be in the service of a caring and compassionate man. The Romans of that time where known for their cruelty towards their slaves and servants. For instance the witness of a slave was not accepted as accurate unless the slave was tortured. This man, however, was in the service of a man who according to the Jewish servants in Luke’s account “loves our nation and has built us a synagogue.” The second example of God’s grace is that the centurion was rewarded for his faith by the healing of his servant. If his servant would have remained paralyzed and in torment this would have been a constant source of sorrow for the centurion. As a leader who truly loves the men under him I can tell you that any time one of my people are suffering I am suffering right alongside of them. This should come as an encouragement for all of us who have loved ones outside of grace. We can come to God on their behalf in prayer in order to solicit grace upon their lives. So never stop praying for those whom you love. Never give up on them because we don’t know how, or when, God will give them that grace. Never give up seeking God for your own soul, just like this centurion knew that Jesus could heal his man he knew the importance of demonstrating his position of power and submission to authority. So we must also show God of our willingness to be in submission to His authority.