Chapter 32: The Centurion

March 16, 2007

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Jn. 1:1,2). The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. (Jn. 1:14). He chose to give us birth through the word of truth. (James 1:18).  That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched–this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. (1 Jn. 1:1,2). He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and His name is the Word of God. (Rev. 19:13). Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. (Rom. 10:17).

Without acceptable religious training, and sight unseen, the Centurion believed that Jesus could speak life into existence. The difference between God’s Word and man’s word he comprehended through the Holy Spirit–a reality that the disciples were only beginning to comprehend. Later they would write in truth of the Word of power, echoing what they may first have seen modeled by a pagan general.

And without presumption, the Centurion did not seem to need to humble himself to come to Jesus. Rather he came because he was a humble man. Before the servant became sick, a miracle had already taken place in his master’s heart.

“His heart had been touched by the grace of Christ. He saw his own unworthiness; yet he feared not to ask help. He trusted not to his own goodness; his argument was his great need.” DA326

The next lesson on the powerful Word of God was on the road to Nain.

“His heart, that loved and pitied, is a heart of unchangeable tenderness. His word, that called the dead to life, is no less efficacious now than when spoken to the young man of Nain. … That power is not diminished by the lapse of years, nor exhausted by the ceaseless activity of His overflowing grace. To all who believed on Him He is still a living Saviour.” 

Satan cannot hold the dead in his grasp when the Son of God bids them live. He cannot hold in spiritual death one soul who in faith receives Christ’s word of power. God is saying to all who are dead in sin, “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead.” Eph. 5:14. That word is eternal life.” DA329

I don’t believe the Centurion’s perspective to be a mere insight into faith. His understanding is as centered on spiritual reality as can be; that without this same differentiation between God’s Word and man’s word our understanding will have gaps that looks like presumption in times of blessing, and will keep us trying to manufacture a feeling in trying times.

Truly, “man does not live by bread alone, but by ever word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

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One Response to “Chapter 32: The Centurion”

  1. Aunt Ruth said

    “He saw his own unworthiness, yet he feared not to ask for help. His argument was his great need.” Thank you for that quote. I just copied and sent it to a friend who suffers greatly with feeling like a failure that God cannot be pleased with or love or accept as OK.

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