In no one in Israel have I found such faith. 

This Roman centurion certainly had a lot of faith!   He loved his servant so much that he was willing to go outside his comfort zone and ask a Jewish rabbi for help.   It was his love and his faith that moved Jesus to commend him so highly.

This man took a very bold step in coming to Jesus.   He probably knew there was a good chance he could be rebuffed because he was a Gentile and a leader in Rome’s occupying army.   But he pushed through his doubts and inner objections and came to a position of confidence instead.   He believed that all Jesus had to do was speak the word, and his servant would be healed.   Now that’s an act of faith!

Every household, every family, and every community has some need for Jesus’ healing touch.   But it seems rare that we hear of people praying with the confidence that this centurion had.   Somehow, we have accepted the false premise that we should just take life as it comes—the bad with the good—and not expect God to intervene to change a difficult situation.

Nothing could be further from the truth!   Jesus wants to give us good gifts.   Over and over again, he tells us to ask, seek, and knock.   His ways may not always be our ways, but whether we can see it or not, he will act.   He may respond to our prayers by using a difficult situation to help heal a wounded relationship.   He may move us to be more generous toward someone who is sick.   He may give us an unexpected and powerful sense of peace in the midst of a crisis.

Jesus really does answer our prayers—but we have to pray.   In other words, we won’t know how he wants to bless us unless we ask him in faith and trust.

It’s a mystery why we don’t always see the healing we ask for; we’ll never fully understand it.   But we should never let that mystery keep us from asking God for his intervention, whether it be spiritual, emotional, or physical.   We have a good and generous God, and we can be sure that he will act!

word among us