Luke 7:1-10 NLT
“When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people, he returned to Capernaum. At that time the highly valued slave of a Roman officer was sick and near death. When the officer heard about Jesus, he sent some respected Jewish elders to ask him to come and heal his slave. So they earnestly begged Jesus to help the man. “If anyone deserves your help, he does,” they said, “for he loves the Jewish people and even built a synagogue for us.” So Jesus went with them. But just before they arrived at the house, the officer sent some friends to say, “Lord, don’t trouble yourself by coming to my home, for I am not worthy of such an honor. I am not even worthy to come and meet you. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to the crowd that was following him, he said, “I tell you, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!” And when the officer’s friends returned to his house, they found the slave completely healed.”
If I could acquire any person’s faith from the New Testament it would be this man’s. The unnamed Roman centurion/captain. “What??”, you might say, “Not the great Apostle Paul’s?” Heck no, God had to knock him off his donkey and blind him just to get his attention. Actually, I don’t really know if Saul/Paul was riding a donkey or anything else. The scripture says he “fell”, I just love the visual of Saul being knocked off his “high horse”. No, give me the faith of “Captain No Name”. Because Jesus was A M A Z E D by this man’s faith!
Who was this man? He didn’t even grow up in a religious home. At least not in a Jewish, “There is one God and His name is Jehovah religious home”. Yet, he took the measure of faith that God gave him (Romans 12:3) and honored Him by acts of generosity and respect specifically towards the people of God. He built a church/synagogue for the local Jewish people. But the event that really captures my admiration is initiated by this man’s compassion. He had a slave that was ill and he heard about Jesus the Healer. So he sent word to Jesus. He reached out on behalf of what was culturally considered “property” and asked for help- healing for a person he valued.
He reached out with humility. He sent Jewish elders, highly respected people and they petitioned on Captain No Name’s behalf. They didn’t tell Jesus the merits of the slave, his incredible work ethic and efficiency and why He should be healed. They pleaded earnestly with Jesus regarding the centurion and said, “Jesus, help him. He deserves this!” Jesus responds. Our Savior responds to need, it is why He came. He starts walking toward the centurions house and is intercepted by men that the captain sent with a message. Basically translated, “I’m not worthy for you to come to my house. But I am so confident of your authority and power that I believe if you just speak the word for my servant to be healed, he will be healed.”
Jesus was amazed by his faith! He said so. There is only one incident recorded in scripture that elicited the “Jesus was amazed” response. It is in Mark 6 regarding his hometown, the people Jesus grew up with, the ones that knew his family and saw him up close for years. He was amazed at their unbelief! The scriptures say because of this Jesus was only able to heal a few of them. The people who had the closest proximity to Jesus, the most familiarity, the result – unbelief. How sad.
I want to AMAZE Jesus with my faith. I want to approach Him in genuine humility understanding His great authority and power. I want to take Him at His word. I want to believe Him for the impossible in my life and on behalf of the lives of others. I want to be like “Captain No Name”!