The Centurion’s Faith
The Centurion’s Faith
1 When He had completed all His discourse in the hearing of the people, He went to Capernaum. 2 And a centurion’s slave, who was highly regarded by him, was sick and about to die. 3 When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders asking Him to come and save the life of his slave. 4 When they came to Jesus, they earnestly implored Him, saying, “He is worthy for You to grant this to him; 5 for he loves our nation and it was he who built us our synagogue.” 6 Now Jesus started on His way with them; and when He was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself further, for I am not worthy for You to come under my roof; 7 for this reason I did not even consider myself worthy to come to You, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 “For I also am a man placed under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” 9 Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled at him, and turned and said to the crowd that was following Him, “I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith.”
What was happening here. Jesus was doing what he normally did, teaching the crowds. And some friends of the centurion came to Jesus and told Jesus what a great man he was and how much his servant meant to him. How this man deserved for Jesus to come to Him and heal the servant. So Jesus went.
When he was almost there, almost to the house. The centurion sent his friends out to him and he said- I am not worthy for you to come into my home. I know you have the power to heal my servant, all you have to do is say the word. And here is why. I too am a man under authority. It ell men what to do and they do it.
And Jesus Marveled. Jesus marveled because the centurion had an insight into the way things work in the kingdom of heaven. He had an isight into the authority of God.
What I really want to concentrate on this morning is Authority. Authority is a funny thing. You cannot have authority unless you submit to authority. And a lot of time we just dont really get what it means. In our world today we have the lie of there is not a real absolute authority. People do not understand there is no authority without submission.
There is a story of a general in World War 2. General Wainwright. He had been captured by the Japanese and was in a POW camp. The soldiers loved to torment and abuse him. They would ridicule him and do things to humiliate him. They knew he was a great American General and since they had captured him they had authority over him. But one day a small plane landed on the island and brought news the Japanese had surrendered. When General Wainwright was told was walking through the base some of the Japanese soldiers began to abuse him and ridicule him again. The general stood up tall squared up his soldiers and said- “ I will have no more of that I am in control here. I am in authority here.”
What does that mean to you. Mankind was meant to rule over the earth. In Genesis 1:26 the bible teaches let them have dominion, let man rule. But Adam and Eve sinned. When they sinned they forfeited his right to rule. he gave over that authority to Satan. He became the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4)
But then the second adam came. Jesus came back and He defeated satan. When he rose from the dead He gained back mans dominion over the earth.
Jesus restored mans spiritual Authority. He did this for us. So for the next few minutes I want to begin to explore four things, but we only have time for two. Spirtual Authority, The source, the scope, the strength and the submission
The Source of Spiritual Authority
The Source of Spiritual Authority
look at verse 8.
8 “For I also am a man placed under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”
Where does anyone get their authority?
There must be an appeal to a higher power. It is always rooted in a higher power.
Think of the Centurion. A soldier in command of 100 men. He was under another commander, who was under another. In the Air Froce I was in the Air Mobility Command, the 92nd Air Refueling Wing, on Fairchild AirForce base in the 92nd Maintenance Squadron, In the AGE Flight in the Repair and Inspection Flight with a crew of 8 people. There was a chain of command.But in order for that chain to work you had to submit to someone.
But the centurion said to Jesus I am under authority to. He recognized that Jesus was a man. We often have this misconception that Jesus was half God and half man. But he wasnt. He was fully man. And He was fully God. In His power as God, HE chose to set aside his attributes as God while he was a man so He could fully be a man. We have to understand Jesus was fully man when he was here. We miss a lot when we do. We miss the blessings that he demonstrated as He showed us how to live. He wasnt just God pretending to be man. In Philippians 2:8 it says he found himself as a man and humbled himself to the point of obedience.
Jesus recognized the Fathers authority over him as a man. John 8:29 says I always do my fathers will. John 8:28 says to us What I hear I speak, what I see I do.
The father was his higher authority,
The centurion understood the source of Jesus authority.
Remember earlier I said that you cannot have authority unless you submit? Authority always comes from a higher power.
Jesus tells us in
18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
All authority has been given me. Now you do this. So what does this mean?
It means you have authority. You have been given a job to do by God and been given the authority tof God to do it.
The Scope of Spiritual Authority
The Scope of Spiritual Authority
So what does that look like. Remember a while back I told you about what a bond servant was. He was a slave who was given the authority of his master to work. A slave on a long leash. You could open your own business and it was yours. Yes you gave the master a portion of it, but running the business was yours. As long as you did not embarrass your master life was good.
Spiritual Authority is like that.
When the police department pulls you over for a traffic stop do you pull over simply because some dude in a car with police on it pulls you over? Does that rookie that pulled you over have any power over you? Not on his own no. But he has been appointed by the police chief. The Police Chief has been appointed by the mayor. The mayor was elected by you to keep our city safe. That rookie has the authority of the law behind him.
Spiritually you have the authority God has given you over the enemy. You are free from sin. You are free from satans rule. Not because you have power. But because you have authority. That is why Paul James writes
7 Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
Recognize the authority of God and submit to it and the devil will flee. Because you have the authority of God to do so.
The problem is that we go around leading defeated lives because we do not believe we have that authority. While the scripture in clear we think we are still slaves to the enemy. Why on earth do you think we sing Victory in Jesus?
Go back for a moment to General Wainwright. He had been a prisoner of War. He had been under the authority of the Japanese. Yet when he was given the news that they were not in control any longer he acted on it.
Victory in Jesus. The Song it it finished. Jesus said on the cross It is finished. The battle is over. the battle is over there’ll be no more war. Read your Bible- Revelation tells us clearly Jesus wins. We have victory in Jesus.
Look at this verse...
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Look at it. for give us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. ALL. This is one of the most powerful lessons we can ever learn. We have been given this incredible gift.
Will satan still attack us? Yes
Is he stronger that us? Yes
Does he have more power than us? Yes
In the movie Jack the Giant Slayer they present a different take on Jack and the beanstalk. There is a crown that the one wearing that crown has complete authority over the giants. Just that crown gives them the right. They leave mankind alone because the king of the humans wears the crown. Somehow in the movei the giants got the crown. So they attacked the people. Yet the princess and a farmboy defeat the giant bearing the crown. Meanwhile the rest of the giants do not know. They are about to destroy the kingdom. When Jack enters the battlefield wearing the crown. Immediately they bow. They recognize the one wearing that crown rules them.
We do not have physical crowns on earth that demonstrate to our enemy that we are the children of God. Instead we have the blood of Jesus that covers us. That blood gives us authority over what once held us as slaves. We are free. We have authority because of the great commission. Jesus has given us the authority we need.
Look at this .. It is about Jesus
22 who is at the right hand of God, having gone into heaven, after angels and authorities and powers had been subjected to Him.
as we Study Ephesians we have seen in Chapter one the power of God evidenced. In
19 and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. These are in accordance with the working of the strength of His might 20 which He brought about in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places,
What I really need you to see this morning is that all we do as believers in Jesus is under the authority and power of Jesus Christ. We cannot defeat Satan in our lives. We do not have the power. But Jesus does. And Jesus have given us the authority to call on HIs power. Not only that he has promised us, told us in his word that he will give us his spirit who will not only live in us, but seal us with His power
13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,
We have believed, we have been sealed, we have been given a commission of the authority of Jesus over sin. Victory in Jesus is really ours.
Jesus demonstrated his authority clearly in Mark. In chapters 4 and 5 he calms the storm, heals a demon possessed man, heals a woman with a discharge of blood, and raises someone from the dead. He virtually says that nothing is beyond his authority. Jesus gives us the access to the same authority. We can pray and see the weather change. We can pray and the demons will obey, we can pray and people will be healed, and even the dead will be brought back to life. Jesus prayed and folks were given life physically. We pray and it is spiritually. When someone accepts Jesus they have life.
Last night as I watched the youth meeting here- between 15 and 20 kids chose Christ. At least that many made professions of faith. The invitation was long and crowded. When we tell people about Jesus we tell them with authority. Not arrogance, but the authority of God.
Spiritual authority is something we need to understand. Something we really need to hold to. We may not be able to defeat Satan on our own- but we do not have to. Jesus already did. And under his authority we can tell him to leave and he has no choice.
Do you believe that today? There is more to this. Next week as we talk about the strength that we have, we will also see that we have to submit to it as well. Honestly it is about driving. Before we get to actually go anywhere we haveto learn where the controls are. Today to even start your car you have to put your foot on the brake first. There is caution to know.