Matthew 8:9 says this, “”For I also am a man 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.‘”
Jesus was ready and willing to enter the Roman centurion’s house to heal the man’s servant (Matthew 8:5–7). The centurion, though, objected to this. He said he was not worthy to have Jesus in his home (Matthew 8:8). He respected the Jewish people (Luke 7:5) and likely understood that their custom prohibited them from entering the house of a Gentile (non-Jew). As this verse shows, though, the centurion also understood Jesus to be a man of great power and connection to God.
The centurion has said that Jesus can heal his servant merely by speaking a word. Now he explains why. He understands the principle of authority, which powered the Roman army. He himself was under the authority of his superiors, and he had authority over all the soldiers under him. He could accomplish anything with the words “come,” “go,” “do this.” His soldiers would immediately carry out his will without any need for the centurion to be present with them. This is a man who respects and instinctively recognizes authority.
In short, the centurion recognized Jesus’ authority over the natural world. He saw that Jesus’ healings were not like the attempted supernatural works of the pagans of his day. They would offer sacrifices and perform rituals and sometimes work themselves into a frenzy attempting to convince their gods to do their bidding. They saw their gods as having the authority, and they attempted to win their favor. Jesus, though, simply spoke and it was done. He was the one with the authority.
This man recognized that Jesus was the one with authority. Authority over it all. He could heal with a word. He could heal with a touch. He could heal without the sacrifices and the show. Just simply….speaking.
How often do we get sidetracked by all of it? The lights, the comfort of our lives, the apathy that settles in. Jesus calls us to follow. Not to put on a show, not to get caught up in all of the stuff that pulls us away from Him.
Just Jesus. That’s it.
Today. Focus on Jesus.