Reasoning with God — understanding authority

In Matthew 8 we read of one man’s persuasive logic, words that actually stopped Jesus in His tracks, so to speak. (This is one of only two places where a particular Greek word is used to express Jesus’ astonishment.) The centurion came to Jesus, and we can see three things he used to persuade Jesus to heal his servant. First was his intercession. From the example of Jesus who prayed almost exclusively for others and not for Himself during His lifetime, we see the importance of praying for others. Secondly, the centurion understood Jesus’ authority. Because of his own background as the commander of troops, the centurion understood that Jesus could command the elements of nature as surely as he himself could order his underlings. This comprehension apparently had great weight with Jesus, who declared, “I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.” And thirdly, he was humble. He didn’t have any great deeds with which to commend himself. But his concern for his servant, his humility and his understanding that Jesus’ authority was not bound by location nor time — these caused Jesus to do what he asked.

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