Intro: Last weekend John and I took a short camping trip to Salt Springs Recreation Area in the Ocala National Forest. When we arrived, we saw a large sign upon entering the campground which read, “Under Boil Water Advisory.” Therefore, the water hook-up to the RV would not be delivering pure water for our drinking, cooking, dishwashing, or bathing. Hey, the advisory was a surprise to us, but we were focused on enjoying our time. We did not allow potentially contaminated water to stop us from having a safe trip, because, by faith in Christ, we chose to adhere to the advisory and for two days boil water! Besides, in spite of the inconvenience, Jesus used the springs to cool, sooth, and refresh our souls—AMAZING!
In our passage for today, Jesus uses the faith of a Gentile—a Roman Centurion—as an advisory for the action to be taken if a person wants to emulate a pure faith. This Gentile was considered contaminated and unclean by the Jews; but, Jesus uses the faith of this man as an example to be modeled. Christ moves on the faith of everyone who calls on his name and brings the refreshment of his presence to those in need. The faith of the Jews had become stagnant—inactive and impure. Can you imagine their surprise when Jesus admonished them instead of the Centurion?
Genuine faith is never stagnant—we should have a constant flow of revelation moving us forward in the work and purpose of Christ for saving the world. Opportunities to minister to people surround us every day, we just need to think differently about faith and be willing to adapt to the advisory of the Spirit. Never lay down your JOY. It is the work of the Spirit to be with us and help us enjoy the love of God even in troubled times (John 14:16). The world is watching…
Matthew 8:5-13 NLT The Faith of a Roman Officer
5 When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer [centurion] came and pleaded with him, 6 “Lord, my young servant [child] lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.”
7 Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”
8 But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. 9 I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers [100 men]. 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.”
10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!
Prayer: Lord, thank you for helping us stay in the flow of the Spirit and live out pure faith. May we be willing to move beyond the inconvenient in order to enjoy the beauty of life with you. Holy Spirit, refresh our souls in the River, today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.