What is Great Faith?

Humility + Meekness + Submission = Great Faith!

I recommend a short prayer to you…

Lord Jesus, I know the Word of God says that without faith it’s impossible to please you.  My simple prayer is, increase my faith!

In today’s post I want to believe God with you that after you read this your faith will be elevated.  I have heard many people claim to have great faith.  What I would like to do today is share with you what God considers GREAT FAITH!  Let’s take a look into the scriptures.

When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.”  Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.

Luke 7:1-10 (NIV)

In the text above, Jesus has just finished delivering the sermon on the mount, you couldn’t have timed it better if you were a Swiss watch maker.  Jesus has just taught some of the most powerful truths concerning the kingdom of God that His hearers had ever heard.  Jesus has just delivered the constitution of Godly Character, if you will.  Then, at the bottom of the mountain, God in a way that only He can orchestrate, gives the hearers a real-life example of a person that is living out exactly what Jesus just taught.

Meet The Centurion

I once heard a bible teacher say, whenever you read scripture and personal names aren’t given, it’s because the underlying principals are intended to give guidance to the masses.  This is the case with this account in scripture.  The centurion’s name is not given, so it’s safe to assume that the Holy Spirit fully intends for us to read this passage with our own character in mind.  Let’s take a look at the information that Holy Spirit provides that give us insight into this man’s life.

  1. The centurion has a servant that’s sick and about to die.  The presence of a servant suggests that the centurion has a measure of wealth.
  2. The centurion, although he has servants, he esteems them highly.  We could stop right here and camp out a while, but we won’t.
  3. The centurion has heard about Jesus.  Since Jesus repeatedly told His listeners “those that have ears to hear, hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church”, it’s evident that not everyone in a Church atmosphere hears what the Holy Spirit is saying about Jesus.
  4. The centurion sent Jewish Elders to ask Jesus to heal his servant.  There mere fact that this centurion has a positive relationship with Jewish leadership speaks volumes given the political environment of that day.
  5. The Jewish Elders praise the centurion (let others praise you Proverbs 27:2) because he actually built a Jewish synagogue.  Once again, we can stop and camp here, but let’s go on.
  6. This centurion loves the nation of Israel and its people.  (I will bless them that bless you…Genesis 12:3)
  7. While Jesus was on the way to the centurion’s house, the centurion sends friends to proclaim that he’s not worthy enough to have Jesus enter his home.
  8. The message he gave the friends proclaims that even though the centurion doesn’t believe he’s worthy enough to receive a visit from the Lord, he BELIEVES if Jesus wills it, his servant WILL BE HEALED!

I’ll stop here with the observations of this account in scripture and get to the meat of this post.  If you read the whole passage above, I wonder whether you noticed something?  Did you notice that the centurion explains his in depth revelation about submission to Jesus and then Jesus says he hasn’t seen so GREAT FAITH!  If you read fast, you may miss the connection.

In America submission has become a dirty word.  Church members refuse to submit to Church leaders.  Wives refuse to submit to husbands and husbands refuse to submit to Jesus.  Employees refuse to submit to company leaders.  Children refuse to submit to parents and teachers.  Citizens refuse to submit to governing bodies.  At the same time there are intercessors across this nation praying earnestly for God to visit this nation with a spiritual awakening.  The bottom line is this.  God desires to heal, restore and bless this nation as it once was.  However, since God is bound by His word, we must understand that without faith it’s impossible to please God.

Humility

While the centurion could have boasted to Jesus about his level of authority or his work on the temple or his standing with Jewish leaders, he chose neither.  Instead, by first sending the Jewish Elders, then his friends, finally talking with Jesus face to face, the centurion demonstrates the first be-attitude.  Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven Matthew 5:3.  The centurion recognized he needed God and he believed because of it.

Meekness {power under control}

As a Roman Centurion, the man at the center of this passage of scripture could have strong armed his way straight to Jesus.  He didn’t need the Jewish Elders nor his friends.  With lofty positions come great authority.  With great authority comes greater temptations for pride, arrogance and an inflated ego.  The decision to appeal to Jesus through the testimony of others is a living demonstration of the second be-attitude.  I am fully convinced that in addition to his servant receiving healing, this centurion will spend eternity with the Lord in heaven.  Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth Matthew 5:5 (NIV)

Submission

I have heard many sermons on this passage of scripture.  Most of them seem to infer that the centurion explained to Jesus how he was in authority, so he understood Jesus’ authority over infirmity.  Please allow me to direct your attention to the passage once again.  Please notice that the centurion did not proclaim to be in authority, on the contrary, his first statement to Jesus was; I AM UNDER AUTHORITY or I’M SUBMITTED!  This is profoundly significant.  The centurion then goes on to describe the submission of the soldiers and servants entrusted to him.  The entire focus is submission and not authority.

While it’s true the centurion was in a position of great authority, his rational for believing that Jesus could heal his servant was simple.  If I may, let me paraphrase.  “Jesus, I have heard about you and I know based on your own testimony that you are TOTALLY submitted to your Father in heaven.  Since I have a deep revelation of the connection between submission and faith, the only question I have is are you willing, not whether you can or not.

The mere fact that the centurion understood this principal of the kingdom makes it clear that he possessed a desire to do what was right.  In other words, he had a hunger and a thirst for righteousness, the fourth be-attitude.  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.  Matthew 5:6 (NIV)

In Closing

There is soooooo much more revelation in this passage of scripture.  However, I’ll trust the Holy Spirit to reveal that which is beneficial to you.  I would like to close with this thought.  Our Father in heaven knows the spirit of independence that pervades this nation and our culture.  Is it possible that the our Father in heaven knew that humility, meekness and submission would be the ignition key to the end-time outpouring on this nation?  Could it also be possible that in order to turn this nation onto a new course we need GREAT FAITH in the land?  Is it also possible that the lack of faith is what is displeasing God?  I leave the answer to you.

I recommend a short prayer to you…

Lord Jesus, I know the Word of God says that without faith it’s impossible to please you.  My simple prayer is, increase my faith!