Luke 7:1-10, “1When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, 5because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” 6So 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. 7That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8For 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.”
9When 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.” 10Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.”
Sometimes I wonder how the church gets away with some of the things it tends to get away with. I know that the centurion was praised for his faith, but what if he was on to something? What if Biblical authority was the sort of thing that is done as soon as it is said?
Matthew 8:14-17, “14When Jesus came into Peter’s house, he saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.
16When evening came, many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. 17This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah:
“He took up our infirmities
and carried our diseases.””
A few weeks ago, I mentioned I saw something like a prayer turned into an annointing that ended up more of an excorcism. Every time I see similar things on television it’s usually a dramatic experience. When so-called healers work their arts, people fall all over themselves. They are pulled up and run all over the place. They cry and dance. (Never mind that the bone is sticking out of the kid’s arm still.) When demons are excised there is alot of moaning and pleading. But in the passage above does it say that these things happened? All it took was a word. Apparently the church doesn’t know that word.
I understand that being freed is dramatic, but I don’t understand why a church gets the drama right and the freeing wrong. Who then does the production serve? Does it make it seem that God is working? For if the church truely understood its responsibility that’s exactly what would have happened. We don’t need many words, we don’t need an excessively long prayer, we don’t need moaning, and we don’t need pleading. We need God himself to do that which we cannot. If we could do these miraculous things ourselves we would, but it had to be by God because it is all for His glory. So church, remember your responsibility and to put your people in God’s hands. There’s no better place to be.