Can He? Will He?
Lord, I approach You knowing You are both able and willing to bring healing and new life.
What made Jesus commend the centurion's faith?
What we believe about Jesus affects how we pray. If we believe he loves us, we will confidently bring him all our concerns. If we believe he is powerful, we will expect him to transform lives and situations. Both the man with leprosy and the Gentile centurion knew that contact with leprosy sufferers or Gentiles made a Jewish person ritually unclean. And yet they came to Jesus confidently, but humbly (2,6,8).
Both men believed Jesus had the power to transform their situations, but the man with leprosy (understandably scarred by countless rejections from others) doubted whether Jesus cared enough to help him (2). Jesus proves that his love extends to everyone: he is willing to touch the unclean (3) and associate with outsiders (7). Jesus' willingness to make himself unclean in order to restore others finds its ultimate expression on the cross.
Why does Jesus commend the centurion's faith? Was it because of his unshakable belief that Jesus would and could deal with his situation, or his understanding that Jesus' word, the word that brought everything into existence (John 1:3-5), is all it takes to transform every situation (8,13)?
Bring your needs or the needs of others to Jesus. He is willing and able to transform every situation.
Jesus, thank You that You are both able and willing. Thank You that You held nothing back in redeeming us.