Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Centurion Humility

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.

Matthew 8:9 (NIV)

Today’s guest devotional is provided by Jon Walker

Jesus noted the centurion in the Gospels was a man of extraordinary faith. The Roman officer’s servant was sick, and with Jesus on the way to his home, the centurion sent a message telling him there was no need to come.

He said, in essence, “I know all you have to do is give the word, and my servant will be healed.” His faith didn’t require the physical presence of Jesus, not to mention the bells and whistles of signs and wonders.

But the centurion’s faith also reveals the foundation of biblical humility. Instead of emphasizing his high rank, the solider first established his position under authority. And that’s really all humility is: recognizing, confessing, and acting according to your position under authority.

Because he was a man under authority, faithful to execute the order of those in authority over him, the centurion had an expectation that those under his authority would do the same.

And so he believed, in faith forged through experience, that Jesus was a man under the authority of God, and, therefore, when Jesus gave a command, it would be carried out.

The centurion’s authority came because he was under authority and that is the very thing that gave him the authority to issue orders.

Humility simply means we hold an accurate and unbiased assessment of our strengths and weaknesses. We understand our shape and our gifts, and we’re aware of, but not fretting over, our limitations. We see everything we have as a gift from God, and we know that without him we have nothing.