I’m reading in the first part of Matthew 8 this morning. Accounts of Jesus’ interaction with two men. Two very different men. One, a nobody, a leper. The other, kind of a somebody, a centurion. But both the same. First, they both came to Jesus in humility. The leper “knelt before Him” . . . the centurion came “appealing to Him.” Both came with a certain desperation. One was done with being unclean the other interceded for a servant who was done with being unable to walk. And both came with a measure of faith . . . one expressing faith in Jesus’ will, the other expressing faith in Jesus’ word.
When [Jesus] came down from the mountain, great crowds followed Him. And behold, a leper came to Him and knelt before Him, saying, “Lord, if You will, You can make me clean.” (Matthew 8:1-2 ESV)
When He entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to Him, appealing to Him, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” And He said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed.” (Matthew 8:5-8 ESV)
The leper was convinced that, if Jesus wanted to cleanse him from his disease, He could. The centurion was equally convinced that, in order for his servant to be healed, all Jesus had to do was say the word. And it’s got me thinking this morning about the power of the Christ and how that power is manifest in His will and His word.
The Son of Man did not come into the world to condemn it, but that the world through Him might be saved (John 3:17). That’s His will. And Jesus invites all those who are weary and heavy laden with the guilt and baggage of sin to come to Him and He will give them rest . . . rest for their souls (Matt. 11:28-29). That’s His word.
His will is to do the Father’s will (John 6:38) . . . and His word is the Father’s word (John 12:49-50). That will is that none should perish (2Pet. 3:9), and so His word from the cross, “Father forgive them for know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). That will is that we would be with Him and see His glory (John 17:24). And so, He intercedes on our behalf with words that apply His blood to the cleansing of our sin, and again affirms that we have been covered with His righteousness. And He speaks the word to our hearts through His Spirit, calling us back to the Father, making known to us the Father’s abiding love and grace.
And in that will, and in that word, is power. The power to save and to save to the full (Heb. 7:25). The power to rescue and redeem. The power to reclaim and restore. The power to renew and revive.
Mine, whether I am great in the sight of man or invisible to other men, is to come in humility and, by faith, affirm, “Lord if You will . . . just say the word.”
O the power of Jesus Name. The power of His will . . . the power of His word.
All by His grace . . . all for His glory.