Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented." And Jesus said to him, "I will come and heal him." The centurion answered and said, "Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to another, 'Come,' and he comes; and to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it." (Matthew 8:5-9)
The centurion recognizes Jesus as more than a Rabbi or a Prophet. He addresses Him as LORD. He responds in humility and with great spiritual insight. He explains that like Jesus, he is also a man under authority. His response reveals his understanding of the principles involved with authority; Authority is present where submission and obedience are present.
The centurion knew that he could give verbal commands to those under him only because he submitted and obeyed the orders of his superiors and expected the same of his subordinates without question. Based on his request, he recognizes that Jesus was living in direct submission and in obedience to "Authority" and therefore knew that Jesus had authority to command the healing of his servant in the same way that he could command those under him. This is very important for believers to understand if we are to fully operate in the authority that we have been given in the name of Jesus.
This Roman centurion believes and is confident without question that Christ has the authority to heal just by speaking a word. Please understand, believers do have authority, but it is not because the Bible says so or because someone else told us. It is due to our faith in Christ. It also comes by way of believers knowing that they only operate in delegated authority in Christ and in Christ alone. Notice verse 9, the centurion did not directly say that he had authority, but that he, like Jesus was under authority. Understanding how authority works is directly related to understand how faith works.
When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, "Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." hen Jesus said to the centurion, "Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you." And his servant was healed that same hour. Matthew 8:11-13
Jesus praised the spiritual insight of the centurion and marvels at the centurions understanding of authority and credits him as having great faith. The centurions faith opened the door for his servant to be healed. The centurions knew his place as a man under authority, he also reconized Jesus' place as a man under authority, but do you really know yours?