Key Verse | Matthew 8:8

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."  

Scripture | Matthew 8


Jesus Cleanses a Leper

When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And behold, a leper 1 came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus 2 stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a proof to them.”

The Faith of a Centurion

When he had 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. For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, 3 ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel 4 have I found such faith. 11 I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment.

Jesus Heals Many

14 And when Jesus entered Peter's house, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever. 15 He touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and began to serve him. 16 That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick. 17 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah: “He took our illnesses and bore our diseases.”

The Cost of Following Jesus

18 Now when Jesus saw a crowd around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side. 19 And a scribe came up and said to him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” 20 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 21 Another of the disciples said to him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 22 And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”

Jesus Calms a Storm

23 And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. 24 And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. 25 And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” 26 And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

Jesus Heals Two Men with Demons

28 And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, 5 two demon-possessed 6 men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way. 29 And behold, they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” 30 Now a herd of many pigs was feeding at some distance from them. 31 And the demons begged him, saying, “If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of pigs.” 32 And he said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the pigs, and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the waters. 33 The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, especially what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region.

Footnotes

[1] 8:2 Leprosy was a term for several skin diseases; see Leviticus 13
[2] 8:3 Greek he
[3] 8:9 Or bondservant
[4] 8:10 Some manuscripts not even in Israel
[5] 8:28 Some manuscripts Gergesenes; some Gerasenes
[6] 8:28 Greek daimonizomai (demonized); also verse 33; elsewhere rendered oppressed by demons

Faith Isn't Belief Without Proof



Devo | Matthew 8

In this chapter of Matthew, we see Jesus perform many miracles. He is full of compassion toward the man with leprosy, to Peter's mother-in-law, and to several others. However, out of all of...

In this chapter of Matthew, we see Jesus perform many miracles. He is full of compassion toward the man with leprosy, to Peter's mother-in-law, and to several others. However, out of all of these stories, I am most in awe of the centurion, at whom Jesus marveled and said to those around Him, "Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith." (Matthew 8:10)   

All too often, when I find myself in difficult circumstances, my thoughts go to, "What do I need to do? How can I get out of this? Who can help me through this?" I think those things instead of running straight to the Lord as my rock and refuge that I can trust (Psalm 91:2). 

It is even more convicting when I think about who the centurion was. He was a Gentile and a Roman soldier and would have been one of the least likely people to trust Jesus. Yet, we see him in this story putting all of his trust in Jesus as he believed Jesus could heal his servant. Instead of talking about his worthiness or achievements as a centurion, he acknowledged Jesus as the One who was worthy and all-powerful. He came in humility and acknowledged Jesus' authority by faith.  

I desire to have the kind of faith that would cause Jesus to marvel. What keeps me from this? Usually my limited perspective plays a large part. I can get so caught up in the day-to-day things of this world that it causes my perspective to shift from the eternal to the temporal. 

One of my favorite things about serving at Watermark Urgent Care is the reminder of the importance of the eternal perspective (Colossians 3:2). Our patients come in to find physical healing, but we know that physical healing is temporary. The most important thing we can offer them is the truth of the gospel and how their spiritual healing is their deepest need. 

May we find true freedom as we keep our perspective on what really matters and live for Christ, loving and serving His people (Galatians 5:13).

Discussion Questions

1. What is it that keeps you from going all in and truly trusting God, especially in difficult times?

2. Based on your answer to Question 1, what Scripture can you memorize to remind you of truth in those moments?

3. Who in your life points you to truth and reminds you of where life is found? Consider calling them or sending a note of appreciation to them for their faithfulness in your life.  

4. If you are looking for a place to love and serve image bearers of Christ, come and see us at Watermark Urgent Care!

Meet Julie Goodale

Good morning, everyone! My name is Julie Goodale. I've been married to Tom for 18 years (in five days), and I'm mom to Kate (16) and Cole (13). In addition to those three, I'm so thankful to be on mission with our awesome community group and some of my favorite people ever at Watermark Urgent Care! Come join us if you would like a front row seat to all that God is choosing to do at the clinics! I'm excited to dive into Matthew 8 with you today! Let's go!

12 Comments available

Michael Scaman 9 days ago

“Faith based on nothing is a glorified prejudice” was the view of Louis Gerstner who was RC Sproul’s mentor referring to the idea of “a leap of faith”.

I think Biblical faith involves a 'leap toward the light" as John 3 speaks of the judgement being whether you love the light or the darkness.

I think it involves more than having the facts and accepting them because “even the demons believe and tremble”. It involves loving the truth, treasuring the truth and trusting. A fallen mind without grace will reject proof.

Thessalonians says “they did not receive the love of truth so as to be saved”. Grace changes what we treasure and take pleasure in Godward.

David Shelton 9 days ago

How many of us can fully rest in God, so much as to literally sleep during a crisis moment? Oh how little is my faith so often! Yet I am comforted that even though I fail far too often to have faith in Christ, like the disciples, and I worry and stress over things in life! Yet Christ meets me, even in my little faith, when I truly look to Him. He meets me with his peace like none other, my soul is filled with rest keeping my eyes on Him and my anxieties melt away. Then, “When peace like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know It is well, it is well, with my soul.”

David Shelton 9 days ago

The centurion’s faith was again demonstrated by Jesus in the storm (at verse 24) by him sleeping in the boat, when to all it seemed to be a life threatening crisis, Jesus knew nothing happens outside the Father’s will, and we can follow him in that faith. “And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep.” (Cont)

Robert Owens 9 days ago

Good morning, Julie,

The insight provided in your devotional today is remarkable and reveals multiple truths. The statement of Jesus, in his recognition of the faith of the centurion, provides an excellent rebuttal to the assertion of others when they say we believe … without proof.

Thank you. Robert Owens, Mason County

Linda Green 9 days ago

Yes, the centurion is a man of truly amazing faith. And it wasn’t even for himself that he came to Jesus, but for his servant! Not just amazing faith, but amazingly unselfish, compassionate faith.

What a marvelous chapter for WM Urgent Care- seeing the heart of Jesus to heal, as you are being the hands and feet of Jesus. Praying for soul healing through the Cross and Resurrection- what promises He has given us! Revelation 21:4, Jeremiah 17:14

Greg Jones 10 days ago

1/1

Focus on the centurion. Me too.

Viewing him through a Matthew6:22-23 lens I see a light and a health in him in how he sees Jesus. As a Roman centurion he would have held a higher social ranking than Jesus. He could have commanded Jesus to go with him to heal the servant. V7 I notice Jesus:”shall I come and heal him”[?] Centurion: no we’re equal, I’m not worthy to command you concerning this. The inside health/faith/light within, the centurion is revealed in how he sees and responds to Jesus. The light of Jesus is revealed in how he sees and responds to the man with leprosy, a social outcast unworthy to approach anyone due to uncleanliness/disease.

Greg Jones 10 days ago

2/2 If I were an original reader I might have focused more on the cost of following Jesus. He has no place to lay his head, let the dead bury the dead, vv18-22. Those verses seem to relate to vv28-34 where demons of two men living in tombs are cast into pigs, normally good swimmers, who drown themselves. Dead bury dead. Jesus is asked to leave-no place to rest. The cost of following Jesus is the lamp of the situation.

Or I might have first noticed Matthew puts the lamp of Jesus into the story of Jonahvv23-27. Jonah seems to be a poster child for how the eye’s view of something will reveal the condition of the heart, or a faith, where it is thought God’s finished work will leave us compared to where it leaves someone else,Matthew6:22-23.

Urgent Care, great lens to see and be seen through. Thank you.

Sue Bohlin 10 days ago

Thanks so much, Julie! I also love the story of the centurion, especially when I learn that this is the only time in scripture that Jesus marvels at anyone–it’s always the other way around! What a blessing for the man to be a blessing to God Himself!

Twice in this chapter Jesus reaches out and touches someone ill. Touching the leper would make Him ceremonially unclean, but loving the man was more important than protecting His clean status. Touching Peter’s mother-in-law showed His compassion and tenderness. That Jesus is willing to touch the sick and broken is such a sweet demonstration of the huge blessing of Emmanuel, God With Us.

What a great prayer for ourselves and others: “Lord, please touch me down here in this hole I’m in!” “Lord, please touch _____ where they are right now.”

Hugh Stephenson 11 days ago

3/3

Shane and Shane pray and praise the Living Water in the Valley of Dry Bones & the praise of Job, (ft John Piper).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOFZ14i4oRU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyUPz6_TciY

Got Qs on the Messianic Secret https://www.gotquestions.org/Messianic-secret.html

Hugh Stephenson 11 days ago

2/3

The fires of purification:

Friends lost. Family shutting me out. Criticism. Consistent temptation in the very toughest ways. Constant uncertainty. No more First-Class tickets or five-star hotels. Broken relationships with unsaved prodigal children. Years of fitful sleep worrying about condition/fate of children. No breaks. No time off from this journey.

For what?

A different kind of joy, (Hebrews 12:1-4):

The peace that passes understanding that has come slowly but consistently as I walked away from idols, (Philippians 4:6-7).

A yoke that is easy and a burden that is light, (Matthew 11:28-30).

A clear purpose and a plan that can use my gifts for my good and His glory, (Genesis 1:26-28, Jeremiah 29:11).

A life that is like the tree planted by the river, (Psalm 1:1-3)

The bread of life, (John 6:35).

The water that quenches my thirst for Him, (John 4:14).

And more than 30,000 other promises.

Hugh Stephenson 11 days ago

1/3

Wow Julie. Awesome devo. Love this, “I desire to have the kind of faith that would cause Jesus to marvel.”.

Love your observation that the Centurion was the least likely to be a Jesus follower.

So, Jesus is hanging around Capernaum and I hear about the healings and the miracles. I am intrigued.

I can get healed of all manner of sin, addiction, fear, anxiety etc without cost, obligation or a requirement to do or say anything hard or controversial. A ministry of ease and comfort staying in five-star hotels and having a large buffet for supper each night. No scary things happen. Any demons get cast out with a word or a touch. All this with convenient office hours and time off for family leave and other obligations.

Even a cursory perusal of this chapter blows up my “imagined world”.

So does my real life since 2013.

Michael Scaman 12 days ago

Jesus finished the Sermon on the Mount and then immediately following Jesus heals a leper touching, holding onto the man. Jesus helps the servant of a man with many servants, a gentile Centurion.

Jesus assures us his way may not be comfortable, but is worth it. So much so when our wills cross God’s will we should regularly choose God’s will, and that will often be before other people.

He calms a mind boggling physical storm. He calms a mind boggling personal storm.

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