When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with him, "Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain."
Jesus said, "I will come and heal him."
But the officer said, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, 'Go,' and they go, or 'Come,' and they come. And if I say to my slaves, 'Do this,' they do it."
— Matthew 8:5-9 NLT
Authority comes in all shapes and sizes. It can be earned, it can be given by title or position, it can be coveted, or it can be seized, but only one truly has, will have, and has always had ultimate authority. Like so often today, it takes someone who has handled authority with character to truly recognize someone else with authority. The Roman officer recognizes authority when he sees it. He is under the authority of superiors. He commands authority over those under his rule. In Jesus, he recognizes authority in a way that none other he has met possesses. He comes to Jesus to ask him to do for a beloved servant what no other can do. This powerful man reminds us that it is not just the weak who see Jesus as Savior, but the strong and powerful as well. It is not just the Jew who searches for the Messiah, but the God-fearing Gentile, too!
Almighty, incomparable, and authoritative God, I trust in your truth, your will, and your power for everything. Open my heart to your guidance so that I might live as one under your authority and exercise the authority that I am given with integrity, care, and honor. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Matthew 28:18-20
- Matthew 9:5-8
- 1 Timothy 2:5-6
Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Saturday, April 3, 2021
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.