Text: Matthew 8:5-13
Memorize: “For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I say to this one, ‘Go’ and he goes, and to another ‘Come’ and he comes, and to my slave ‘Do this’ and he does it.” Matthew 8:9 NET
Read the soldier’s oath upon enlistment in the American military:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
The military is a hierarchy. Boot camp ensures that the recruit obeys his superiors immediately, without question.
The centurion, an important officer in the Roman army, knew that his authority over his soldiers came from his own obedience to his superiors. He saw this same truth in Jesus. He knew that Jesus had the power to heal his servant with a word, because he saw the same rigorous submission in Christ to the Father that he had to his superiors.
It was this perception that gained him Jesus’ admiration and the granting of his request.
Power comes from submission. This is no military secret. But it seems to be a spiritual secret to many.
Word Cue : Authority (Gr., exousia). Authority is the right to exercise power. “There is no moral virtue in obedience unless there is a recognition of a higher authority in the one who dictates” (Oswald Chambers).
Prayer: God Almighty, help me to learn obedience, as Jesus did, that I might be perfected as a mature child of yours and be given the power, by submission to your will, to serve others and change lives. Amen.
Action Question: What is my attitude toward obeying authority? In what areas do I need to submit completely to God?