True faith

Matthew 5:8

Our Lord did not heal the centurion’s servant at once; He delays. He will allow time for the play and energy of faith. What were the characters of the centurion’s faith?

1. His faith must have been a thing of gradual growth, and it must have grown under no ordinary conditions. He was a heathen. Many a man in his position would have looked at the religion around him with lack of sympathy. But he had come to see that though the Romans were better than the Jews in courage, the Jews were in possession of a higher faith. One step leads to another. He took interest in the religion of Israel: then led to notice the fame of Jesus. No help came to him from the memories of youth. When adverse circumstances do not kill faith, they brace it.

2. His faith was marked by thoroughness. No flaws in it at a critical hour.

3. His faith was characterized by humility. Alive to the awful majesty of God.

The question has been asked, Why should such a disposition and effort as faith have this power?

1. One reason of the religious power of faith is that it implies knowledge of facts of the highest importance to man.

2. It is a test or criterion of the predominant disposition of the soul or character. The believer has moral affinities with the revelation. The habit of insincerity is fatal to faith.

3. The third reason for the religious power of faith is its leverage. It sets the soul in motion, it embodies the element of will. Here a caution is necessary. Faith does not create, but apprehends its object. The healing power of Jesus is not dependent upon the centurion’s faith, although exerted as a token of approval of it. Let us pray for the faith of the centurion, persevering, thorough, humble. (Canon Liddon.)