Take Jesus at His Word (Matthew 8:8–9) - Radical

Take Jesus at His Word (Matthew 8:8–9)

“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, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
– Matthew 8:8–9

What a picture of trust in Jesus, of faith, Matthew 8:8–9 are. The centurion comes to Jesus, says, “My servant is paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” Jesus says, “Okay, I will come and heal him.” The centurion says, “You don’t even have to come. Just say it, just speak, and my servant will be healed.” And Jesus is astonished. The rest of the story goes on. He says, “With no one in Israel have I found such faith,” ends up saying to the centurion, “Go, it will be done to you just as you’ve believed.” And his servant was healed at that very moment.

Do you long for the faith of the centurion? Let’s pray to God that He will help us to trust in His Word.

This Verse Asks For Faith In God

Don’t you want to take Jesus at his word like this? Don’t you want to trust his authority like this, to believe his power like this, to have faith like this when we face challenges in our lives? And not just in our lives, the whole picture here is someone coming to Jesus on behalf of someone else in need, to pray with this kind of faith before Jesus for those in need, and to believe that Jesus has power, has authority over all things. He has authority over sickness. He has authority over sin in all these pictures of authority that we see in Jesus’s life, in the Gospel of Matthew. This centurion realizes if Jesus just says the word, it will be.

So, God, we ask that you would help us to have faith like this, to take you at your word, to believe, just practically, when we share the Gospel today, that your word will show power to bring people from death to life.

God, I praise you for the privilege I have recently just had to share the Gospel. And as I speak this word, this person says, “Yes. I believe,” and they go from death to life. Your word has power, God. Help us to believe that. Help us to share the Gospel like we believe that today.

Matthew 8:8–9 Prays For People Who Are Suffering

God, as we intercede for those in need, we pray, trusting your power, your authority, and your wisdom. We think about those who are suffering, who are hurting around us, Jesus, we know you speak and they will be healed. So we pray, we ask for that way. We ask in faith for that, for those surrounded by or are struggling with cancer, for people who are hurting, who are in need of relief. God, we pray for those who are suffering terribly, please, we pray, you have power to heal.

At the same time, we pray that we know you have wisdom as well, far beyond our wisdom, and sometimes, just like we see in other places in Scripture, you choose not to show your power in that way. Instead, you show your power in sustenance amidst suffering, in joy in the middle of suffering. So God, we pray for those things.

God, we pray … God, we’ve been praying just day after day for people groups in Pakistan who have not yet been reached by the Gospel. I think about the Lohar today. Oh God, over two million of them, two million Lohar, as far as we know, no followers of Christ among them, Muslim Lohars in Pakistan. Lord, that seems to be the refrain for so many people groups in Pakistan, so many millions of Muslim people.

This Verse Wants Us To Call Out To The Unreached

God, please, please, please, you have authority to change that. Jesus, call out somebody to go. Call out many people to go to the unreached people groups of Pakistan. Cause your Gospel to spread their, we pray. Cause Lohar and other Muslim people groups to trust in Christ in Pakistan. Please, oh God, we pray.

God, we don’t just lift up our words in prayer like empty phrases, just kind of talking to the ceiling. We know you are listening, and we know you have power to act. We know you have power to respond, so help us to pray in faith. Help us not just to talk and to kind of go through religious motion. God, as we pray right now, as we pray throughout the day, as we pray for others, as we pray for needs in our lives, we pray that we would realize who you are.

Jesus, you are the king with all authority in heaven and on Earth. You have authority over nature and nations. You have authority over disease and sin and death. And you have authority over everything. And so, we look to you. We lift our requests to you. And we trust you with them all. We trust your word, your promise for you to be faithful to your promise, for you to show your provision and your power on behalf of your people.

Matthew 8:8–9 Praises God For The Privilege Of Prayer

Oh, God, we praise you for the privilege of prayer. And we pray that you would help us to pray in faith, help us to live with faith in you, like the centurion, even more so than the centurion, because we have more reason to trust in you in light of what we know, and the cross, and your resurrection from the grave, your ascension to heaven, your ministry of intercession right now for us.

Oh, we trust in you. We look to you with faith. And we pray that you would help us to grow in this faith. In your name, in the precious, powerful, authoritative name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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