I was impressed last night, again, by the great faith of the Centurion in Luke 7 who clearly saw himself as unworthy in the light of the great authority of Jesus. It’s interesting to me that the word for “authority” in Luke 7.8 (exousia) is exactly the same word most often translated “power” (ex., Lk. 4.6), identifying Jesus’ ability to accomplish whatever He desires.
I tried to think about what that would look like today. If I had access to our President, a man of great authority/power, and could say, through a couple of advocates close to him, “Mr. President, I know you have the power to erase this parking ticket, would you please do so?” what an incredible power I would have at my fingertips. Imagine I was on death row and made the same appeal knowing he had the power to give me life by pardoning me; what an incredible gratefulness and, maybe even, allegiance I would feel if I could acquire such mercy and grace. And what if I had access, not through some advocate, but by simply picking up the prison telephone?
Then it struck me: I have direct access to an even greater power in Jesus Christ. He provides the power for me to live FREE, unchained from the grips of sin, addiction, sorrow, and the like. Why don’t I access that power when it is as easy as simply asking, without the intermediary? What would I be willing to ask Him to do? So it isn’t really surprising to read that Jesus was able to say about the Centurion, “I have not found such great faith in Israel.” Can he find that kind of great faith in me? I’m working toward that goal.