Faith and Authority (Luke 7:1-10)

In this lesson we will look at the connection between faith and authority. The passage that we will use is the healing of the centurion’s servant.

Right after the sermon on the mount Jesus enters into Capernaum. There was a Roman centurion whose servant was sick. He had heard of Jesus and he sent the elders of the Jews to Jesus to ask him to heal his servant. The Jews told Jesus that this man was worthy of the miracle because he had built them a synagogue and loved the nation.

While Jesus in on the way to the centurion’s house he is met by some friends of the centurion. The centurion has instructed them to tell Jesus that he is not worthy for him to enter his house but if he would only speak the word that his servant would be healed.

Jesus then marveled at the words of the man and made a profound statement in regards to this man’s faith.

Luke 7:9When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

When the friends of the centurion returned to the house they found that Jesus had healed the servant.

It is an amazing fact that Jesus marveled at the centurion. But what did he marvel at? He marveled at his faith. The key to understanding this is found in the reason that the centurion gave Jesus for why he was not worthy for him to come under his roof.

In verse 8 he said that he also was a man set under authority. We see two important things in this statement. The first one is that he is identifying Jesus as God son. Jesus is under authority of God but he also has authority from God to do these miracles. As a man having authority and being under authority he understands the concept of authority. He did not need Jesus to come to his house and perform the miracle he simply needed him to give the command and he would do whatever Jesus said. This is what Israel had missed and that is why Jesus said he had not found so great faith in Israel.

We can see faith and authority connected by the example of the Centurion :

1)  He heard and believed (verse 2)

  • Here we see his faith.
  • Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17)

2)  He humbled himself (verse 6)

  • He we see his recognition of authority.
  • One of the main reasons that we have a problem with authority is because being in subjection to authority take humbling ourselves.

3)  He trusted the spoken word (verse 7)

  • Here we see humility and faith come together.

How can we apply this to us today?

When we have trouble with authority whether it be the authority of God, a boss, a parent, a pastor, a husband etc. it is showing a lack of faith. The word of God tells us that these things are our authority and that we should submit to them. One of the problems with authority is that it takes faith sometimes to follow that authority. If we would examine the situation we might find that our problem with authority is really a lack of faith. Let us trust God and submit to the authority that he has placed in our lives.

 

Faith and Authority (Luke 7:1-10)

Handout

 

1)  What is happening in the passage?

 

2)  What is the reason that Jesus marveled at the centurion?

 

3)  How do we see the connection between faith and authority with this man?

 

4)  How can we apply this to ourselves?