Monday, July 13, 2015

Just The Word

After my early morning walk, I settled in with my Bible and coffee.  I am reading the book of Matthew, and I have really been asking God for a renewed passion for His Word.  One thing I am doing more frequently, is putting down the electronics and pulling my actual Bible off of the shelf.  Call me antiquated, but I love feeling the pages between my fingers and the sound they make as they turn. I get some strange happiness from underlining and highlighting with actual ink vessels rather than the touch of my fingertip.  Perhaps, it makes me feel closer to the text.  

But I digress....

Matthew is quite full of Christ's actual spoken words.  I get a thrill reading these red letters and understanding that these were the words my Savior spoke.  If I really focus on each phrase and sentence, I feel as though I am gem mining and locating treasures hidden beneath the letters.

One such treasure really grasped my mind this morning.  In Matthew chapter 8 beginning in verse 5 is the story of the Centurion and his servant's healing.  This little bit of gold takes place in only 9 verses, but I found it priceless.  I read and re-read and thought about some pretty fantastic things.  

I was moved that this man felt compelled to beseech  Jesus.  Beseech is a pretty forceful word.  The basic definition indicates that beseech is to make an urgent appeal.  This man was urgently, single mindedly beseeching Christ for help.  I was immediately reminded how I felt when I went from doctor to doctor pleading for information, referrals, and help to solve the mysteries of my husband's disease.  I know beseeching in a deeply personal way.  I can clearly recall the times that Kevin and I held hands and besought our God for help, comfort, and wisdom.  I know beseeching, and I know that this man was in a desperate state to find help. 

But he wasn't searching for his wife, his child, or any relative.  He was desperately looking for help on behalf of his servant.  This pierced my heart.  I find it beautiful that this man was so concerned about his employee.  I think it speaks volumes of his character and love.   I couldn't help but look introspectively and question my own willingness to desperately look for divine help for another person that wasn't in my immediate family.  Have I besought Christ on the behalf of another that has only limited ties to me?  Does my heart long to find help for others outside of my circle? 

And then, when the man found Jesus-the one he was desperate to find, He was satisfied to rely only on words.  His humble thoughts to Christ follow:
"I am not worthy that You should come under my roof; but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed."
He basically said to just give him a word.  He only needed a word!  He knew that the power before Him was The Most High.  He trusted that just being in His presence was enough.  His faith sent him beseeching, and his faith became sight and reassured Him that the Word was enough.

And, The Word was enough.  

Is the Word enough for me?  Is my faith strong enough to enjoy the richness of the Word?  Do I share the desperation for the Word of my Savior with this Centurion?  Will Jesus look me full in the face and say these words that he spoke that day?
"I have not found so great a faith, no, not one in Israel."

The Word was enough. Jesus assures this believer that truly this man had found what he was desperately seeking.  He shares a few more moments with this man and gives him answered hope.
"Go your way; and as you have believed, so be it done unto you."
And, Matthew tells us that the servant was healed in the selfsame hour.  The selfsame hour that The Word spoke, the blessing was granted.

Oh God, I pray that your Word will always be the first thing I seek.  I pray for a similar faith found in my fellow believer, The Centurion.  I pray that I would know in deeper, truer ways the power of Your Word, and that I will be compelled to ever dive deeper. 

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