The Berean Expositor
Volume 48 - Page 77 of 181
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Matt. 8: 1 - 15 (continued).
pp. 225 - 228
It is remarkable how much teaching lies beneath the words and selection of incidents
that the Holy Spirit has guided the writers of the Gospels into recording from our Lord's
ministry. Before reading this article it would be profitable to go over again the previous
one that displayed the features linking these three miracles.
Great faith can dispense with all means and accessories, and can rely on "the word
only". It was faith indeed on the leper's part to say to the Lord, "if thou wilt, thou canst",
but it was greater faith for the centurion to dare to decline the personal visit of the Lord
and rest confidently in His spoken word. We suggest that he recognized Christ as the
Sent One, because of his added explanation. He said more than the A.V. records; not
merely did he say, "for I am a man under authority", but he said, "for I ALSO am a man
under authority". The fact that he was under authority gave authority to his words; he
said to a soldier, "Go, and he goeth", and the authority under which he himself was
placed gave, in its turn, all the weight to his commands. So with the Lord, He spoke not
His own words, but the Father's; the works He did He declared were not His, but the
Father's that sent Him. The whole of John's Gospel rings with the fact that Christ was
the Sent One. The healing of the centurion's servant was John 5: 24 in tableau,
"He that heareth My word (`speak the word only'), and believeth on Him that sent Me
(`for I also am a man under authority'), hath everlasting life."
The words of Christ that follow show that the miracle was connected, in some way at
least, with teaching:--
"I say unto you that many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with
Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, but the children of the
kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of
teeth" (Matt. 8: 11, 12).
The centurion's faith was real and strong, for the Lord said:--
"Go thy way, and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee, and his servant was
healed in the selfsame hour" (Matt. 8: 13).
The parallel record in Luke 7: 1-10 should be read. The Companion Bible considers
this a second miracle of healing, suggesting that the Lord had blessed the centurion
before (Matt. 8: 12, 13), i.e., before the calling of the twelve in Matt. 10: 1, etc. The
second healing of the centurion's bondman took place after the calling of the twelve
(Luke 6: 13-16). It must be remembered that Matthew selects his items with a view to
the object of his gospel, and nowhere claims that historical order is maintained. Luke,
however, does claim that he writes "in order", and we take Luke's record of any incident
to be the true historical order of its happening. Many have found a "discrepancy" in the
fact that whereas Matt. 5:-7: was evidently spoken on a mountain, Luke 6: 17 says
that a body of teaching of exactly the same character was spoken "in the plain". "There",