Words of Jesus – Before We Ask…

When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with Him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.”

Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.”

~ Matthew 8:5-7 — NLT ~

I really do love this scripture, and all that the Lord reveals to us in it. When I first began to write about this encounter of the centurion and Jesus, I thought I would just write a simple post about the great faith of the centurion, and as great as that is, the Lord has revealed so much more to me in this passage. Let’s examine these verses…

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When Jesus returned to Capernaum, (the place where His ministry was located, and the place where He performed many miracles, signs and wonders) He was approached by a Roman officer, who said to Him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.” Look closely at this conversation between Jesus and the Roman centurion.

Do you see a question mark at the end of the centurion’s statement? Certainly, it is obvious that the centurion was concerned about his servant, by the way he humbly and reverently approached Jesus. And yes, it seems evident that the centurion wanted Jesus to heal his servant. But here is what made my heart pound… Immediately after the centurion told Him about his servant’s terrible pain and paralysis, Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.” 

There it is! Before the Roman centurion even asked Jesus to help him, Jesus answered his prayer. Brothers and sisters, there’s a lesson in this story for each of us… By answering the centurion before he even asked the Lord, Jesus fulfilled a prophesy made to the children of God.

I will answer them before they even call to Me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!

~ Isaiah 65:24 — NLT ~

What a great love God has for us! Of course, we all know that God is omniscient, which is defined this way in dictionary.com

having complete or unlimited knowledge, awareness, or understanding; perceiving all things.

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Jesus already knew and understood what the centurion wanted before he even approached him, and knowing this, He answered the man’s prayer before it was even uttered. Beloved, isn’t it comforting to know that God has the answer to our prayers before we even pronounce them? Do you know what else I find comforting? Look at the man whose prayers were answered. He was a Roman… and not just a Roman citizen, but a centurion — one who was an officer — a leader of the cruel soldiers who made life so miserable for the Jews.

The scripture from Isaiah 65 was written to children of God, and Jesus fulfilled that prophesy through a Roman centurion. Therefore, the centurion, though he was a Roman, must have been a child of God, just as I, though I am also a gentile, am a child of God…

29 After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn’t He also the God of the Gentiles? Of course He is. 30 There is only one God, and He makes people right with Himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles.

~ Romans 3:29-30 — NLT ~

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As I continue to study this encounter of the Roman centurion and Jesus, I can’t stop the hope that wells up within me. You see, for more than 2 ½ — 3 years, I have suffered from chronic acute back pain, which, though painful, was somewhat tolerable when it first began (much more than 2 ½ — 3 years ago), because it wasn’t yet constant, and it wasn’t always acute. However, as time wore on, the pain became both chronic and acute, and it has also become intolerable. Whereas prior to the onset of the chronic and acute pain, I only suffered periodically, I now suffer pain constantly, only periodically finding relief. 

On top of that, due to the constant battle with pain that just won’t let up, I don’t get out as much as I once did. I used to be in church several times a week, teaching, dancing, often kneeling or lying prostrate before the Lord, but now I often can’t even make it to church, which breaks my heart. And I certainly can no longer kneel or fall to my face before my Lord and Savior. To be perfectly honest with you, the constant pain has rendered me unable to work as well, and the loss of so many important things in my life, including the death of my mother a few months ago has left me discouraged and desperately battling depression. 

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I praise God for giving me this blog so that I can share what He has placed in my heart, as He allows me to minister to others. I also give Him all the praise, all the glory, and all of the honor, because by giving me this gift of writing, He has given me an outlet to release some of the emotional pain that wells up in me. Still, with all of the pain medication that I take, which frequently changes, as the doctor seeks to provide me with some relief from the pain, I am often unable to write, much as I long to do so. In fact, I have been working on this post since around 11:00pm last night, (it’s now nearly midnight, the following night), but I keep dozing off, because my medication has been changed yet again, and until I get used to it, I will battle with drowsiness. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve dozed off with my fingers still on the keyboard today, while trying to write this post. (All glory goes to God if it makes any sense and if it blesses anyone, because I am unable to focus or stay awake for more than a few minutes at a time!)

Nonetheless, as I read this scripture passage yet again tonight, despite my drowsiness, I can’t help but rejoice as read these words…

When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with Him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.”

Jesus said, I will come and heal him.”

Matthew 8:5-7 — NLT ~

You see, my beloved readers, Jesus loves me just as much as He loved that Roman centurion, and He loves you just as much too! Therefore, knowing this, I am encouraged. If He doesn’t choose to relieve my terrible pain at this time, I trust that He has a good reason for allowing me to endure it, and I will trust Him with all of my heart. Even though this pain and suffering makes no sense to me, I will endure it, knowing that He causes all things to work together for my good, because I love Him and I am called according to His purpose. And I know that at just the right time, (because His timing is always perfect), He will speak the word, and I will be healed in Jesus’ name!

May the Lord bless each one of  you, and may He bring healing, hope, salvation and deliverance to each one who reads this post, in Jesus’ name, just as He did for the centurion. And remember, that the same Christ who answered the centurion’s prayer before he even asked, is still alive, and He has the answer to your prayers as well…

In closing, remember these words that the Lord God Almighty spoke to His children through the prophet, Jeremiah…

‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

~ Jeremiah 33:3 — NKJV ~

© 2013 Cheryl A. Showers

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