Vol.II No.V Pg.1
June 1965

He Understood "Authority"

Robert F. Turner

When a Roman soldier asked Jesus to cure his palsied servant, who was "grievously tormented," Jesus said He would come and heal him. (Matt.8: 5-f)

The Centurion said, "Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me; and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it."

This man understood authority. He was both subject to and a possessor of authority. He realized the import of power in a given field, and recognized the validity of Christ's position in the realm of healing. It was like his own authority with reference to men under him -- absolute.

The centurion knew that the personal presence of Jesus was not necessary. Forces of nature, like the demons of Satan's kingdom, bowed to a stronger force than themselves. There is power in His word. With the Father He spoke the world into existence. He stilled the sea with "Peace!" And now "Speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed." He understood authority, and was humbled in its presence. Not frightened; not condescending in hypocrisy; but truly humbled because he did understand authority. "I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof."

How wonderfully blessed we would be if we would so understand divine authority; and understanding, respect it. God's word, so accepted, would end foolish strife. We would hasten to measure our practice by that word, for we would want nothing more than to speak where the Bible speaks, and be silent where the Bible is silent. "The word only" would be more respected than "the majority of churches in Texas" or anywhere else.

Lip service to God's word would give place to honest soul-searching, and willingness to "give an answer" to those who ask a reason of the hope within us. In this vein, "Anti!" or "Liberal" would not pass for argument.