Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Marching orders

It’s often hard to take orders from someone, especially when you feel that person isn’t worthy to be obeyed. My experience in the army has taught me that the best leaders are the one’s who were once ‘grunts’, low-ranking soldiers who have had their experience of receiving orders, as well as scoldings and punishments. I remember people like Sargeant Johnson and LCol O'Brien. I'd go to war any day with these men and so would anyone in our company. They've been there, out in the rain, blistering their feet. We'll do whatever they say because their experience has earned our respect. They lead well because they once followed well.

A centurion beseeched Jesus to heal his beloved servant, and all that he required Jesus to do was to say the word and it would be done. Here is a man who understood authority, who was convinced that Jesus was willing and fully capable or entertaining his request. Because of Jesus’ authority, all that was needed was his word, and it would be done. Jesus had already proved himself to be worthy and completely dependable; he is infinitely worthy of respect and faithful obedience.

Is Jesus’ word enough for me to obey? Do I enthrone the power of Jesus’ command such that his word becomes my will? To the centurion, the severity of his servant’s sickness and the Lord’s physical presence at his house were inconsequential. It doesn't matter how sick he is, it doesn't matter if you come to my house or not (though I rather you do not because I am not worthy). Just say the word! And Jesus commended the Centurion's faith. Our biggest problem is not that we do not hear properly, but that we do not believe. God is only hindered in as much as we do not take him at his word.

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