Daily D – Matthew 8:8
Matthew 8:8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.” (NIV)
Words have power to build up and to tear down. Let us endeavor to make every word a gift. (Matthew 8:8; Ephesians 4:29)
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel famously said, “Words create worlds.” This was true in Genesis 1. It is true today.
Here’s an icebreaker for your next training event: What is the kindest thing anyone ever said to you?
A marriage counselor asked couples to complete this exercise: Write down three things you like about your spouse. Read those to one another.
As important as these three thoughts are, it is even more important to avoid listing the three things you do not like about your spouse. The reasons are obvious.
Read Matthew 8 from top to bottom. Notice what you see, or better yet, what you hear. Verse 8 above provides the heart of the chapter. Someone from outside of the Jewish faith tribe come up with one of the most memorable lines in the Gospels.
_The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.”_
“Just say the word.” This is maturing faith. But does it work?
Take a look at verse 3. Jesus said, “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.
Jesus’ response to the centurion is found in verse 13: “Then Jesus said to the centurion, ‘Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.’ And his servant was healed at that moment.”
Jesus’ words calmed a storm so threatening the seasoned fishermen were afraid they would drown. They woke Jesus and told them their fears. “He replied, ‘You of little faith, why are you so afraid?’ Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.”
The last story in the chapter is about two demon-possessed men who confronted Jesus. “The demons begged Jesus, ‘If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.’ He said to them, ‘Go!’ So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water.”
– Words healed leprosy (verse 3).
– Words healed a paralyzed and suffering servant at a distance (verse 13).
– Words drove demons out of people (verses 16 and 32).
– Words calmed a storm (verse 26).
Jesus, empowered by the Holy Spirit, was able to create new worlds, new possibilities, new chapters, and new conclusions.
As you seek the filling and empowering direction of the Holy Spirit, he will use your words to bless and heal, to strengthen and comfort. What will you say today that will give life?
I will speak words that are gifts to those who hear them.
Our Father, place your thoughts in my mind and your words in my mouth. Empower me to communicate grace and truth that edifies and encourages. Amen.
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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.