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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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.