APR 21

Matthew 8:5-10
Memorise Hebrews 10:24
"…therefore encourage one another and build up one another up, just as you are doing"


Christ made an extraordinary statement in our passage of the day. He commended the centurion as having faith that is greater than any other in all of Israel. This meant the centurion had faith greater than even Mary the mother of Christ and even His disciples. Why was the faith of this centurion so great? Firstly, the centurion was a Gentile and that meant that he did not possess the knowledge of God’s Word that the Jews of Israel did. The Jews had the Old Testament, whereas the Gentiles did not. Hence the centurion’s faith must have been based merely from the brief encounters and opportunities he had in the presence of Christ to hear Him speak. He knew little about God but yet, he believed that Christ was the Lord and was somehow able to save his servant. Secondly, the centurion did not ask for a sign like how the Jews often did. He did not ask for Christ to prove His power. Christ’s Word was sufficient for him. In fact, he didn’t even need Christ to come with Him to heal his servant. All the centurion needed of Christ was a verbal assurance and the centurion believed that that was sufficient for Christ to heal his servant. Truly, the centurion had great faith in Christ. He believed that He was the Son of God. Christ commended the faith of the centurion openly. Christ praised Him.

Unfortunately, many of us are not forthcoming in giving praise to others. We are quick to judge and condemn, but when it comes to giving others commendation, it is far and few. Christ has set us the example. Christ did not keep back the honour that was due unto the centurion. Christ is never reluctant when it comes to commending those who deserve it. Likewise, Christ will not withhold any praise that is due unto us if we are faithful ourselves. James 1:12 tells us that there are crowns reserved for the faithful. These are crowns and commendations that will last for all eternity. Just as God commends us freely, we too should be generous in our praise of others. When we see others living faithfully, we should praise them and even speak well about them to others too. Such commendation encourages them in their faith especially when they are experiencing some trials. Praise lifts their hearts. However, praise must be based on truth. We must never praise when there is no reason to. That is called flattery and God condemns that.   

Thought: When was the last time you praised someone for his faith?
Prayer: Father, help me to be generous to others like You.