Richard Roberts

Only twice in the Bible does Jesus use the word “great” to describe the faith of a person. The first time is with reference to a Roman centurion ― a man who sought out Jesus for the healing of a young man under his leadership. “And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.” The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed” (Matthew 8:7–8). Jesus responded, “Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel” (Matthew 8:10).

The second time Jesus used the word “great” to describe faith was in reference to a Syro-Phoenician woman who came to Jesus to ask for healing of her daughter, who was “grievously vexed with a devil” (Matthew 15:22). No matter what Jesus said to her to try to test her faith, she remained solid in her request. Finally Jesus said, “O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt” (Matthew 15:28).

Both of these people had great faith that Jesus not only could, but would, answer their requests. Distance didn’t matter to either of them ― they both believed that the “word” of Jesus was enough to heal them, that Jesus has command over the entire spiritual realm. Both of them came to Jesus knowing that they couldn’t do anything by themselves; they knew they needed Jesus more than anything or anyone else! They put all their trust in Him. And Jesus called their faith “great.”

May the faith we have today be “great” like that of the centurion and the Syro-Phoenician woman!

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