THE WEEK OF EPIPHANY III – SATURDAY
LESSON: 1 THESSALONIANS 2:13-16
When Jesus heard him, he marveled, and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” Matthew 8:10
The words of Jesus to the centurion have caused no end of trouble to the commentators. They have raised the question whether Jesus really told the truth in these words. On the basis of these words, one would have to infer that the mother of Jesus and His apostles were inferior to this centurion.
I would like to point out here that Christ is speaking of the people of Israel to whom He had preached and to whom He had come, and that His mother and apostles are really excluded because they were normally a part of His company. Nevertheless I will still stick quite simply to the words of the Lord and take them just as they read.
It is not contrary to any article of the faith to believe that the faith of this centurion did not have any parallel among the apostles or even in the faith of God’s mother. Where Christ’s words do not conflict openly with an article of faith, we must allow them to stand just as they read, and not twist them or guide them by our expositions and interpretations, not even for the sake of a saint, or an angel, or even for God’s own sake. For God’s Word is the very truth above all saints and angels.
PRAYER: Your Word, O God, is the truth and the whole truth. Grant us, at all times, such a faith that we trust you fully in your Word and derive from it the full confidence of salvation in and through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.