And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well.
A centurion’s servant is near death. He sends Jewish elders to ask Jesus to help. Do you notice the reason the elders say He should come? Verse 4: “He is worthy to have you do this for him.” They say he loves the Jews; he even paid to have a synagogue built.
Jesus, not commenting on whether or not the centurion is worthy, accompanies the elders. When the centurion learns that Jesus is on His way, he sends another delegation, this one of his friends. He has them tell Jesus, “Don’t trouble yourself! I am not worthy to have you come under my roof.” He denies what the elders said! “Therefore I did not presume to come to you.” The New American Standard Bible is more literal here. He says, “I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you” – the same idea again. The repetition makes the emphasis strong: “I am not worthy!”
Let’s pause in the story there. Faith sees its own unworthiness. Don’t be fooled by those who say about you, “He’s a good guy. She’s a good woman. She deserves so much.” You don’t deserve so much. Neither do I. If I get what I deserve, I will end up in hell.
In reply to the question “How are you?” C.J. Mahaney is fond of saying, “Better than I deserve.”
You too are by nature a child of wrath. You too have sinned again and again against God, diminishing His glory. Even today, even this morning, even while singing “You are more than enough,” you have not loved God with all your heart.
I am unworthy of Jesus. You are unworthy of Jesus.
True faith sees its own unworthiness. Do you see yours?