DAY 333 OF 365 IN 2021
In our Gospel text today, we are introduced to a centurion whose response to an offer from Jesus left Him so marvelled that He describes the centurions faith as ‘exemplar’, out of the ordinary. These were the the words recorded in scripture:
'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. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” (Matthew 8:8-9)
For most of us then, fear would seem the most reasonable driver for the prompt execution of every command issued by the centurion. However, if we aren’t cautious, we might end up taking for granted what those words of the centurion entails. In fact, we could take it at such a superficial level that we actually fail to grasp what keys were presented to us in that short record between him and Jesus.
Beloved, the very fact that he could expect a specific response from certain people was not simply because he possessed authority, and was feared, it would also involve acknowledging the authority he wielded, and respect for its wielder.
Let’s take this a step further, it takes more than having authority for others to respect the office and the powers wielded by another. Look at it this way, there is a way authority can be wielded to guarantee that it has a desired impact on the relationships one builds with others. A way that ensures that fear of punishment does not become the main drive behind the completion of tasks.
One must garner ‘respect’ when in a place of authority because in the longer term, authority that is respected will produce better results than one that is feared. For in the latter, a rebellion is never far behind.