His servant was lying at home sick and near death. Jesus had agreed to come and heal him, but the army officer knew it wasn’t necessary for Jesus to go to his house for that to happen. He understood authority. According to the narrative, he said to Jesus, “Lord, I’m not good enough for you to come into my house. Just give the order, and my servant will get well. I have officers who give orders to me, and I have soldiers who take orders from me. I can say to one of them, ‘Go!’ and he goes. I can say to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes. I can say to my servant, ‘Do this!’ and he will do it” (Matthew 8:8-9, CEV).
The narrative continues, “When Jesus heard this, He was so surprised that He turned and said to the crowd following him, ‘I tell you that in all of Israel I’ve never found anyone with this much faith'” (v. 10). After a few more words to the crowd, Jesus said to the officer, ‘You may go home now. Your faith has made it happen'” (v. 13a). Matthew tells us then that a remarkable thing happened: “Right then his servant was healed” (v. 13b). Jesus had honoured the officer’s faith.
“Lord . . . just give the order, and my servant will get well.” Or as Luke puts it, “Just speak a word from where you are” (Luke 7:7, TLB). Almost two thousand years ago, the officer knew something that so many of us today have still yet to realize and appreciate – that one word from God is all we need. Though we sometimes pray for Him to “come down and intervene,” it is not always necessary for Him to come to where we are. One word from Him, from where He is, is enough to change our circumstances. One word from God can turn sicknesses into health, brokenness into wholeness, our mess into messages and our tests into testimonies. One word from God can change the world.
It is easy to forget that it was the word of God that brought everything into existence. The psalmist reminds us, “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made . . . For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast” (Psalm 33:6a, 8-9, NKJV). When the earth was without form and void and covered in darkness, it was then that God spoke and everything changed (Genesis 1). So much so that when “God saw everything that He had made . . . it was very good and He validated it completely” (Genesis 1:31, AMP). This is the same God we serve. He still has the same power and authority. One word from Him is all that you and I need to change our lives.