Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! As you have believed, so will it be done for you.” And his servant was healed at that very hour. (Matthew 8:13)

Jesus was astonished by someone’s faith in Him. In this case, a God-fearing Roman centurion asked Jesus to heal his sick servant. Jesus told the centurion that He’d go to his home to heal the man, but the soldier replied, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed.”(see Matthew 8:8)

Jesus had been among the Jewish people as he taught and healed. Some had believed, but many doubted. The leaders among His own race felt particularly threatened, and they later plotted to kill Him. But here was a Roman officer who believed that Jesus’s power was so immense that He didn’t even have to see or touch his servant to heal. His faith amazed Jesus.

What did the Roman see in Christ that others didn’t see? Why was his faith so strong? The centurion explained that he understood the nature of authority because he exercised it in the military world (see Matthew 8:9). His experience gave him insight into God’s authority, so the centurion felt sure that Jesus had the authority to heal his servant; or do anything else for the matter from a distance.

In each of our lives, God has given us experiences to help us to believe Him more fully. For some, it’s authority; its mercy, and kindness. All of us can look for patterns of past experiences that strengthen present faith.