12th Week in Ord. Time, Saturday – 27th June 2020 — Gospel: Mt 8,5-17
Credible witness to His Word
At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, the crowds recognized Jesus’ teaching authority (7,29) in contrast to their religious leaders. Jesus’ words are validated by His works of healing and deliverance in the next two chapters (Chs. 8-9). In fact Jesus’ authority to heal infirmities is recognized openly by the centurion, a gentile and a non-Jew, whose request emphasized to heal with a word alone. The centurion was himself a man with a measure of authority. He tells aloud to Jesus and the bystanders of the way he exhibits such authority. Here the word authority is not placed for Jesus, because Matthew wishes to describe Jesus’ authority of the word infinitely greater than that of the military command. Therefore the centurion does not allow Jesus to enter his roof. Jesus’ greatness consists in speaking “a word” from a distance. In the same way, Peter’s mother-in-law was healed without saying a word, without asking for anything. Word of this woman’s healing quickly spread, so that by supper time there was a large crowd and Jesus healed them all and He cast out demons with “a word”. Jesus’ word carry the weight of authority (8,8.13.16). For Matthew, Jesus’ authority lies in His Word alone because He is the Son of God and Messiah, who came as fulfillment of Isaiah’s Prophecy. By revealing his divine power and goodness through such dramatic, miraculous healings and exorcisms, Jesus is making himself a credible witness to his own teaching.