What is the secret to great faith? We can understand this by two stories in the Bible. A centurion came up to Jesus saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented…say the word, and my servant will be healed… (Matt. 8:6-8). The Bible explains, Jesus marveled when He heard this. He said, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel.” (Matt. 8:10).
Many people see the centurion and think that he had, “great faith” because he would have understood authority. He was in the Roman Army and was qualified. The problem with this theory is that there was another person who had “great faith” and was nothing like a soldier. Jesus came across only two people whom He called “great faith,” one was a centurion and the other was a homemaker.
The book of Mathew describes a Canaanite woman whose daughter was demon-possessed. She asked the Lord to heal her daughter, and Jesus told her, “’O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.’ And her daughter was healed at once.” (Matt 15:28).
Now a homemaker does not have the same authority or governing position as a soldier. So what is the common denominator between a Roman Centurion and a Canaanite woman? They were both gentiles. They had not been accustomed to the old covenant laws. They did not disqualify themselves because of their sins, and they were not under condemnation.
The law (the old covenant) is not based upon faith but on works. The Apostle Paul tells us in the book of Galatians that, “the law is not of faith” (Gal. 3:12). On the other hand, the new covenant is all about faith. It is based upon, “grace through faith” (Eph. 2:8). So instead of trying to earn salvation, healing, and blessings remember that it is only by grace that we can receive these things.
The secret to great faith is grace. It is knowing that, through the cross, Jesus has caused us to receive His favor. The law disqualifies the best of us, but grace qualifies us! Everyone who believes in Christ is qualified to receive. When you see God’s grace, He sees your faith.