"I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith...." (Matthew 8:10-12)

When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. "Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly." Jesus said to him, "Shall I come and heal him?" 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." When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, "Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 8:10-12)

What did the Centurion mean by 'just say the word'?

Jesus was responded to the statement of a centurion who deferentially communicated to Jesus. The centurion saw Jesus' mission and authority on a much broader basis than simply healing people's bodies.

The centurion said, “just say the word.” What was the "word" that the centurion is referring to - which pleased Jesus?

“Word” here is translated from the Greek word λόγος (logos) - which means "doctrine" or "teaching" in many contexts, but can also be translated to "word" according to Thayer's lexicon. In this case, we can know the centurion is awaiting some form of instruction from Jesus.

Words spoken in praise of or on behalf of God are instructional. These are transcendental words. These are words with higher authority. The reason words that glorify the Supreme Being are powerful is because God’s realm lacks the duality we perceive in the physical world.

A sincere and loving reference to the Supreme Being thus has God’s essence contained within it. A person who is deeply relating with the Supreme Being will transmit powerful messages regarding Him, because of this deep relationship. These were the words spoken by Jesus.

The centurion understood that Jesus’ healing ability was due to the authority of Jesus' words that glorified the Supreme Being. Because of Jesus’ intimate relationship with the Supreme Being, he was able to transmit that authority through his words, spoken in praise of God (i.e. “Hallowed by thy Name”).

Was this about healing?

In distinguishing this ability from others who may be “healing in Jesus’ name,” we again bring to mind another statement from Jesus:
"Many will come to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles? Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!"( Matthew 7:22)
It is apparent from this that just healing the sick is not the principal element of Jesus' message.

What Jesus is trying to teach is loving service to the Supreme Being. He makes this clear with the statement from Matthew 7:21:
"Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
Many are attracted by Jesus’ acts of healing. But Jesus' statements tell us that the purpose of Jesus' healing was to illustrate the power of faith in the Supreme Being.

Jesus is communicating that we humbly request the Supreme Being to help us come to know Him and love Him. Such a request will be heard by the Supreme Being. If we have faith that the Supreme Being will hear us, the Supreme Being will surely hear us and respond according to the level of our faith. 

Why is faith so important? Because faith is the first step of the journey of a relationship with God. How can we have a relationship with someone we do not trust?

One of the central designs of the physical world is that we cannot see the Supreme Being with these physical eyes. This is to give us the complete freedom to love Him or not. Such freedom is given to us because one cannot truly love under coercion. Freedom is the basis of true love.

This is the meaning of the apple in the analogy of Adam and Eve: By taking the apple from the "tree of knowledge" Adam was expressing his freedom of choice, to either obey God's instructions or not.

What is 'outside?'

Those who choose not to follow God's instructions are choosing to remain outside. But what is "outside?"
“I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Here Jesus clarifies that although many will come, expecting to “take their places” in the assembly of heaven, yet many will be tossed “outside.” 

Outside is the physical world, where we live now. Here we live in darkness. How so? The darkness of the physical world is that we cannot, with these physical eyes, see the Supreme Being. And our physical consciousness prevents us from connecting with the Supreme Being. We are in effect, cut off from the spiritual dimension.

The physical world is also a place of suffering. Here people are born in pain, crying (“weeping”). Here we live by struggling, competing, and fighting. The physical world is immersed in wars, starvation, terrorism, thievery, dishonesty, disease, aging, and death.

Despite our hopes and wishes to the contrary, the physical world is not a kind place. It is a place of suffering. And depending upon the environment we are born into, we all experience relative degrees of “weeping and gnashing of teeth” here in this temporary physical world.

The physical world is the world where those who have rejected God go. Those who participate in loving, serving relationships with God - like Abraham, Jacob, and Issac - are sitting at the loving “feast” that exists within the kingdom of God. Those who envy God, however, wanting to be God-like, are the “subjects” who are left outside.

Was Jesus teaching about fanaticism?

Jesus was preaching against the fanatical teachings of the Pharisees and the 'teachers of the law.' He called them hypocrites and abusers of people.
"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are." (Matthew 23:15)
In the centuries following Jesus, some of these sayings were used by the Roman Catholic Church to create fear in the masses, to encourage them to go to church and pay tithes. They were used to control the populace. As such, the Roman Church became very wealthy, and its leaders and organizers became powerful people.

This corruption of power also gave rise to an ongoing culture within this institution that led to the sexual abuse of young followers and nuns. Such is darkness.

Rather, Jesus’ message is quite clear: We will only be happy if we re-develop our loving relationship with the Supreme Being and thus place the focus of our lives upon God.

This and only this will allow us to take our places at the feast in the kingdom of love for the Supreme Being.