The Centurion (Luke 7:1-10) Commentary


A centurion was an officer of the Roman Army, in charge of 100 soldiers. This one’s servant was suffering a life-threatening illness. The centurion had heard of a man named “Jesus”, who could perform healings and miracles. Though he had never met or seen him, Jesus became his hope. He did not feel worthy enough to approach Jesus, because he was sinner. The centurion was a friend to the Jews, and even built their synagogue, but was not a Jew himself.
He sent some elders of the synagagoue, to go on his behalf, and ask Jesus to heal his servant. At this time, it appears these elders had no issue with the ministry of Jesus. They certainly cared for their friend to approach Jesus for his sake. They appealed to Jesus and present the man as “deserving” because of his works for the Jewish nation. Jesus went because he was asked. Prestige and works did not influence who he healed.
On his way, Jesus is stopped by more friends of the centurion who have a message from him. The centurion was apparently well respected among his peers, to have so many concerned for the well being of his servant. Likewise, the centurion cared much for his servant, to enlist so many to his aid. The attitude of the centurion toward himself is much different than those around him. He humbles himself, and says he is not worthy to have Jesus in his house. The centurion identifies himself as a man under and of authority, and knows the power of words of those in authority.  He acknowedges the power of Jesus, as given authority from God.
The words then, would be enough to heal his servant. Jesus is amazed at the man’s faith. The centurion had never even seen Jesus, or his work. Jesus says he had never seen such faith in Israel, the land of God’s people. No one trusted in the power of God as this man did. We should have the same faith in Jesus. We only ask someone to do something if we believe they are capable of doing it. Nothing is impossible with God. The humility of centurion had exalted him, not just among his friends, who unquestioningly came to his aid, but also to God.
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