2011-03-26 - The Centurion
A Roman centurion in occupied Judea was a man to be feared and respected. He was a military officer, in charge of 100 of the best soldiers in the world. A centurion lived in a fine house with servants. The centurion would issue orders to Jews and their elders. A centurion was an important man.
So why would a Roman centurion want to talk to Jesus? In Matthew 5:1-13, we find the story of the centurion and Jesus. The centurion went to Jesus and asked for help. The servant of the centurion was paralyzed - and suffering terribly. When asked for help, Jesus replied, "I will go and heal him." (v.7) The centurion surprised Jesus by telling him that he didn't need to go to his house. The centurion said, "But just say the word, and my servant will be healed." (v.8)
Jesus was "astonished" by the centurion's statement. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith." (v.10) And, Jesus told the centurion, "Go! It will be done just as you believed it would." (v. 13) The centurion's servant was healed at that very instant.
The Roman centurion was not only a man of great power and influence. He was a man of faith. His faith was so strong that he knew that Jesus could heal his servant The centurion believed, and his servant was healed by the Great Physician.
What is the status of your faith? Do you have the confident faith of the centurion? Do you trust in Jesus' power? If you lack faith, or feel you faith is insufficient, do as Jesus' apostles did and say, "Lord, increase our faith!" (Luke 17:5)