7631 - Centurion's Servant


A general has authority over his troops, but Jesus has authority over everything.

Let’s study Luke 7, verses 1-10.
When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. There a centurion's servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, "This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue." So Jesus went with them.
He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: "Lord, don't trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But 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 at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel." Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.

Dr. Luke, as a gentile, was sensitive to the ethnic conflict between Jew and Gentile. At the same time he was keenly aware that all people need to have a faith relationship with Jesus Christ.

In this passage we find Jesus extending His healing power to a gentile and also commending the centurion for his genuine faith. Its true, the gospel is for all people, in all places, speaking all languages.

Capernaum was home-base for Jesus during much of His ministry. This was a busy, international city, since commerce of the trade route passed through there. The Romans had placed a group of soldiers in this city. This centurion was an officer in charge of one hundred men. Servants did not have position in society so the compassion of the centurion for his servant speaks well of his heart.

Even though this centurion was a Roman gentile, he had an unusual rapport with the Jewish community. We are told he had financed the construction of a Jewish Synagogue.

This centurion was also a humble man. He held some power in Capernaum, but he chose to entreat a delegation of Jewish elders to interface with Jesus. This delegation sought out Jesus and told him that the centurion deserved this attention.

What a radically different relationship existed here. The Jewish traditions held that Jews did not even associate with gentiles. This gentile centurion had been able to penetrate that barrier and have a respectful, honorable reputation with the Jews. Jesus was impressed with the situation enough to go with the delegation as they returned to the centurion’s home.

At that point, we observe another evidence of the humility of this centurion. Before Jesus got to the house the centurion sent other friends to tell Jesus it was not necessary for Jesus to come to his house personally. “No, I do not deserve that attention from you.”

Then the centurion’s message assured Jesus of great faith. As a centurion when he gave orders to a soldier or a servant, they immediately gave attention to fulfilling the order. Now the centurion transferred that sure faith to Jesus. He indicated that all Jesus needed to do was say the word, give the command, and those forces attacking his servant would be compelled to cease and desist, then his servant would have health.

Jesus was amazed and commented to the crowd, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” Jesus went no further. However, the delegation returned to the centurions home and found the servant healed.

The power of God evidenced through Jesus is awesome. And he’s the same today as on that occasion. Let us trust Him and praise Him together.