And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant.And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this: For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue. Luke 7:2-5
The story of the Centurion is very interesting, because first we need to understand a Centurion was a Roman military leader. This man was not just a Roman but he was in a leadership role that persecuted and killed Jews and eventually Christians. So this was probably the last man you would expect to come to Christ. However when this mans servant was ill, he commanded his people to find Jesus because he believed he could heal his servant
Secondly its interesting about Jesus response, Christ had every reason to reject or rebuke this Centurion. This man was responsible for persecuting his people. However this is a slight glimpse into the New Covenant. Jesus didn’t just come to save Israel, but to save the entire world including this Centurion!
Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. Luke 7:6-8
The Centurion, who was a military leader, showed great humility to Christ. He told Jesus he was not even worthy to be in his presence and notice he affirmed Jesus had the power and authority to heal the servant without even seeing him. The Centurion demonstrated great faith in Jesus, and appeared to understand he was a sinful man in the sight of a Holy God
When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick. Luke 7:9-10
The statement Jesus makes here is amazing “Not even in Israel , did I find such great faith” Wow , think about this, this man was a Roman Military leader persecuting Israel and this man had greater faith than anyone in Israel. Talk about God turning everything upside down. This is the New Covenant, where anyone , Jew or Gentile, can come to Christ and be saved!
You might be an enemy of God right now, just like the Centurion was, just like Paul was, just like we all used to be. But Jesus can save you, he can cleanse your sin by his blood and be baptised by the Holy Spirit! Thanks be to God in Jesus name Amen!