One of the great features of the Bible is its ability to tell real life stories that are often more exciting and heartwarming than Hallmark could ever hope to write. In my years of studying the Bible, the Centurion in this story has become one of my favorite Bible superheroes. His mention is brief, and his story is limited, but what we learn and see is truly life changing. Jesus is simply carrying out His day. He just finished His sermon and pep talk for His followers and was headed out to minister.
Meanwhile, there was a certain Centurion in the community who loved his servant. The servant fell ill, and things were looking bleak, The Centurion reaches out to the elders of His community and humbly asks them to find Jesus and have God heal the servant. The elders loved the Centurion. He treated them with care and dignity. He built their synagogue. Unlike most of the imperial order, He thought of the folks in his community as special and allowed them to live their lives.
So, when the Centurion sought out Jesus, the elders were glad to accommodate his request. They did not act like other religious leaders and defame Jesus. Instead, they came to Jesus and asked for His help. Jesus joined them and as they approached, the Centurion stopped Jesus and expressed his gratefulness but also his understanding of his personal standing as a gentile in the Jewish community. Jesus was so moved by the Centurion’s faith and his humble heart.
Of course, Jesus healed the servant, and what’s more, Jesus pointed to the Centurion as one of the greatest men of faith in all Israel. That is a very bold claim by the Son of God. Jesus could see the man’s heart, his impact on the community, and his personal faith in God. It moved Jesus, and it should guide us. We need to carry on with the same faith, the same humility, and the same focus as the Centurion. He was selfless, others focused and in love with God.. It made him a superhero– if we would follow the centurion’s lead, we could be superheroes too.
God Bless You
When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. 2 There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3 The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4 When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, 5 because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” 6 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. 7 That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 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.”
9 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.” 10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.