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Healing a Centurion's Servant

Matt 8:5; Luke 7:1

Luke 7:1-10 (web)
After he had finished speaking in the hearing of the people, he entered into Capernaum.
A certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and at the point of death.
When he heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews,
asking him to come and save his servant.

When they came to Jesus, they begged him earnestly, saying,
"He is worthy for you to do this for him,
for he loves our nation, and he built our synagogue for us."

Jesus went with them. When he was now not far from the house,
the centurion sent friends to him, saying to him,
"Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I am not worthy for you to come under my roof.
Therefore I didn’t even think myself worthy to come to you;
but say the word, and my servant will be healed.
For I also am a man placed under authority, having under myself soldiers.
I tell this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes;
and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it."

When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turned and said to the multitude who followed him, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith, no, not in Israel."
Those who were sent, returning to the house,
found that the servant who had been sick was well.

What does this reveal about Jesus?

He doesn't have to be physically present in order to heal.


Matthew's account appears to have centurion speaking directly to Jesus. But this is only an impression. Luke is more historically oriented. The centurion really spoke to Jesus by proxy through his servants. And this is also in keeping with the theme of not having to be physically present in exercising one's faith.

I think the centurion avoided contact with Jesus because he knew of the traditions of the Jews and didn't want Jesus unnecessarily to be viewed as contaminated or unclean in helping him.


Are we as concerned about getting Jesus to help us as we are about what impression of Him we are giving to the world?

One thing that led this centurion to have a superior faith was the fact that he lived in a hierarchical system. The concept of Lordship is less realized today in which applications of submission and leadership are limited. For example, when husbands and fathers are not treated as legitimate authority figures, the concept of Jesus as Lord is also devalued. Such a devaluation of Christ's Lordship tends to create Christians of an inferior faith.

It seems today even given legitimate positions of authority rarely can you tell someone to do something and then expect them to actually do it. There's so much emphasis on freedom and personal rights, that "authority" becomes irrelevant. But the kingdom of God is not a democracy. And though the idea of a Lord is politically incorrect or reckoned akin to slavery, Jesus is LORD.

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources Jan 29,2022