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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Barcus & Laura Neal

April 14th, 2024: Faith of a Centurion- Luke 7:1-10

Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. (Luke 6: 47-48).


Along with pride, or maybe because of it, mankind suffers from a desire to separate and label people based on their talent, their importance, or their social standing. This chain of command and ranking of individuals is one of the many things that does not work the same in the kingdom of God as it does in the world.  Scripture reminds us that  God is no respecter of persons. Anyone (whosoever) may come, hear, and live according to God’s word and build their house on a rock-solid foundation - Jesus Christ.


Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum.


Before we step into the specifics of today’s lesson, consider all the things that Jesus has just said to the audience following him. Jesus laid out the new covenant of His kingdom.  He healed the sick and preached to the poor.  The “poor” in this instance does not speak only of those who were without money- although they were included.  The “poor”  are also the outcasts, the socially unacceptable, any of those outside of the house of Israel. Jesus broke many Jewish rules by keeping company with sinners, healing on the Sabbath, and announcing He could forgive sins!  The multitude surrounded Him, wanting to see and and receive miracles. 


And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed. And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all. (Luke 6:18-19).  However, the religious leaders raged.  And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus. (luke 6:11).


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.


Here, we have a Roman centurion beseeching Jesus for help. The elders of the Jews realize that Jesus may not want anything to do with this gentile Roman authority. They would not under normal circumstances. They plead his cause.  He is in good standing; he has their approval, loves the people, and helped to build the synagogue. The elders’ opinion was not the deciding factor.  Jesus was not thinking like these religious leaders.  


But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God. (Romans 2:10-11).


Similar to the way that Moses brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, Jesus is bringing out  a mixed multitude into a new covenant.  The centurion believed what Jesus said and that was more important than good deeds, friendships or the fear of the Jewish elders.


Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.(1 Corinthians 10: 1-4).


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.


Rome’s representative bowed to the King of all Kings.  Here is where the faith of the centurion was shown.  Although he sent for Jesus, he realized he was not worthy to receive Him.  He was not without sin, was not Jewish, was not (fill in your own blank) for the Son of God to come to his house.  Ever feel that way? Humility toward God is a factor in faithful actions.  The centurion compared his own limited worldly authority to that of God.  God is long-suffering and compassionate. “He is not willing that any should perish.” He responds to those who call on His name.  As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (Romans 9:33).


Humility toward God is a factor in faithful actions. 

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.


Some were following Jesus to see what he would do next. Some followed for the miracles. Some to find fault and try to turn the crowds against Him. The centurion was permitted under Roman law to get rid of the servant - whenever and for whatever reason.  The centurion did not because his servant was “dear to him.”  His heart was in the right place and he was calling upon the right person for help.  Jesus knowing the heart of the centurion, knew what others may not have known, he sincerely believed that Jesus had the ability to heal. You can have the faith and confidence of the centurion.  Jesus can be your rock.  Be like King David -I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. (Psalm 18:1-2).  Jesus can be exactly what you need and ask for.  Rock-solid foundations do not bend or break. They weather the storms and stand firm.  This Rock is reliable and true. He never fails. 


Thank you for studying with us! God bless!


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