The Centurion

Matthew 8:5-13

As Jesus moved about proclaiming the Kingdom of Heaven, many amazing things took place; Kingdom things. In the last section we saw the significance of Jesus’ healing of the leper, and here we will see something just as amazing.

Jesus was walking along one day when a Roman Centurion approaches Him with a request. Jews didn’t care much for Gentiles, as you know, and Roman military officers were certainly no exception. The Centurion asks Jesus to heal his (gentile) servant. An appropriate Jewish response would be something like “buzz off jerk”, but Jesus didn’t respond that way…

Jesus’ response to the news that the servant was paralyzed and suffering was to ask the man if He should proceed directly to his house!

Jews did not enter the homes of Gentiles.

The Centurion’s reply amazed even Jesus: in essence it was no, that won’t be necessary, just give the command and all will be well. The Centurion was a military officer who knew all about giving orders and having them obeyed, after all. Jesus’ response this comment is classic:

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Matthew 8:10-12

This unclean, dirty, nasty dog of a Gentile displayed more faith than any Jew Jesus had met up to that time, and such was the requirement to enter the Kingdom. Jesus goes on to tell the people that there would be many Gentiles (many will come from the east and the west) in the Kingdom, and that many “Jews” will be left out of it (the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth) This verse references the “subjects” of the (earthly) kingdom (of Israel) who will reject Jesus in the future and be left outside of the Kingdom of Heaven.

Obviously, this would blow the minds of most Jews of the time, but as we know, the Kingdom is a place of healing for Jew and Gentile alike, should they choose to place their faith in Jesus, and by doing so, place their faith in God who sent Him.

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About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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4 Responses to The Centurion

  1. One thing many people miss when commenting on this is what the Centurion’s response meant, Illnesses were believed to be cause by demons entering the body, the demon could only be cast out by someone with greater authority. Here the Centurion was acknowledging that Jesus had the power to cast out a demon, even without being present. Look at all of the Jews that Jesus healed, they asked him to come to them to do the healing…Jairus, the woman with a discharge, even the sisters of Lazarus. Of all the people asking Jesus for help, only the Centurion knew that Jesus could do this without being present. That’s powerful.

  2. “the Kingdom is a place of healing for Jew and Gentile alike, should they choose to place their faith in Jesus, and by doing so, place their faith in God who sent Him.”

    Just a simple, Amen, Don.

  3. The only way the Middle East will ever have peace is for Jews and Muslim Gentiles to be united in Christ.

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