Monday, November 05, 2007

Centurion Commended by Christ

2And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die.
3And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant.
4And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this:
5For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue.
6Then 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:
7Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.
8For 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.
9When 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.
10And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick.


Luke 7:2-10, King James Version

The familiar story of the Centurion commended by Christ is recorded for us in Luke 7. What do we know about this Centurion? What is so remarkable about this man that he should receive a special commendation from Christ? How is his faith in Christ revealed?

The Centurion was a Roman soldier in command of 100 men. When his servant fell ill, he went to the rulers of the synagogue and told them to go to Jesus asking that his servant would be healed. He felt that he was too unworthy to approach Jesus himself, so he sent the religious rulers. What did they tell Jesus? 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.

The religious leaders still did not get it, did they? The Centurion knew that He was too unworthy to approach Christ, but the religious leaders, not understanding who Christ was, proclaimed the centurion worthy because of his love for the nation and his building of a synagogue. Don't we tend to do the same thing? We see the those who spend their money in behalf of the church as being somehow more worthy than others.

In spite of their misunderstanding, Jesus went to the Centurion's house. When Jesus was not far from the Centurion's house, the Centurion saw Him and sent friends to Him, saying: 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.

How did Jesus respond? 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.

This Centurion had not seen Jesus; he had only heard of the miracles that he had done. We, too, have not seen Jesus, the God Man, performing these miracles, but we have heard of them through the recorded Word of God. We are called by God to have faith in this Christ who came to this earth to die on behalf of the sins of His people. Many read the Bible and do not understand or believe it; no one comes to Christ except by faith. In faith we read the Bible, and through that faith the Holy Spirit grants us understanding.

What do we learn from the centurion commended by Christ? Christ commends those who have faith in Him; as a matter of fact, this faith is more important that anything we do or say to advance the Kingdom of God. Only by faith do we fall down before Christ and, knowing our own unworthiness, cry out to Him for salvation. May God grant you this same faith!

Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow!

God Bless You,
Linda

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