A centurion was a Roman soldier who maintained the hardened battle weary hearts of others. As a high ranking army officer, he might have been a commander over a company of 100 men. When Jesus entered Capernaum, an army officer came up to Him and asked that his servant be healed. This story extends our belief in the powerful resource of faith in Jesus Christ. Can our faith be hindered? What can cause doubts? Thinking about the goodness of Jesus Christ can create such a long list of positive events in our lives. Satan could have put doubts in the centurion’s mind and made him not confess the need of Jesus Christ in his life! He could have felt self-sufficient and thought of himself as being in control of his servant’s situation.
How and why was Jesus impressed with the centurion’s faith? Was his request made with humility? As an eyewitness, the Roman centurion assisted at the cruel crucifixion itself. As we try to imagine what he saw and felt, may the grace and mercy of Christ grasp our hearts frequently in ways that transform us deeply just as it did that centurion! With the gift of faith ever before us, let us consider the life of a career soldier, the centurion at the crucifixion of our Lord and Savior.
In the Roman army the centurion held the highest rank a soldier could have achieved. The Roman centurion who witnessed the trial, crucifixion, death and resurrection of Christ saw more than words can ever explain. Perhaps he heard things that we cannot imagine. We know what he saw through Scriptures and we have been amazed!
With an unusual confession to Jesus Christ, the centurion told us that this was the promised Messiah and the Son of God. Only God could have given him, a Roman soldier, this foresight. In our time, we too can kneel and embrace the Christ who died for us. God can make this possible. In these short four verses we get a vivid picture. Is seeing believing? This Roman soldier and leader of 100 men saw that his servant needed help.
Here we see humility and trust in Jesus Christ. In humility, the centurion asked Jesus to speak healing words to his servant (Matthew 8:8-10). Jesus praised the centurion’s faith. He would not call Jesus into his home because that would have made Him ceremonially unclean. The servant was healed immediately! It is wonderful when we can trust the Savior just like the centurion. What Jesus Christ said, he believed. No matter how great our position is on earth, it is no match to the divine power of our Master!
Jesus is the only One whom all of us can depend on for incredible healings and other miracles; meanwhile let us continue to praise His holy name. Tell others about the goodness of Jesus, the healer, because He is the Christ, the Son of the living God. The New Testament centurion learned to believe and trust Jesus Christ.
Mrs. Gladys R. McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion. She is a native of Essex County, Va.