Summary: Jesus honors the Centurian, no greater faith in all Israel.
Sept. 26, 2004
When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, "This man deserves to have you do this, 5because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue." 6So Jesus went with them.
He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: "Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. 7That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one,‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it."
9When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel." 10Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.
HILLSDALE COUNTY FAIR, THE WORLDS MOST POPULAR FAIR, BEGINS TODAY.
DURING THE COURSE OF THE WEEK, THERE WILL BE ALL THE EXHIBITS, THE RIDES, ALL THE USUAL FAIR STUFF. SINCE THIS IS A 4-H FAIR, THERE WILL BE A LOT OF JUDGING TAKING PLACE THIS WEEK AS WELL. KIDS WILL SHOW THEIR ANIMALS, AND WHEN ITS ALL SAID AND DONE, SOMEONE WILL BE GRAND CHAMPION IN EACH CATEGORY. RIBBONS, PRIZES, PICTURE IN THE PAPER, ALL THE STUFF THAT GOES WITH THAT HONOR. I NEVER WAS IN 4-H, NEVER WAS SO HONORED, BUT SOME OF YOU HAVE BEEN. SEVERAL YEARS AGO, MY DAD WAS HONORED AS OUTSTANDING SENIOR CITIZEN IN THE AREA OF LEADERSHIP FOR THE STATE OF MICHIGAN. I WAS IMPRESSED. SO I CALLED TO GET THE DETAILS, AND MY DAD COULDN’T EVEN REMEMBER, SO HE HAD TO ASK MY MOM. ITS ALWAYS A GREAT THING TO BE HONORED, AND IN OUR TEXT, WE WILL SEE A MAN WHO WAS HONORED BY JESUS.
JESUS HAS COMPLETED THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT, HE NEXT GOES TO CAPERNAUM IN GALILEE. IT IS LOCATED ON THE NORTHWEST SHORE OF THE SEA OF GALILEE. CUSTOM TAXES WERE GATHERED HERE, THIS IS ALSO THE HOME OF PETER, AND A ROMAN GARRISON IS THERE AS WELL.
IN MATT 8;5-13, WE HAVE THE PARALLEL ACCOUNT, LUKE WRITES IN MUCH GREATER DETAIL, MATTHEWS ACCOUNT DOVETAILS WITH LUKES, THE ONE DIFFERENCE BEING THAT MATTHEW ADDS AN ENDING THAT LUKE DOES NOT INCLUDE.
THERE WAS A CENTURIAN, A COMMANDER OVER 100 ROMAN SOLDIERS. HE WAS AN OFFICER. HE WAS HIGHLY REGARDED EVEN BY THE JEWS. THIS IS NOTEWORTHY, B/C THEY WOULD TYPICALLY DESPISE ANYTHING OR ANYONE ROMAN.
THIS CENTURIAN, HAD A SERVANT, POSSIBLY JEWISH, WHO WAS SICK UNTO DEATH. SCRIPTURE SAYS THAT THE MASTER THIS ROMAN OFFICER VALUED HIGHLY THIS SERVANT. THIS DEMONSTRATES THE QUALITY OF COMPASSION IN THIS CENTURIAN’S PERSONALITY. HE GENUINELY CARED FOR PEOPLE.
HIS ATTITUDE COULD HAVE EASILY BEEN, "HE’S JUST ANOTHER SERVANT, SO WHAT IF HE DIES". REMEMBER, THE SERVANTS ARE BOUGHT AND SOLD, THEY ARE SLAVES, MERE POSSESSIONS, THE ONLY VALUE, IS WHAT IT COST TO PURCHASE. INSTEAD, THE ROMAN CONSIDERS THE NEED OF THE SERVANT.
THE CENTURIAN KNOWS THAT JESUS HAS THE POWER TO HEAL. IF YOU LOOKED BACK AT LUKE 4, HE HAS CAST DEMONS OUT OF A MAN, HE HAS HEALED PETERS MOTHER IN LAW, AND VS 40, "ALL WHO HAD VARIOUS KINDS OF SICKNESS, HE LAID HIS HANDS ON THEM AND HEALED THEM."
ALL OF THESE THINGS HAPPENED IN CAPERNAUM. THIS SOLDIER WAS WELL AWARE OF JESUS AWESOME HEALING POWER. WITH HIS SERVANT FACING CERTAIN DEATH, WITH NO OTHER WAY OUT, THE CENTURIAN DECIDES TO GO TO THE ONE WHO HAS THE POWER–> JESUS.
THE CENTURIAN SENT SOME JEWISH ELDERS TO JESUS TO ASK HIM TO COME AND HEAL. THE CENTURIAN DID NOT GO TO JESUS HIMSELF. HE SENT THE ELDERS INSTEAD. WHY? BECAUSE ANOTHER QUALITY IN HIS LIFE WAS HUMILITY. HE EVIDENTLY WAS NOT A CONVERT TO JUDAISM, BUT HE WAS A FRIEND OF THEM. HE KNEW JEWISH LAW & CUSTOM. HE KNEW THE JEWISH LAW WAS THAT OF DEFILEMENT IF HE APPROACHED JESUS. SO HE ASKS THE ELDERS TO GO ON HIS BEHALF. THEY AGREE.
NOTICE, THEY PLEAD EARNESTLY WITH JESUS. THEY WERE GENUINELY SINCERE, THEY RESPONDED IN THE SAME WAY A FRIEND WOULD. THEY SAID TO JESUS, "THIS MAN DESERVES TO HAVE YOU DO THIS". THIS IS A VERY BOLD APPROACH TO THE SON OF GOD. WE OFTEN PETITION GOD THRU CHRIST, WE DON’T OFTEN SAY, "GOD, I DESERVE THIS" NO MATTER WHAT OUR PETITION MIGHT BE. THEN THEY JUSTIFY TO JESUS, WHY THIS CENTURIAN ‘DESERVES’ THIS.