Summary: Tenth in a series on the "Miracles Of Jesus."
The Miracles of Jesus
Miracle # 10
“Jesus Heals the Centurion’s Servant”
The miracle that we are going to consider tonight is notable because it is the first occasion in the Gospels that Jesus uses his healing power in connection with a Gentile. This miracle is found only in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. In both versions the healing occurs in the town of Capernaum, after Jesus has given His “Sermon on the Mount” on a nearby hill.
“Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, (6) saying, "Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented." (7) And Jesus said to him, "I will come and heal him." (8) The centurion answered and said, "Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. (9) For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, "Go,’ and he goes; and to another, "Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, "Do this,’ and he does it." (10) When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, "Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! (11) And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. (12) But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." (13) Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you." And his servant was healed that same hour.”
“Now when He concluded all His sayings in the hearing of the people, He entered Capernaum. (2) And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. (3) So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant. (4) And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving, (5) "for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue." (6) Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, "Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. (7) Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. (8) For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, "Go,’ and he goes; and to another, "Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, "Do this,’ and he does it." (9) When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, "I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!" (10) And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick.”
The two accounts differ in that in Matthew the centurion himself came to present his need to Jesus. In Luke’s account the centurion did not meet Jesus face to face but instead a number of Jewish elders went as his representatives to ask Jesus to come and heal his servant.
The issue for conservative Bible believing students of the Bible is how to explain the differences between the two Gospel accounts. Since we believe that the Bible is free of error, we must also believe that there are no unexplainable differences between the two parallel accounts of the same incident.
There are several ways of explaining the differences between the two Gospel accounts. The first is to view the centurion as not coming initially,but as the servant became more and more critically ill, he personally came and made an appeal to Jesus.
Perhaps the primary reason for the differences between the two accounts is that they are written with different audiences in mind. Luke’s account, addressed primarily to a Gentile audience, and served as an encouragement to Gentile readers because it is the faith of a Gentile is being praised.
Matthew’s account, on the other hand, was written with Jewish audience in mind, and was a warning about the neglect of personal faith. In verses eleven and twelve Matthew’s account says, “And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. (12) But the sons of the