Summary: SO, WE HAVE TWO THOUGHTS HERE. Jewish Elders tell Jesus this man Is Worthy - Roman Centurions friends tell Jesus that - He Is Not Worthy - Which one is it? - Either he is Worthy or He is Not

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Have you ever been in a grocery store and had the privilege of watching a child who does not understand who is in charge? The mother would say, “PUT THAT CANDY BACK,” and the child would say, “NO,” and then rip the package open. The mother would say, “that’s it don’t you get another one and I mean it.” The child would grab something else. The mother would say, “Put it back.” The child would start screaming, and the mother would say, “Be quiet and put that thing in the basket.”

• Now even though the mother was an authority figure, the child did not place himself under her authority except when it suited his purposes

• How many of you think you know exactly what that child needed

• Keep that thought in mind as we travel through this text this morning

In our text we find Jesus had walked down from the brow of the low mountain outside of Capernaum, his adopted home. He had just delivered what would become the most famous sermon in history. When Jesus entered the town, he was met by a small delegation of Jewish elders.

• They had an urgent request

• There was a servant so sick he was expected to die shortly

• This delegation had been asked by the Master of the House to go find Jesus on his behalf and see if Jesus might be willing to heal his servant

Jesus had grown up in the city of Nazareth. But the people of Nazareth had attempted to kill him just as his ministry was getting started. In order to fulfill the Scriptures, he moved out of Nazareth and lived in Capernaum. While Jesus was up on the mountainside, there were a lot of worried looks and concern in a certain family’s home. The owner of the home sent this delegation to find Jesus with a request. The question must be asked – WHO WAS THIS MAN MAKING THE REQUEST?

• A Rabbi – No

• A Jewish Leader – No

• A Disciple – No

• He was a Roman Soldier

• He was a Centurion

A centurion was a commanding officer of a 100 men in the Roman army.

• The Roman army was an outside occupying army

• The Roman government had invaded and conquered the land of the Jews

The centurion would have been in charge of the Roman Soldiers who had been left behind to maintain the peace and to see to it that Roman commands were carried out. They were a kind of military police force with complete authority.

• As a result, many of the Jewish people hated the Romans

• But this Roman Centurion was a man who looked beyond the prejudice and the hatred of the Jews directed at him

• And somehow, we don’t know how it happened, he fell in love with their God

Let’s take a look at this again. There was this Roman centurion whose servant was so sick that he was expected to die shortly. The centurion had asked these Jewish Elders to go to Jesus on his behalf to see if Jesus might be willing to heal his servant. Now this was very unusual.

• Jewish leaders were not in the habit of being fond of Roman soldiers

• Feeling the obvious oddness of the request, one of the elders quickly added, "He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue"

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