Summary: Unlike the Centurion, we can know for sure that we are worthy to come to Jesus.
Worthiness. We have all, at some point and time, dealt with and even battled with various feelings of being unworthy, inadequate, not talented enough, or simply think we’re all thumbs and have two left feet.
Whether it is standing in front of the commander to give a briefing, going to the pulpit and giving a sermon to a church congregation, or simply wondering if we have what it takes to pass a PT test, a college exam, or to have enough skill to play volleyball with your friends.
We are fairly certain of our limitations. We know our weaknesses. We are fully aware of the areas where we have no experience, so we protect ourselves from public events that could cause embarrassment or humiliation if we had to participate in the activities.
This is why I find the response of the centurion quite interesting. The Centurion says that he was unworthy to even approach Jesus, let alone, to have Jesus come into his home for a visit. So, on his behalf, He sends the elders of the Jews, who say just the exact opposite that he was worthy and well deserving of having his servant healed.
They told Jesus that the centurion “was deserving” of the attention because of the love he has expressed towards the Jewish nation and all the assistance he had given in support of building their Synagogue.
So, Jesus continues. I think the Centurion must have gotten word that Jesus was still on his way. So, the he dispatches several close friends and possibly family members to go out to Jesus to, once again, plead with Jesus to just heal the servant by command.
I am sure Jesus was intrigued at the persistence over the fact that everyone was putting so much emphasis on this centurion’s worthiness….except for…the centurion.
In verse 6, his message is “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am unworthy that you should enter under my roof.”The Greek adjective for “unworthy” can be understood as less than “adequate” or not being sufficient enough to be seen as “fit,” or “meeting” a particular standard.
So, the first response from the centurion is saying that he feels inadequate and insufficient to host Jesus in his home. I wonder if, not being Jewish, that he didn’t meet the standard or criteria according to Jewish law. I think whatever it was, he was struggling with feeling worthy.
Then verse seven shows the second response from the Centurion. Here, he claims “Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to you.” The Greek verb used here can mean “to be judged or considered as deserving.”
He may have felt that he did not deserve to have his prayer heard or answered for his sake. He wanted the request for the sake of his beloved servant who he thought was truly worthy of being healed back to life.
Deep down, I think he believed Jesus could just “say the word” and heal his servant for the sake of the servant and not because he was a prominent infantryman.
The centurion goes on to describe the level of authority he possesses. The Greek Noun signifies “the power of choice” or “right of privilege.” What he is saying is that he has the authority not only do as he pleases, but has the command authority to rule and govern. Basically, what he is saying is “I rule and people do whatever I say and this is just man-given
The Centurion was using his man-made authority as an analogy to the type of God-given authority he knew that Jesus possessed spiritually to be able to command the illness to leave his servant. He was testifying to the Spiritual power and God-given authority of Jesus.
Jesus was said to have “marveled” at this revelation. The Greek verb here means “to be in admiration.”Jesus admired the centurion acknowledging his authority. Jesus also approved of the Soldier recognition that, with God the Father, Jesus had full authority over all things.
This is why he could ask Jesus to “just say the word” and his servant will be healed. Jesus answered his faith by healing his servant. In verse ten, those who were sent came home and found the servant completely well. The word “well” used here is a Greek verb that means “whole” or “to be in good health.”
The servant, who was once powerless, feeble and near death, is now fully restored, filled with health and returned to life. The servant was made whole and completely healthy again.
The centurion recognized the authority of Jesus Christ which was given to him By God the Father. The same authority Jesus spoke of in Matthew 28:18, “all authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to me.”
After saying this, Jesus delegated this authority to the disciples in what we call “The Great Commission” to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit.”