The Centurion’s Faith (1)

In Luke 7 we have a story where a centurion expresses great faith in Jesus.  Here is the account:

When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” So 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. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For 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.”

When 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.” 10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.” 

~ I am reading through Darrell Bock’s commentary on Luke. One of the things that Bock has helped me see is that Luke is making a point about Jesus’ authority. To see this, let as step back and take a look at some of the things that took place prior to this Centurion incident. I am going to limit myself to the miracle accounts.


From Luke 4:

33 In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, 34 “Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? …  35 “Be quiet!” Jesus said sternly. “Come out of him!” Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.  3All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!”

From Luke 4 again:

38 Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. 39 So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her.

From Luke 5:

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” …

(Aside: The point of the miracle is quite often not the miracle. What was the point of this one? See v.10.)

From Luke 5 again:

12 While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy.[b] When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”  13 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him.

~ Jesus simply commanded the leprosy away. There was no need for incantations, repeating mantras, dancing up and down and wailing… etc. He just basically uttered a command and it was done.

From Luke 5 again:

So he said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”25 Immediately he stood up in front of them, took what he had been lying on and went home praising God.

From Luke 6:

10 He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was completely restored.

And so .. and soooooeee ….. we finally come back to the Centurion.

… but I think I will finish up on that later… I will make this note for now from Dr. Constable’s Commentary on Luke which can be found at SonicLight:

“The centurion believed that Jesus could heal His servant, not that He would heal him.” ~ Page 99, Luke