Faith like the Centurian's

A Roman who respected Jews, his faith was put to the test when his servant lay paralyzed and suffering. Jesus commends him highly and declares that nowhere in Israel did he find such faith. What made his faith stand out?


Matt 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10; John 4:46b-54

  • Introduction
  • Incomparable Faith
  • He knew who Jesus was
  • He knew who he was
  • The Jews delusion
  • Christ’s conclusion



This Roman, unlike most others, had a deep love and respect for the Jews. The bible records in the Luke passage that he built the synagogue in Jerusalem. He also had knowledge of a similar prior incident in John 4:46-54.

He knew deep inside that Jesus was Lord. That is the faith that many Jews even today do not carry. That is the faith Jesus applauds. He felt unworthy to even talk to him and sent others to do so.

Bible Passage

5 When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, 6 “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” 7 And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8 But the centurion replied, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I too am a man under authority, with 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.”

Bible Passage Cont'd

10 When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. 11 I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12 while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go; let it be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed at that very moment Matthew 8

Also read John 4:46-54 covers similar prior case in same town.

He knew who Jesus was

He had seen a prior case in his town and came to the following conclusions on Jesus 

  • Position – Lord
  • Protocols – Holy Jews don’t go to Gentile’s houses; don’t even talk to them. (Christ was about to change that)
  • Power – of word

He knew who he was

  • Nothing before Christ
  • Not worthy, not holy
  • Not excluded from Christ’s divine healing

He put aside his merits

  • he built the synogogue in Capernaum
  • he loved the Jewish nation; (Luke 7:1-10)

He laid aside his social authority and surrendered to Christ’s spiritual authority

  • he had power
  • Romans ruled Jews.

The Jews' Delusion

Thought they were:

  • Entitled
  • Included
  • Righteous

Christ’s Conclusion

Jews lacked the Centurion’s faith

Many Gentiles will enjoy the Kingdom

Many “sons of the kingdom” will be cast out.

It all depends on our faith. Our perception of:

  • Who we are
  • Who Christ is


Points to Ponder

As Christians for decades:

Do we fall into the same trap as Jews?

Have we lost the wonder of Christ’s power and position?

Do we overstep protocol? Taking the almighty God for granted and expecting him to serve us.


1.What strikes you about Christ’s healing approach?

2.What blurred the Jews perspective? How are we as Christians at risk of falling into the same trap?

3.What gave the Centurion such a clear perspective?

4.How can we rollback to his position to attain his perspective?

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