The Gospel of Matthew: Miracles of Jesus: The Centurion’s Servant. Part 4.

When he had entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly.” And he said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 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. 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.” 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 8:5-13 ESV)

When Jesus entered the town of Capernaum, an unidentified Roman Centurion approached Him. The centurion approached Jesus appealing to Him on behalf of his servant. The centurion’s servant was paralyzed at home and suffering terribly. The centurion believed that Jesus possessed the authority to heal the servant remotely.

What was Jesus’ reply to the centurion? Jesus was amazed at his faith, trust, dependence and worship. This was a Gentile submitting to the sovereign authority of the Jewish Messiah. In response, Jesus indicated that Gentiles would be included in the kingdom of God with Abraham, enjoy salvation and God’s blessings (Isaiah 49:8-12; 59:19; Malachi 1:1-11; Luke 13:28-29).

Jesus then told the centurion that He would heal the servant. Matthew records that at that very moment, the centurion’s servant was healed. Jesus was able and willing to heal this Gentile’s servant.

“In Roman society, the emperor has supreme authority, and he delegates it to officers like centurions. To disobey these officials is to disobey the emperor himself. The centurion sees that Jesus is invested with a similar authority, only the person He represents must be God (vv. 8–10). This officer understands, as John Calvin comments, that “he who, by the mere expression of his will, restores health to men, must possess supreme authority,” explains Dr. R. C. Sproul.  

“The Hebrew nation, physical heirs of Abraham. will be thrown into outer darkness. This was exactly opposite to the rabbinical understanding, which suggested that the kingdom would feature a great feast in the company of Abraham and the Messiah—open to Jews only. The expression, weeping and gnashing (Mat. 22:13. Cf. 24:51; 25:30Luke 13:28), describes the eternal agonies of those in hell,” explains Dr. John MacArthur.

Consider not only the miracle but also the message of salvation exclusively by grace alone, through faith alone, in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone. Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Soli deo Gloria!

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