After he had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. Now a centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him. When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, “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.” And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. For I too am a man set 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.” When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” (Luke 7:1-9 ESV).
It’s always fun to imagine being in a small gathering with someone famous. I can think of several people that I would love to have for dinner at our house. Wouldn’t it be incredible to have the head coach of your favorite college football team in your home? For me that would look like seeing the Aggie Swagcopter and Kevin Sumlin setting down in our back yard and stepping off the helicopter to come in for some grilled steaks with all the trimmings! I’m sure you have others that would give you the same level of excitement. However, what if you invited such a person to your house, but they called you to decline, stating, “I just don’t feel worthy to come under your roof”? Would that surprise you a bit? It would certainly shock me!
This Roman centurion, in charge of at least one hundred men, who hung out with royalty and was in the Roman hierarchy of society, says he is unworthy to have Jesus come under his roof. Can you see the incredible humility in this statement? Jesus, in the world’s eyes at the time, was not a person of nobility. He had not reached “celebrity” status yet. He was from Bethlehem, the Son of a carpenter. He was homeless at the time; possessing only of the clothes He had upon His back. He was living without real income, depending on the generosity of others to supply His needs. The centurion is not worthy of this?
Doesn’t this further illustrate for you the faith of the centurion? He was not basing his opinion of Christ on what the world had to say, or even on what he could physically see about Christ. He was basing his opinion on his faith in Jesus Christ! May I ask you upon what, or who, are you basing your faith? The centurion is an example of faith because he acted based not upon sight, but upon faith! His humility is also an example to us. I wonder how often you have heard of people who demanded special treatment because of how much money they might have given to the church. Or, perhaps they felt special because of the position they held in the community or church. Either is not the example Jesus praises in this Centurion. How’s your faith and humility?
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