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The Faith of the Centurion

Luke 7:1-10 is one of the greatest accounts of faith in action in all the Scripture. It is the record of the Centurion who told Jesus to speak a word and his servant would be healed. Here was a man of extreme influence and power. He was captain over hundreds of soldiers. He could charge elders of the Jews to go to Jesus asking for His help and they did so without hesitation. They even spoke of him as one who was worthy because of how much he had done for their nation and synagogue. He had such authority that his friends obeyed him and went to Jesus, to tell him not to trouble Himself, as He was on His way to the man's home. The Centurion did not think himself worthy to have the Savior come under His roof. Here was a man who had charge over hundreds of Roman soldiers, influence over elders of Israel, and friends to do whatever he asked. But he, by faith, believed that Jesus had more authority and power than himself, or any mere man.

The marvelous thing about this account is the fact that Jesus, by all human standards, didn't seem to have anything. He had no army, no influence over the elders of Israel, and practically no friends. He had no house--no where to lay His head. But the Centurion looked beyond what the eyes could see. He saw who Christ was by faith. John Maclaurin explains the greatness of the Centurion's faith when he wrote: Jesus "had no guard of soldiers, nor magnificent retinue of servants, but the Centurion who had both, acknowledged that health and sickness, life and death, took orders from Him."

The account concludes with an amazing statement. When Jesus saw his faith "He marveled." The faith of this Centurion, in contrast to the unbelief that was so common in the atmosphere of this fallen world amazed the Savior. Luke tells us that Jesus marveled at his faith. This does not mean that Jesus did not know that this man would believe. Rather, it is meant to highlight the rarity and example of the Centurion's trust. The Jesus the Centurion trusted in is the same yesterday, today and forever. He has all authority and power in heaven and earth. May we learn to trust Him to such an extent that we too would say to Him "I am not worthy...just speak a word."

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