The Centurion

I want to draw our attention to a fascinating man, a man that stood out before and out of his time. For this post, let us call him the Centurion of Matthew 8.

[5] And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
[6] And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.

Matthew 8:5-6 (KJV)

Firstly, this man was a Gentile. Secondly, He was a Roman soldier, his mere presence a symbol of the apparent Roman oppression and proof that the people – or at least the land – of Israel was under rule by a foreign power, not Jehovah. Thirdly, he was a Centurion who had about a hundred soldiers at his disposal.

Basically, he was a man of high estate.

Yet this man came to meet Jesus to beseech him on account of his servant. A high powered Gentile came to a Jew, his political subject, on account of a lowly servant.

Now, might I draw your attention to something? We have often commended this man for his faith. And rightly so, because our Lord did. However, Matthew also shows us a small but important information. Notice how the man addresses Jesus; he called Him Lord.

Where did this Gentile hear of Jesus as to believe in him?

Whilst we aren’t exactly sure, in chapter 4 of the Gospel according to the Matthew, we find that the fame of Jesus had spread abroad. It’s possible this birthed forth Saving Faith in the heart of the Centurion, such that at the time he would meet Jesus, he had already subscribed to Him as his Lord.

Jesus commended the man for not just his faith but also the sheer audacity of it. The man truly understood what was meant by the term ‘Lord’. He was fully convinced that Jesus was Lord of all. It was an uncanny understanding.

However for the Centurion it was a given; as far as he was concerned the power and authority of his Master was without bounds. Though he was a gentile, he knew that His Lord would not cast him off. He also knew that his servant could be a beneficiary of the power and benevolence of his Lord.

The centurion called him Lord and on that basis interceeded for his servant. We hereby see that true intercession is only possible on the basis on submission to Lordship.

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