Last time, I talked about a certain man that captured my attention in the New Testament. We looked at the Centurion who interceeded for his servant before Jesus Christ.
The Centurion in the former instance was a gentile. This not to suggest that all centurions were gentiles by birth. As we will see later on, there were centurions who might not have necessarily been Gentiles by birth. Some might have been by nationalization.
In this post, I turn to another Centurion:
Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.Matthew 27:54 (KJV)
There are three things to note in this verse:
First; the confession of men that Jesus truly was the Son of God.
I have often said that, with respect to Jesus Christ, every man will ultimately sustain an opinion. I know that we live in a world that has worked very hard to come up with several explanations or alternatives to the Son of God. However, one explanation or alternative that is no longer available is to say that He did not exist or that He is a product of wishful thinking.
Notice in the above verse they said truly, as if to say they had heard several reports and were unsure about who he was until this fateful evening dealt with that confusion once and for all.
Secondly, notice this; “…watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done…” Most times that I interface with the scriptures, I like to engage my mind, to allow it imagine the things I am reading, as though I was there in person.
Now note that the Evangelist said, “…watching Jesus, saw the earthquakes, and those things that were done.” I started to think differently about this. This was not the first time they would experience an earthquake, so in terms of their corporate mindset, an earthquake in itself is just ‘one of those things. I think it would not have been new to them.
But this was different. They were watching Jesus, as if to say they saw those other things in the light of Jesus. They didn’t take their gaze off of him. They kept watching him. And that made a world of difference. Those circumstances took shape in the light of the crucified Christ. I think we will find that the issues of our lives will start to look different if we didn’t (on their account) shift our gaze from watching Christ.
Thirdly; note that it says “the Centurion and they that were with him”. Now, this ‘they’ could have been all kinds of people. It could just as easily refer to the soldiers under the Centurion’s command. Whatever it meant, we see that ‘they’ watched what the Centurion watched.
This brings to the fore leadership and the capacity of a leader’s influence. The people that are under your sphere of your influence, what is becoming of them? What are you watching? It seems possible that not only did the Centurion see Jesus, he also was able to get his boys to see Jesus.
And if that was his final act, then it would have been more than enough.