Who wouldn’t go to Jesus for help? So it makes perfect sense that this man came to Jesus on behalf of his servant. His coming to Jesus for help only becomes surprising base on who he was. The man wasn’t a Jewish, he was a Roman. The man was a centurion, responsible for 80 to 100 soldiers in an army occupying a conquered territory. Jews and Roman avoided contact with each other.
” And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.” Matthew 8:5-7 KJV
We should be surprised by the centurion’s request, but the soldier was obviously desperate to get Jesus’ attention. The Roman centurion not only asked a Jew for help, he asked a Jew Rabbi. A leader of the conquering army asked a leader among the conquered people for help! He was willing to do anything to a way to save his servant, he would even ask Jesus.
After the centurion explained to Jesus the nature of his servant’s illness, Jesus replied that of course He would go and heal the servant. Jesus had no problem crossing ethnic or national lines if it meant helping someone. He had come to save the whole world. Sure, the gospel came first to the Jews, but Jesus was insistent the gospel wouldn’t be limited to one people or nation. The good news was for everyone, including this Roman centurion and his servant.
Another surprising moment was when Jesus told the centurion He would go to his home. A Jewish person would not enter the home of a gentile; this was considered unclean. But later, Jesus taught it’s what’s inside the person that makes him clean or unclean, not what that person may touch or eat during the day (Matthew 15:16-20).
Jesus was going to honor the centurion by going to his home. If you want a one sentence explanation of the incarnation, this is it. God in Jesus told a desperate world, “I will come to your house and bring healing and hope with Me.”
Originally Authored by Bible Studies for Life