Jesus Heals a Centurion’s Servant

Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, 6 saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.”

7 And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”

8 The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

10 When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! 11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour. ~ Matthew 8:5-13.

Jesus heals the centurion’s servant. The faith of the Gentile centurion provides the occasion for the prediction that Israel will be hardened and the gospel will be extended to the Gentiles.

“centurion” (v.5). — A Roman military officer in charge of approximately one hundred men. This centurion had an appreciation for Jesus’ authority that surpassed anything in Israel, an awareness of his own unworthiness, and faith that Jesus could overcome the difficulty of his unworthiness. Matthew, who often prefers a condensed style, does not mention the intermediaries that appear in the parallel account in Luke 7:1–10.

“sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (v.11). — A reference to the messianic banquet theme of Isaiah 25:6–9. Gentiles now appear in place of the natural sons. This theme recurs in the parable of the wicked tenants (21:33–44, especially v. 43) and the banquet parable (22:1–14). Jesus’ prediction is an early example of the principle developed by Paul in Romans 9:30–32: Israel tries to pursue righteousness by works and does not obtain it, but Gentiles who know they deserve only condemnation seek God’s mercy and obtain it.

“darkness . . . weeping” (v.12). — These figures of speech represent the grief and despair of those who are excluded from the kingdom.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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