And the centurion said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed.”

The first three of the ten miracles that Jesus performs after He had delivered the Sermon on the Mount were to social and religious outcasts; the leper, the centurion and Simon’s mother-in-law. The modern mind may find such a thought laughable that a woman, an ‘outsider’ and a diseased man were all scorned upon; yet it is to these that Jesus, perhaps purposefully, reaches out. There are two miracles narrated in today’s gospel; the healing of the centurion’s ‘servant’ and that of Peter’s mother-in-law.

Roman centurions oversaw a hundred soldiers and this man was likely in the service of Herod Antipas’ garrison town. We are told that the centurion has a ‘servant’ who is paralysed and in distress. The Greek translation of the word servant in this passage is παῖς (pais) which translates as boy, and thus son. John’s gospel, narrating the same incident, refers to the paralytic as the son of the centurion (John 4: 46).

Be it a son or a servant, it took the centurion great courage to come before Jesus.  Being a civil servant, the centurion most certainly had his ear to the ground and had surely received reports about this compassionate rabbi.  Jews were not known to be kind to their Gentile occupiers and the hatred was mutual, for the Romans saw the Jews as a difficult bunch of religious fanatics.

Spread the love ♥
Continue Reading