He was one of the few people who amazed Jesus. And by all accounts he was an amazing guy who had the respect and admiration of everyone. Was he one of the disciples? No. One of the Jewish leaders? No. Was he a great Greek scholar? No.
He was a Roman centurion. A commander of 100 men. A citizen of Rome. An employee of Nero. Yet a friend of the Jews. In fact, when this man’s household servant fell ill, several Jewish elders went to Jesus advocating for the man.
“If anyone deserves your help, he does,” they said, “for he loves the Jewish people and even built a synagogue for us.” (Luke 7:4-5)
What was it that won the support of the people? His love which led to action. He cared for them and did what he could to meet their needs. As an officer of the Roman army, it likely wasn’t his job to build them a synagogue, but his love compelled him to nonetheless.
In case you’re wondering, yes, this is the same man who thought himself unworthy to have Jesus come to his home. Knowing Jesus had great authority, the centurion realized Christ only had to say the word and his servant would be healed. It was at this point that Jesus commented about him:
I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel! (v.9)
Want to be respected by people and amazing to God? Then follow the centurion’s examples of love, action, and faith! –Dave
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