Imperfect Heroes (Part 52)
The Roman Centurion
A centurion's slave, who was highly regarded by him, was sick and about to die. When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders asking Him to come and save the life of his slave. When they came to Jesus, they earnestly implored Him, saying, 'He is worthy for You to grant this to him; for he loves our nation and it was he who built us our synagogue.' Now Jesus started on His way with them; and when He was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to Him, 'Lord, do not trouble Yourself further, for I am not worthy for You to come under my roof... but just say the word, and my servant will be healed... Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled at him, and turned and said to the crowd that was following Him, 'I say to you, not even in Israel have I found such great faith.'
Luke 7:2-9 (NASB)
Undoubtedly, this soldier killed people. He was a war captain in evil times.
Undoubtedly, he was born a pagan, and surely not a son of Abraham.
Undoubtedly, he obeyed Roman rules, including Israel's occupation.
Undoubtedly, many Jews hated him, as a governor of their oppression.
Undoubtedly, some Jews respected him, because he had shown them love and kindness.
So undoubtedly and remarkably, Jesus not only healed his sick servant, but gave him a stellar commendation--as a man of extraordinary faith. This centurion won the biggest war: choosing to believe in Christ as God's Son. So what should we take home from his story?
Not to rest easy in our 'saved' status: God calls us to be active duty saints: working hard to follow His Commandments. And if we don't, He may promote others to do what complacent Christians do not.
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Imperfect Heroes series.