Nobility, Ability, And Authority
“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; for this reason I did not even consider myself worthy to come to You, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man placed under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” – Luke 7:6-8
We are all familiar with the healing of the Roman Centurion’s servant. But what is fascinating to me is the fact that the centurion even sought after Jesus’ help in the first place. To understand what I mean by that you have to consider the culture of that day, along with the surrounding circumstances. For instance, the centurion was a soldier trained to fight. Jesus was a man of peace. He was a Gentile. Jesus was a Jew. With that being said, the beauty of this miracle is the fact that the centurion overcame any existing social barriers and recognized three things in relation to Jesus.
To begin with, he recognized Jesus’ nobility. This is evident in the fact that He referred to Jesus as “Lord.” The word Lord is the Greek word “kurios” meaning “Lord over heaven and earth.” He went on to further articulate that Jesus was Lord by saying, “I am not worthy for You to come under my roof; for this reason I did not even consider myself worthy to come to You.” It was not that He thought that he was too good to meet Jesus; rather he thought that he was not good enough. Thank about that! A Roman officer, telling a poor Jewish rabbi that he felt unworthy to have Him enter his house! This statement of humility carries great significance in light of the arrogance Roman soldiers of that day were known for.
But secondly, he recognized Jesus’ ability. The centurion says, “Just say the word, & he will be healed.” It is obvious that this man does not doubt the power of the very words of God. He acknowledges Jesus’ ability to do anything. What great faith this man has! With his faith and with his words he recognized Jesus as possessing great spiritual power and was convinced that he would be able to heal his servant simply by speaking the word. This is a lesson for us today as well. We ought to know the power of God’s words. His word never returns empty or void. His word is described as a two edged sword. With His words, God spoke into existence the entire universe. And God in His sovereignty created everything simply by speaking it all into being.
Thirdly, he recognized Jesus’ authority. He said, “I also am a man placed under authority.” You see, this Roman centurion was a man placed in a position of authority. Because of this, it was easier for him to recognize the authority of Jesus. Jerry Depoy said it best. He said that “Although the centurion was a man of authority, he was also a man under authority. He had power of many men, but he did not have power over sickness, disease, and death. He believed Jesus had that power. He was willing to yield to the Lordship of Christ.” I am truly convinced that it was the humility of the Roman centurion that helped him submit to Jesus’ authority. The centurion believed that diseases had to submit to Christ just as he had to obey his superior officer’s and those under his authority had to obey him. He believed that Jesus could command anything in creation, and that it would obey.
Take time out this morning and examine your life to see if you are reflecting the attitude of the Roman Centurion by recognizing Jesus’ nobility, ability, and authority!
– Pastor Eric