A Roman centurion was an intimidating figure. By definition, he was responsible for leading 100 men, which included about 80 soldiers and 20 servants and orderlies. To qualify for the position, he had to be an expert in weaponry. He also had to be strong and powerful, quick to follow orders, and skilled at motivating the men under his command. In Roman society, centurions were held in high esteem, and in the first century they were high on the social and political ladder.
One centurion made an impression on the Messiah. This one had more faith than anyone he had seen in Israel. He’d told Jesus he knew Jesus could heal his servant by simply commanding it to happen.
Over the years as I’ve walked with God, I’ve often wondered what it means to have great faith. I’ve wondered, what was it about the centurion that made his faith so remarkable?
I think the answer is found in what the centurion says in the verses before this (Matthew 8:8-9). He had the command and the respect of hundreds. He gave the order and they obeyed. He had power and authority unlike many in Israel. But he humbled himself before Jesus, claiming he was not even worthy to have Jesus in his home.
I hope we can all pause and ask ourselves this question — Do I recognize who Jesus really is and reach out to him in humility? Do I approach Jesus in total dependence on his kindness and righteousness to provide for what I need?
Lord, search my heart and show me what it means to have great faith. Amen.
Go Deeper — Read the story of the centurion from Matthew 8 in your time with God today. Ask God to show you what great faith looks like in your life.
Read Further — Does your faith need a booster shot? Read Don’t Be a Lukewarm Christian.
Photo Credit: Aaron Burden