Lesson 126: The Centurion's Servant
Updated: Mar 11, 2022
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INTRODUCTION. While Jesus was in Capernaum one day, He was approached by the elders of the Jews. A centurion had sent them to Jesus to beg him to come and heal the centurion's servant who was sick of the palsy and at the point of death.
A centurion was a soldier in charge of 100 men. Whether this centurion was an officer in the Roman army or in the service of Herod Antipas is unknown. Herod Antipas ruled over Galilee at that time, and although he was subject to Rome, he had his own troops.
It is clear this particular centurion was a Gentile, for he said, "...I am not worthy that thou shouldest come (enter) under my roof" (Matt. 8:8; Luke 7:6). It was not lawful for a Jew to go into a Gentile's house (Acts 10:28). Nevertheless, the man was held in high regard by the Jewish elders, for he had built their synagogue and loved their nation. He was unusual in another way, also, for he had great concern for his servant. A slave in the Roman world had no rights and was considered a thing, not a person. He was totally at the mercy of his master's whims. This particular slave was apparently loved by his centurion master.