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. (Luke 7:6-7 NASB)
I was reading the story of the centurion and his ill servant this morning. The passage above caught my attention for a couple of reasons. The centurion, an important man in the Roman army, was compassionate toward his servant and humble before the Lord. A man I would expect to be arrogant and self-righteous was respectful and genuinely concerned.
It’s not often someone in authority would hold a mere peon in high regard. He had heard the stories of Jesus and felt compelled to intercede on his servant’s behalf. His servant could not approach Jesus himself, so the centurion asked for him. He treasured his servant. He truly cared for him.
I find the loyalty of the centurion so endearing. It seems to be a dying quality. We live in a time (so did Jesus) where everyone wants something from you. People are kind only to persuade or manipulate. I think that’s why Jesus was considered so radical. He came to forgive and offer grace. He was kind and compassionate. He went to those who were considered unworthy. He asked for nothing and offered eternal life.
The story continues on to say Jesus marveled at the man’s faith. I marvel at his tender heart. Somewhere along the way the centurion developed a deep love for his fellow man. When he looked at his servant he saw a person who mattered. He saw someone deserving respect. He ached for the suffering.
Lord may we be inspired by the centurion’s faith and convicted by his humility. Amen!