Fellow soldiers: This centurion in the Gospel of Luke is an example to us all. This is a Roman soldier with great faith! Here is a man in charge of troops who set aside his pride and humbled himself before the Lord Jesus, begging Him to heal his sick servant.
1Now when He [Jesus] concluded all His sayings in the hearing of the people, He entered Capernaum. 2 And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. 3 So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant. 4 And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving, 5 “for he loves our nation, and has built us a synagogue.” Luke 7:1-5
This was no ordinary centurion commander! He was a God-fearing proselyte to Judaism as evidenced by the elders of his synagogue going to Jesus on his behalf. Even though this man was a converted Gentile, his friends testified of his love for Israel and participation in building a synagogue in in the city of Capernaum, Jesus’ own base of ministry in Galilee. Jesus had taught in this very synagogue (Luke 4:31; Mark 1:21) and this is where the centurion likely first heard Jesus teach and when he recognized Him as the Messiah.
6 Then Jesus went with them. And when He was already not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to Him, saying to Him, “Lord, do not trouble Yourself, for I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof. 7 Therefore I did not even think myself worthy to come to You. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 For I also am a man placed under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” Luke 7:6-8
This was a soldier who confessed his sinfulness in the presence of the Son of God, the Savior of the world. He was unworthy to have Jesus enter his house and he readily admitted this in spite of his high rank as a commander of other soldiers. He believed that the Creator of Heaven and Earth stood before him and He could speak and heal the centurion’s servant. Jesus was amazed at this man’s faith!
9 When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” 10 And those who were sent, returning to the house, found the servant well who had been sick. Luke 7:9-10
My guidance to all soldiers is to heed this centurion’s example – confess your sins to God, trust in Jesus the Messiah to forgive your sins and save you from eternal condemnation. If you believe in this Savior of all mankind, trust that He died on the cross for you, rose again, and is in Heaven now, He will accept you like He did this centurion. One day, all Gentile believers – Romans, Greeks, Samaritans, all nations – will worship the King, the LORD of hosts, in His glorious Kingdom.
And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. Zechariah 14:16