- Sermon Notes
Intro: One handed.
When Jesus came down from the mountain where He gave His sermon on the mount, multitudes followed Him. In large part, they were curious regarding what this teacher, who spoke with authority like they had never heard, would do next. What they would witness, was the Savior coming down to bring about restoration and healing to all who would come to Him believing that He is able.
After cleansing a leper in the advanced stages on leprosy, Jesus comes in contact with a Gentile centurion, who desperately seeks healing on behalf of his servant. He came to Jesus knowing that He alone would be able to bring about healing to His servant, that He alone is able.
Read: Matthew 8:5-13
This centurion was a Gentile officer in the Roman army. There was racial tension between Jews and Gentile, and political tension between the Jewish people
and the Roman occupation.
Despite tension, societal, political, or religious norms; this centurion knew that outside of Jesus, his servant had no hope. Like the leper, he heard about One who could bring about restoration and healing for his servant and did not delay to call upon Jesus, knowing that He is able.
Whatever you are facing today, don’t delay.
I. Call Upon Jesus
Matthew 8:5-7, And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him, and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.” Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”
- For a Jewish person in that region, this officer had two-strikes against him.
- He was a Gentile, which is a term that refers to a person who is not a Jew.
- Gentiles were seen as pagans who did not know the true God. There was great pride in the Jewish cultural and religious heritage and the Gentiles would be considered by some to be “unclean,” called “dogs” and generally looked down upon.
- Gentiles were most often viewed as enemies and were shunned by many (John 4:9; 18:28; and Acts 10:28).
- Additionally, the centurion was an officer in the Roman occupation army.
- Roman authorities demanded absolute allegiance to Rome first and foremost. Romans soldiers were despised occupiers of the land.
Matthew 5:41, “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.”
- In Jesus’ day, Roman soldiers had the right to force a civilian to carry his pack for one mile, but only for one mile.
- This law caused great inconvenience to civilians. It didn’t matter what the civilian was doing or where they were going, a Roman soldier could come and interrupt their day, forcing them to carry their equipment and walk with them for a mile.
- It was embarrassing, inconvenient, and cause for greater hate toward Roman soldiers.
- Many believed the coming Messiah would be the one to overthrow Roman occupation and oppression.
- Yet here, an officer in the Roman occupation comes to Jesus for the healing of his servant who is paralyzed and suffering terribly (vs. 6).
- A Roman centurion was in charge of 100 soldiers. Would have to prove himself a valiant warrior, worthy of the respect of 100 soldiers.
- This was not just a soldier, but a commanding officer, who seeks out the One he had heard about who was healing all who were suffering various diseases (Mt. 4:23-25).
- This centurion came to Jesus because his servant, likely a young boy, was paralyzed, suffering in physical pain and about to die (Lk. 7:2).
- The centurion seeks Jesus, calling Him “Lord,” urgently and humbly bringing his situation before him. It was no casual request, but an urgent plea for the life of one who was dear to him.
- A man of his stature and status could likely have gone to almost anyone in the land. Yet, it was Jesus he brought his situation to, the One he knew was Lord, and addressed Him as such.
Illus. Did you see that new shirt?
Revelation 5:11-12, Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”
- Isn’t He the friend of sinners? Yes.
- He subjected Himself to living in a fallen, depraved world, for we “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23) and despite that, Jesus desires a relationship with us.
- But in His being a friend of sinners, He showed that it is “God’s kindness that leads you to repentance” (Rom. 2:4).
Matthew 16:15, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
- There was no mistaking that this centurion knew who He was calling on. He was calling on the One who could respond and change the plight of his servant in a moment.
- Like this centurion, we can call upon Jesus, our Lord, recognizing that He will answer.
Psalm 91:15, He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.
A. Give Him the final Word
- Jesus’ initial response to the centurion was that He would come and heal his servant.
- Jesus was willing to go to the centurion’s house (vs. 7), and it would have been a sight for all to see if that would have taken place.
- It was completely against Jewish custom for a Jewish person to enter into a Gentiles’ home.
- The centurion showed great respect and sensitivity to Jesus in saying that he is not worthy for Jesus to come under his roof.
- But he showed something even greater to Jesus in that moment. He showed his faith and an incomparable understanding of Jesus’ authority.
Matthew 8:8, Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed.
- He knew that Jesus had true authority, that He could command things to be done and completed outside His immediate presence.
- Just as this centurion could say to his servant go, and he would go; so too Jesus could give the word and it would be done.
- The authority of Jesus in this world and in our lives cannot be understated.
Matthew 28:18, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth, Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
- Though all authority has been given, the question remains as to whether or not He has the complete authority, the final word in your life personally.
Illus. No contact!
- He certainly has the authority to save, to restore, to heal as He wills and to bring us from death to life.
- But does he have the final word in your decisions? Or just your final destination?
- The centurion believed wholeheartedly that Jesus could simply speak the word and it would be done.
- It is why Jesus was amazed by his faith…He turned to those following Him and told them that He had not yet seen anyone with faith this great.
- The centurion recognized Jesus’ authority and entrusted his situation to Jesus’ very word. There was nothing Jesus would have to prove.
Illus. See you soon?
- We can give Jesus the final word in our lives and our situation and by faith know that His Word that has been given, is enough.
- Jesus praises the faith of the Gentile centurion.
Hebrews 11:6, And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
- The faith of the centurion is shown in his response to Jesus…I don’t need you to come to my house and prove it. I know you are able, that your word is enough. So, I ask, will you say the word? That will be enough.
- It’s not “a word” or “any word” to entrust your situation to, it’s His Word.
John 8:36, So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
B. Proceed according to His promise
Matthew 8:13, “Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed that very moment.
- At his home, the servant was restored.
- For the centurion, it all came down to his faith. His faith that knew Jesus could, asked if He would and was not surprised when He did.
- Jesus marveled at the faith of the centurion, who put no limits on what Jesus could do.
Hebrews 4:2, For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard.
Illus. Quiet down, we are praying for Peter.
And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him, and saying, "Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented." Jesus said to him, "I will come and heal him."But the centurion said, "Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man 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." Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, "Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel. I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."And Jesus said to the centurion, "Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed." And the servant was healed that very moment.