You’re probably aware of the animosity the Jews had for their Roman occupiers, so something in this passage immediately jumps out. This centurion–a daily visual reminder of Rome’s presence–has the kind of relationship with the Jews that several Jewish elders willingly went to Jesus to plead on his behalf. “He is worthy,” they said, which is incredible. Worthy? Really? A Roman centurion?
They were obviously impressed with him, and so was Jesus. Luke tells us that “Jesus . . . marveled at him” and gave his faith a beautiful compliment.
Tomorrow we’ll explore this story together, focusing on the centurion’s faith. What made it so real? Why was Jesus seemingly so surprised by it?
And what does it teach us about the kind of faith Jesus is looking for in us?