During His ministry, Jesus performed more than 40 miracles, including healing the sick, changing the natural elements of nature and even raising people from the dead. A miracle is considered an event that occurs outside the bounds of natural law. Each month, we will take a closer look at one of His miracles to understand the depth of His love for us. Understanding the miracles of Jesus can change your life, and it all begins with believing through faith.
In Matthew 4:12-16, we learn of a miracle Jesus performed on behalf of a Roman soldier, also known as a centurion. This was quite unusual during biblical times because Jewish leaders were usually not fond of Roman soldiers.
Jesus had walked down from the mountainside outside of Capernaum, where He had just delivered what would become one of the most famous sermons in history. He was met by a small group of Jewish elders with an urgent request. There was a Roman centurion whose servant was sick and dying. The centurion had asked the elders to go to Jesus on his behalf to ask if Jesus would be willing to heal his servant.
The Jewish elders knew it was an odd request. One of the elders said to Jesus, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation, and he is the one who built us our synagogue.” This was also uncommon because Roman soldiers were not generally fond of Jews.
Earlier, Jesus had preached for hours on the importance of loving one’s enemies, so naturally, Jesus immediately left with them toward the centurion’s home.
As they reached the house, another small crowd approached and stopped Jesus and the Jewish elders. Some observers thought the servant must have died.
Then a representative of the intercepting group said to Jesus, “Teacher, I have a message for you from my Roman friend. He says, Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore, I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed.”
Jesus looked toward His disciples, and the small crowd of people who had followed Him down the mountain, and He said loud enough for everyone to hear, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”
And at that moment, the centurion’s servant was healed. Jesus never even entered the house. The centurion was one of the most unlikely persons to amaze Jesus. He was a Gentile probably from a pagan upbringing. He was Roman and stationed in Palestine to enforce the Emperor’s rules. He was a man of war. Regardless, this soldier came to Jesus on behalf of his servant with total faith in Jesus’ ability to heal.
The centurion is also a reminder that “man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). Jesus is not as impressed with titles, degrees and achievements but instead is pleased by those who believe in Him. His acceptance of us is not based on religion, good character or good works because none of us are worthy. But, it’s our faithfulness that is pleasing to Him.