After he had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. Now a centurion had a servant who was sick and at the point of death, who was highly valued by him. When the centurion heard about Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they pleaded with him earnestly, saying, 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. And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends, saying to him, 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. For I too am a man set under authority, with 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. When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith. And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the servant well. — Luke 7:1-10

The Centurion of Capernaum is one of those enigmatic characters in the gospels of Jesus. He pops in and pops out but leaves an indelible mark. Luke tells us that Jesus “marveled at him”. His faith was such that it left Jesus stunned. The greek word here for “marveled” includes with it a sense of pleasure. This act of faith pleased Jesus as well as amazed him.

The Centurion believed that Jesus could speak a word and that he had authority to heal his servant. We learn that Jesus has such authority as the son of God that he need not touch or even be present with someone to effect healing, his mere word carried the power and authority to bring about healing. Healing is the physical representation of the spiritual reality that Jesus was the reversing the fall as the “second Adam”.

The question for us is simple. Do we believe that Jesus has this authority?

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