The Centurion & Faith That Impresses God

By Harrison Woodard

And Jesus answering saith unto them, ‘Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou cast unto the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. — Mark 11:22-23 KJV

Based on Matthew 8:5-13 & Luke 7:1-10

In the city of Capernaum, their lived a wealthy Centurion who commanded the Roman soldiers stationed there. Even though he was Gentile and a foreigner, he loved the people and paid for the construction of their synagogue.

He had grown up worshipping many gods, but as he learned about Jewish history and the God of Abraham and Isaac, the Centurion longed to have a personal relationship with such a loving God.

In his household, there was a young servant that was like a son to him who became very sick. He called for the doctors who examined the boy, but they could offer no help.

“We can do nothing for the boy,” said the doctors. “Make him as comfortable as possible until he dies.”

“The boy will live!” declared the Centurion.

He walked outside to where the Jewish elders were waiting, “I know your God is God of miracles. What must I do to get my servant healed?”

The elders looked at each other nervously.

“There is a man called Jesus who has the power to heal and drive out evil spirits,” said one.

“Some say he is a great prophet. And some say he is the Messiah, the Son of God,” said another.

“And he is coming to Capernaum today!” added a third.

The Centurion took off running through the town with the elders behind him. He found Jesus and his disciples near the well at the center of town.

Bowing before Jesus, the Centurion said, “Lord, my servant is very sick. But you can heal him.”

“Lord he is worthy of your help, because he loves our people,” added one of the elders.

“I will come and heal him,” said Jesus.

The Centurion stopped him.

“Lord that is not necessary. Just say the word and my servant will be healed. For like you, I am a man under authority. When I command someone to do something, they do it.”

Jesus looked into the Centurion’s eyes with love and admiration.

He turned to the crowd and said, “Nowhere in Israel have I found such impressive faith!”

Turning back to the Centurion he said, “Go back home. As you have believed, so shall it be.”

The Centurion returned home and found his servant completely healed. He made sure that all of his household never forgot God’s love and never stopped praising Him.


Some Things To Think About

The Centurion provides us a wonderful example of faith in action. He heard about Jesus and the miracles that followed his ministry. Being a soldier, he understood power and authority. He knew that Jesus had the power and the authority to do anything. The Centurion just needed to hear the word and he would believe and act on that word. He didn’t need any sign or confirmation. He returned home fully expecting to see his servant healed. The Bible is God’s Word for our generation. You can be just like the Centurion and take God’s Word as the final answer and solution to every need you will ever face. God does not lie and every Word from God is true. (Numbers 23:19; Psalm 119:105; Proverbs 30:5; Matthew 24:35; John 15:7, 6:63)

The Bible does not give us a great amount of detail about the Centurion. But two things jump out. The man understood the basics of faith and he walked in love. Even though he was a Gentile, the Word says that he “loves our nation” and “built us a synagogue”. He was a giver and a lover. It may have been out of ignorance, but he obeyed the most important law of all, the law of love. When you love God, your neighbors and yourself with all your heart, you have kept the entire law. (Galatians 5:14)

Religion likes to point out the humility of the Centurion when he claimed “he was not worthy” as being impressive. But it was the boldness of his faith that impressed Jesus. He wasn’t a Jew. Even worse, he was a Roman soldier, the most despised enemy of the Jews. He understood Jewish customs and he knew that based on these, he was not “worthy” for Jesus to enter his home. But his love for his servant overcame any fear and doubt and brought him boldly before Jesus expecting his servant to be healed. He just needed a word from Jesus to confirm it. How wonderful is it that you already have God’s Word, and the Centurion’s example, so you can boldly receive all that God has given you. (Proverbs 28:1; Ephesians 3:8-12; Hebrews 4:14-16)


Faith Building Exercise

Faith comes by continually hearing God’s Word. When you confess (speak) God’s Word out loud you are planting God’s incorruptible seed in your heart (spirit). In time, God’s Word will take root in your spirit (heart) and produce a plentiful harvest of all God’s blessings and promises in your life.

Confess these out loud every day until you believe them in your spirit. They will build your faith. Look up these verses and read them as they appear in your Bible. You can always trust God’s Word because He cannot lie.


I have faith in God and I am successful.
(2 Chronicles 20:20)

My life is renewed according to God’s Word.
(Psalm 119:37)

God’s Word is life and health to me.
(Proverbs 4:20-22)

God’s Word is my joy and my heart’s delight.
(Jeremiah 15:16)

My faith pleases God. I believe that He exists and He rewards me because I earnestly seek him.
(Hebrews 11:6)

I have fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.
(Colossians 2:10-11)

Jesus carried my sins on the cross. His wounds healed my spirit, mind and body.
(1 Peter 2:24)

I hold fast to my confession of faith in Jesus. I fearlessly and confidently draw near God to obtain mercy and God’s willingness (grace) to help in time of need.
(Hebrews 4:14-16)

I love everyone the way Jesus loves me. People know that I belong to Jesus by my love.
(John 13:34-35)

I hold fast to my confession of faith because God is reliable and faithful to His Word.
(Hebrews 10:22)



To learn more, click here: Centurion’s Servant

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