The Story of Jesus

A Roman's Faith

Jesus returned with his disciples to Capernaum, where he had healed many sick people at the close of one Sabbath. News of his coming reached the city before he arrived. Friends were glad to hear this news.

Other people besides those who knew him were glad to hear of his coming. One of them was a Roman centurion, 

a captain over one hundred Roman soldiers.

This captain was friendly toward the Jews. He had even built a synagogue for them, perhaps the very one in which Jesus had often taught the people on the Sabbath. Because of his kindness the Jews honored him.

One day a servant of the centurion became sick. On the next day he grew worse until it seemed that he could not live much longer. The centurion loved his servant. Now the centurion had heard about the sick people whom Jesus had healed. He knew Jesus could heal his servant, but he felt too unworthy to go to Jesus. So he sent the Jewish teachers in the synagogue to ask Jesus to heal the sick servant.

When these Jewish teachers came to Jesus, they told him about the centurion's servant. They told him also about the kindness of this Roman captain and how he had built their synagogue. "He is a worthy man," they said, "for he loves our nation." Jesus went with them. As they neared the centurion's home, they saw men coming to meet them. These friends had been sent to tell Jesus that he need not come into the house to heal the sick man. The centurion did not feel worthy to have Jesus enter his house, and he felt himself too unworthy to go out to meet Jesus. So he sent his friends to carry this message: "Lord, do not trouble yourself to come into my house, for I am not worthy to receive so great a man as you are. Just speak the word, and my servant will be made well. I know you have the power to command sickness to depart, just as I have power to command my soldiers to obey me."

When Jesus heard these words, he was greatly pleased. There was a crowd of curious people following, hoping to see another miracle. He turned to them and said, "Nowhere among the Jews have I found such great faith in me as this captain has shown."

When the friends returned to the house, they found the servant healed.

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