After He finished the “Sermon on the Plain,” Jesus went back into Capernaum and was met by Jewish elders. They had been asked to come by a Roman Centurion. Originally, a Centurion commanded 80 men, but some estimates are that their command – a centuria or “century,” could contain up to 1000 soldiers. That number would likely be closer to the makeup of a “cohort,” which would be under the command of a senior Centurion. The average Roman soldier during this time earned about 225 denarii per year. But the cost of the soldier’s food and his arms were both deducted from his pay!
On the other hand, estimates are that the most junior of Centurions was paid about 3,700 denarii per year, while a senior Centurion could earn as much as 15,000! This wide disparity meant that these officers would be considered quite wealthy by most Jews, among whom the Centurions lived. The reason for the Centurion sending the Jewish elders to Jesus was because he had heard of Jesus’ healings, and he had a “highly valued” servant that was dying from some illness. The elders pleaded with Jesus to help this Gentile soldier in this matter because he had built their synagogue, confirming that this Centurion was indeed wealthy.
But as Jesus and the elders approached their destination, they were met by people with a message from the Centurion, saying both that he was not worthy and that it was not necessary for Jesus to actually come to his home. Instead, he expressed his belief that Jesus could heal his servant just by saying that it was so – without even seeing his servant. And of course, he was right about that. Jesus’ statement that “even in Israel” he had not seen such faith serves as one more example that indicates the intentions the Lord had of including the Gentiles in His plan of salvation.
(This year’s reading plan for Luke, Acts, and 1 and 2 Chronicles averages just 15 verses per day – 5 days per week!)
Schedule for this week
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from Luke here
Read or listen to audio of today’s selection from 1 Chronicles here
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.