Home » Opinion » Reflections Today » The healing of a centurion’s slave

The healing of a centurion’s slave

Gospel Reading: Lk 7:1-10

When Jesus had finished all his words to the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die, and he was valuable to him. When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and save the life of his slave. They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying, “He deserves to have you do this for him, for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.” And Jesus went with them, but when he was only a short distance from the house, the centurion sent friends to tell him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.

Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you; but say the word and let my servant be healed. For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” When the messengers returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.


The healing of the centurion’s servant is another of Jesus’ miracles that reveal spiritual realities. What makes this story different is that the major figure is a Gentile, a centurion, even though he never shows up in the passage. The major topic of the healing is faith in light of Jesus’ authority. As the story continues, Jesus turns to go to the man’s house when a second delegation arrives. They report the response of the centurion in the first person, indicating that they are speaking for him. His message declares his own unworthiness in having Jesus enter his home. He does not want to trouble the teacher, but only wishes him to heal his slave. He understands Jesus authority and knows that if he just issues the order, the healing will occur. To drive the point home, he illustrates his understanding by appealing to his own role as a man in authority. All he needs to do is to issue an order, and it is obeyed. What impresses Jesus is both the centurion’s humility and his understanding of Jesus’ power (the ability to heal from a distance). Hence, the healing takes place, just as the centurion has anticipated. The power of Jesus and the presence of faith form a powerful combination.

* * *
In Jesus, racial and social boundaries are overcome.

* * *
SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.