The Faith of a Centurion (Part 2)

As we saw last Sunday, this centurion is changed on the day he truly met Jesus. Specifically speaking, the centurion’s quote is referenced three times and with slight variations each time. These slight variations open the door for the reader to glean something with each reading that perhaps would not have been noticed otherwise.

Awe-Inspiring - Matthew 27:54 - “When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, ‘Truly this was the Son of God!’” In this statement, we find the centurion seeing Jesus as awe-inspiring. In Hebrews 11:1, the definition of faith is “…the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction or certainty) of things not seen.” The reader sees in this account a willingness to believe in the amazing and a willingness to trust the extraordinary. Faith cannot be measured in inches or ounces, but rather to the depths that one is willing to believe in something they cannot explain.

Attention-Getting - Mark 15:39 - “And when the centurion, who stood facing Him, saw that in this way He breathed His last, he said, ‘Truly this man was the Son of God!’” In the gospel of Mark, the reader cannot ignore that Mark reveals the centurion stood facing Jesus. There is an apparent closeness that this centurion commits to that will not allow him to look away. The centurion’s attention is locked on what is happening in front of him. As a matter of application, in Hebrews 12:2, the reader is told to look to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith. The one who claims to believe in Jesus, who claims to have faith, must be unwavering in their focus on the only one who can save. In this particular encounter, the centurion seemingly cannot look away and cannot help but express an appreciation for the greatness of the life of Jesus.

 Acknowledged Innocence - Luke 23:47 - “Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, ‘Certainly this man was innocent!’” The acknowledgement of the innocence of Christ by a man who had no earthly reason to believe the cries of unfair treatment, is truly faithshaking. For the reader then and the readers now, this cry is a shocking turn of events that will test even the most solid of believers’ faith. Romans 5:1-11 reminds the reader that an innocent man died on behalf of the guilty. This is driven home with the four words used to describe mankind - weak, ungodly, still sinners, and enemies. 1 Peter 3:18 states it as the righteous for the unrighteous and that it was done so that He (Jesus) might bring us to God.

Faith is not intended to be understood in concrete terms or measurements, but it can be understood. The centurion revealed faith that may not have existed before, but when someone comes face to face with Jesus Christ, they cannot help but exclaim that He truly is the Son of God!

Join in the worship of our one true God today... Be moved in remembering the death of His Son... - Scott

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