When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, asking for help. Matthew 8:5
An artist has pictured the Roman centurion of Capernaum with his helmet under his arm to indicate his humility. He is humbly asking for Jesus’ help in behalf of his sick slave.
A centurion was an officer in the Roman army, normally commanding 100 men. Four centurions are referred to in the New Testament: the one stationed in Capernaum, the centurion under Jesus’ cross, Cornelius of Caesarea, and Julius, who conducted Saint Paul and other prisoners to Rome. The first three were believers, and of Julius it is said that he treated Paul "in kindness” (Acts 27:3), gave him special privileges, and later saved his life. He, too, may have been – or later became – a Christian. It may strike us as unusual to find officers of the Roman army as followers of Jesus.
It is not possible to predict who will or will not accept the Gospel of salvation in Christ. Sometimes faith is found in the most illogical, unexpected persons: the thief on the cross, the jailer in Philippi, Saul the Pharisee, who was “breathing out murderous threats against the Lord's disciples” (Acts 9:1). The gold of faith, like the precious metal, is where you find it – in unusual persons, often in surprising places.
So the Christian church preaches the Gospel “to every creature” (Colossians 1:23) without distinction, leaving it to the Holy Spirit to perform the miracle of conversion. It is not necessary to look for outstanding examples of persons who came to the saving faith. You and I are cases in point. While we were yet sinners – while we were dead in sin – Christ died for us. We are all walking miracles of the grace of God.
PRAYER: Thank You, Lord God for finding me and bringing me to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)