Even a Roman Military Man?
Matthew 8:5-17

5 When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with him, 6 “Lord, my young servant lies in
bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.” 7 Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.” 8 But the officer said, “Lord, I am not
worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. 9 I know
this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say,
‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.” 10 When Jesus heard this,
he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all
Israel! 11 And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world—from east and west—and sit down
with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven. 12 But many Israelites—those for whom the
Kingdom was prepared—will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then
Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.” And the young servant was
healed that same hour.
14 When Jesus arrived at Peter’s house, Peter’s mother-in-law was sick in bed with a high fever. 15 But when Jesus
touched her hand, the fever left her. Then she got up and prepared a meal for him. 16 That evening many demon-
possessed people were brought to Jesus. He cast out the evil spirits with a simple command, and he healed all the sick. 17
This fulfilled the word of the Lord through the prophet Isaiah, who said, “He took our sicknesses
and removed our diseases.”

(flip the script > rich toward poor > poor toward rich)
1) V5-7 What was a typical Roman Centurion’ role? Where did he get his authority?
A Centurion commanded 100 soldiers. His word was final in the occupation are he was assigned to. Power – The Roman
emperor had absolute power – this power passed to the Centurions. Mainly he wanted to keep peace,
QUESTION: Who might we equate this person/position to today? We can’t relate to an occupying army, but Army
officer such as a lieutenant. Consider the police, but also wealthy. When they are on the scene what do they want – total
control of the situation. Bottom line – a person of power and prestige.
Ever met anyone with power and prestige? Bill Clinton and his entourage. “This is Dennis Swanberg.”
It can make you and others shrink and “the person” fill the room.
2) Who speaks truth to the rich and powerful?

Often nobody. They might fire you! Or back then, arrest you in a whim. They also are paranoid that someone is going to
“use” them or take advantage of their money. They are blessed if they have enough humility to listen to a trusted friend.
If they are honest, they will tell you they are lonely.
TABLE QUESTION: Why are we intimidated by rich, powerful, famous people? And what does that say about us?
Feeling intimidated typically boils down to a sense that the person you’re interacting with is more powerful than you.
Socially powerful people, for example, could be wealthy, attractive, intelligent, talented, or even just incredibly charming.
Because these qualities are valued by others, they elevate the people possessing them to a higher perceived social status.
About us (believers:) We believe the pop culture instead of what is really true. We believe the centuries old lie that “God
blessed them more than me, they are better than me.”
3) When do you think the rich and powerful reach out for help?
Like us, when they have to, but probably they are even more hesitant than we are. Truth is, they have the money to get
the best help. The Betty Ford Center.
QUESTION: Do wealthy people have addiction issues? More or less?
Yes, but the “drug” varies.
-Wealth is the strongest predictor of heavy episodic drinking
-Affluent children to be at greater risk for current alcohol use, frequent heavy episodic drinking, and marijuana use during
the transition to adulthood
-Affluent neighborhoods may contribute to higher levels of substance use because in these areas there is less supervision
of children and more exposure to substance-using peers
-Affluent youth may not suffer the same social, health, and economic consequences of their higher levels of alcohol and
marijuana use that lower SES youth would because of a buffering effect from their available resources suggest that higher
substance use in high-SES communities is, in part, attributable to permissive parental attitudes and inconsistently enforced
POINTS: 1) Get your value from what God says about you > you are a child, an heir of God > AND > you may be THE
person with THE opportunity to speak to THAT person about Jesus who is on a much higher economic or power level as
defined by society. They can’t be any more important than you in God’s eyes!
2) Be careful what you pray for > wealth and power is hard to handle > and even harder for your children and the
following generations. (You may think, I don’t have to worry about that, but you can’t predict the future)
4) V8-9, 13 This Centurion was different. Why do you think he was so sure Jesus could heal his servant – without
even going to his house?
He had some kind of evidence that Jesus could heal. He either had seen it for himself or believed others who had and told
him. He was convinced that Jesus, at a minimum, represented God! (disagreement that Lord meant Lord or if it was a
formal greeting to an important person.)
We really should just pause and marvel at this man!
5) Why do we often wait for a crisis to purse God? What are we doing in the meantime? Why aren’t we curious in
general about all kinds of things? Are you curious?
When a crisis happens, we have to act, we have to do something. So, God???? Otherwise, Comfortable > Lazy > We
have entertained ourselves into a stupor.

(not us, never! Hmm)

6) V10 and Mark 6:5-6 Contrast the two things that amazed Jesus about this Gentile in this verse and the Jews in
Mark 6:5-6 And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on
a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.
These are the only two places Jesus said he was amazed, same Greek word in both places.
QUESTION: What’s up with the Jews? RANKING PEOPLE – Pharisees considered lepers, Gentiles and women as
outcasts, these were people excluded or ignored as unimportant. (Notice last week’s miracle, this week’s two miracles)
Bottom line, they didn’t like people that were not like them, not in their group.
7) What group(s) of people have you “not cared for”? (in the past ��)
In a group that did not value women’s opinions at all. 2 nd Baptist Church – the neighborhood class. Kid-yankees
8) V11-12 How did the Jews miss that Jesus was for everyone after what Jesus said here?
First, they didn’t believe Jesus. Second, they didn’t like people that were not like them, not in their group. Shock to Jews:
not all Jews will participate, some Gentiles will participate. Even though there was OT prophesy saying the same thing,
AND – it was their job, starting with Abraham, to represent God to the rest of the world and bless the world.
QUESTION: Whose job is it now? Ours.
9) V14-15 Peter’s mother-in-law: What does it say about this woman that she fixed a meal for everyone?
Leviticus 19:34 You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as
yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
Hebrews 13:2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

10) V16-17 Do you think Jesus healed Jews or Gentiles that night?
Both, and he worked overtime.
HOW hard was that day for Jesus?
CHOSEN – Scene when Jesus comes back to camp after healing people.
Let’s be like Jesus, regardless of who it is and what “group” they are in!