He Loves Our Nation
1When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. 2 There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3 The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant.4 When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, 5 because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.”
In the days of Jesus, many of the Jews despised the Roman occupation of their land. They were taxed and felt oppressed by the Roman rules. The common people were also overrun by extra rules by the Pharisees. They wanted their own land and wanted their own ruler. They were hoping and waiting for the Messiah to free them from Roman occupation.
The Roman Centurion described in this passage was not hated at all. The Jews in the area highly respected this Roman. He didn’t look down on the Jews and they felt that he cared for the community as he built their synagogue. His actions were speaking more than his words and it is something that we can learn in terms of being an example in whatever community setting that we are in. In a time when servants are disposable and can be considered as slaves, he valued highly his servant and wanted his servant to be healed and took the trouble to send some elders of the Jews to find Jesus. We can say all the right things, but people notice what you do, rather than what you say. This Roman took action to show he cared for the people.