“When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, ‘I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel’” (Luke 7:9).
Not all the Jewish leaders hated Jesus or wanted Him killed. Some respected Jesus as a teacher and healer. One day some synagogue elders earnestly pleaded for Jesus to heal the servant of a Roman centurion, which surprises us because most of the Jews hated the Roman army that oppressed them and occupied their nation—they eagerly expected the Messiah to come and free them from the shackles of Rome. This Roman centurion surprises us because he loved the Jewish people and had built a synagogue for their worship and study of the Scriptures. Furthermore, this high ranking Roman officer so highly respected Jesus and was so humble that he felt unworthy to come into Jesus’ presence or have Jesus come into his house. He called Jesus “Lord” in a way that meant more than just the title “Sir.” By every measure the centurion appeared to be a good man, but he did not believe his good deeds merited the attention of someone as important as Jesus. Therefore, as Jesus was on His way to his house to heal his servant, the centurion sent some friends to tell Jesus not to bother himself, because he knew that Jesus could heal his servant with a word no matter where Jesus was at the time. As a God-fearing Gentile, this centurion knew God had created the world by using words, and he attributed this same power to Jesus when he told Jesus that he believed Jesus could heal his servant by simply saying the word—Jesus did so, and He commended the faith of a Gentile, Roman, centurion. Today, believers can still trust the words of Jesus.