Two very blessed centurions

Story of biblical creatures teach important lessons, still relevant today.

Christ and the centurion 521 (photo credit:
Christ and the centurion 521
(photo credit:
The Bible tells us about two very unusual Roman centurions living in the Land of Israel in the first century. Each was uniquely touched by God through the ministry of Jesus and the early church.
Their stories carry important lessons for us today.
In Luke 7, we learn that the first one approached Jesus asking that he heal his servant, who was gravely ill.
Surprisingly, Jesus followed the Roman officer at once. Now this is surprising because Jesus insisted elsewhere that he was only sent to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel.” This occurred in Matthew 16, when he turned away a gentile woman seeking to be healed. So it was very unusual that Jesus immediately followed the centurion and decided to heal the young boy.
The second centurion, we are told in Acts 10, was greatly blessed by God. In fact, this Cornelius had so caught the attention of the Lord with his faithful prayers and alms that Peter was sent by the Holy Spirit to minister to him in Caesarea, thus opening up the church to its first gentile convert. As the Holy Spirit fell upon him, the Jewish believers soon realized that the Gospel was meant for all peoples.
Now these two miracles are quite remarkable. The one centurion was blessed by Jesus even though his earthly ministry was directed at his fellow Jews.
The second centurion became the first fruit among the nations.
So it is worth asking: What was it about these two centurions that caused God to bless them in such remarkable ways? The Word of God gives us the clear answer.
In Luke 7, when the centurion in Capernaum “heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with Him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly saying that the one for whom He should do this, was deserving, for he loves our nation and has built us a synagogue...”
What a testimony! Jewish elders came to Jesus and begged him to heal the servant because the centurion had befriended the Jews. Consequently, Jesus did not turn him away like he had the Canaanite woman, but immediately came to his aid.
Then in Acts 10, we read that the centurion Cornelius sent servants to the city of Jaffa, where Peter was staying in the house of a local tanner. The servants came to Peter and described Cornelius as “a just man, one who fears God, he has a good reputation among all the nations of the Jews, he was divinely instructed by the holy angel to summon you to his house, and to hear words from you...”
Again, this was a Roman centurion with a public testimony of helping the Jews through his many prayers and alms.
These are important details for us to note. Both centurions were touched by God in unusual ways because both of them had a great love and respect for the Jewish people and their God. Both openly supported the Jewish community in ways that caused God and man to take notice. So what we see here is the ancient principle that God decreed in the calling of Abraham, when He promised that “I will bless those who bless you...”
These two centurions may not have known the full impact of what they were doing in blessing the Jewish people, but God saw it and was moved to bless them in return. This does not mean helping support the Jewish people will automatically bring us to heaven. But what it does mean is that as we bless the Jewish nation and people, God takes notice and will bless us in extraordinary ways, even beyond our understanding.
Christians need to take this to heart.
We need to bless and support Israel in very practical ways, like those centurions who gave alms and built synagogues, and thereby reaped incredible rewards of healing, Holy Ghost empowerment and even eternal life.