The Centurions Two of them named: Cornelius – Acts 10:1 Julius – Acts 27:1
The Centurions What would we expect from Roman military Officers? Would they believe in the God of Israel? What would be their attitude toward Jesus?
What Is a Centurion? Matthew 8:9 A Man Under Authority, with Soldiers Under Him. Few as 60, as many as hundreds Under the commander of the Cohort and Legion
What Is a Centurion? Characteristics: Discipline Supposed to be literate A soldier for a few years before Over 30 years of age Courage & Leadership
What Is a Centurion? Part of the most disciplined army of its day Rome won wars on basis of discipline of its army Centurion had integral role of discipline in army
Centurions in New Testament Matthew 8:5-13 / Luke 7:2-10 Centurion sends elders of Jews Jesus agrees to come & heal Centurion declares self unworthy to have Jesus in his house Jesus marvels as the faith of this centurion Jesus says the word, servant healed
Centurions in New Testament Matthew 27:54 / Mark 15:39/Luke 23:47 Jesus’ Execution supervised by Centurion He did not seem to do much to restrain his soldiers who abused Jesus Declared Jesus to innocent, the Son of God
Centurions in New Testament Acts Chapter 10. Cornelius, centurion of Italian Cohort Vss. 1,2 Angel appeared to him Vss.3-6 Men came from Cornelius to Peter Vss. 21,22 Cornelius with friends, relatives, eager to hear Vss. 24-26 Peter Preaches – were baptized Vss.44-48
Centurions in New Testament At Paul’s Imprisonment Acts 21:31,32 Centurion saved Paul Acts 22:23-29 Centurion stops beating Acts 23:17,18,23 Centurion takes message to Commander Acts 24:23 Centurion in charge of Paul Julius the Centurion of the Augustan band Acts 27:1,6,11,31,43
Examples of the Centurions Are Consistent in their Portrayal Dutiful Obedient Many coming to terms with The Faith Cornelius know for his belief in God First Centurion in Matthew 8 has commendation among Jews Centurions with Paul did jobs well became favorable toward him
Openness to Faith? Matthew Chapter 8 – Understanding of Authority A man under authority, with authority over others Vss. 8,9 Understood what power means- what is decreed by power is done Commanded to do something, not done, likely executed Disobedience in ranks, similar punishment
Openness to Faith? He Learned about Jesus’ power, able to heal, cast out demons Jesus- incarnate Word of God, able to do anything by speaking it into existence By understanding authority, the path of belief for centurions is clear! Faith that if Jesus said the word, it will be done
Openness to Faith? Centurion at crucifixion sees wonders of natural world, understands a Higher Power at work, declares Jesus to be Son of God Cornelius already fears God, on basis of message of Angel, believes sufficient authority vested in Peter, so Roman military official, bows to Galilean!
What About Us? Message declared – Acts 2:36; 4:33; 17:30,31 He has all power in heaven & earth – Matthew 28:18; Romans 2:5-10; 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9 What hinders us from having the type of faith exemplified in the centurions?
What About Us? American ideology & mythology has not done us many favors, telling us that we really do not have anyone to whom we must give account, & that we are in authority in this country!