No doubt many of us have heard the story of the Roman centurion in the Bible. Here, an army officer requested help from Jesus for the healing of one of his servants.
Throughout time, the faith of this soldier is a very talked about subject. While faith is a central part of the text, people overlook another aspect which is humility.
In Luke chapter 7:6-8 (ESV), The centurion says to Christ, “‘Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof. Therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. For I too am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.'”
We see how the soldier submitted himself to Christ’s authority like a soldier would submit to someone of higher rank. It’s also interesting how he tells Jesus that he, too, is a man under authority. When you combine this with the fact Romans were over the Jews – often in violent ways – the way this Roman submitted himself to Jesus (a Jew) is even more fascinating.
Simply put, this soldier who commanded tremendous military assets was void of pride.
I’ll admit I sure ain’t perfect when it comes to humility. If you’re like me, you may sometimes struggle when dealing with difficult people. However, it’s important to remind ourselves how even an elite Roman centurion humbled himself when he didn’t have to.
Later in verse 9, the Bible says, “When Jesus heard these things, he marveled at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said, ‘I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.'” In other words, this man impressed Jesus so much he received one of Christ’s greatest compliments.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
The reward for humility and fear of the Lord is riches and honor and life.
Before destruction a man’s heart is haughty, but humility comes before honor.
He must increase, but I must decrease.