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A Soldier's Faith
Healing of the Centurion's Servant

by Karin Adams and Barbara Wilmerton Haas

A very dear servant lay on his
bed so sick he was ready to die

Text Version | Afrikaans | Italian

The house was filled with balloons...

...and streamers...

...and friends...

...and presents...

......lots and LOTS of presents!!!

Joey met his best friend Tyler at the door. “Did you get it?” he whispered excitedly.

two presents “Not yet,” Tyler responded, “but I WILL!” Joey quickly spied out the table where all of Tyler's birthday gifts were being placed until time to open them.

Joey spotted one particularly large box, sitting directly in the middle of the table, wrapped in shiny blue paper with a huge white ribbon taped to the top. Joey grew excited at the possibility. “Tyler,” he said. “Do you think it could be in THAT one?”

Tyler, who was also eyeing the same package, agreed. “It could be,” he replied.

It was a wonderful birthday party. They played all sorts of games, ate lots of pizza, and ice cream, and cake. FINALLY, it was time to open the gifts.

Joey kept a close eye on Tyler as he peeled the paper off each package. Tyler received lots of neat things, like the brand new baseball and glove, the remote control car, and the super sonic water soaker.

The last box to open was the one with the shiny blue paper. “Could this be it?” Tyler carefully removed the paper, lifted the lid, and...and...and...pulled out a...

A basketball? Joey's heart SANK. He knew this was not what his friend had been waiting for. Amazingly, Tyler still smiled and seemed to be enjoying himself.

After the last of the guests had left, Tyler and Joey took all of Tyler's presents upstairs to his room. Joey felt bad for his friend and said, “I'm sorry you didn't get it.”

Tyler looked right at Joey and said, “Don't worry, Joey. It's coming.”

Suddenly, they heard the front door open and close. Tyler looked up with excitement and confidence in his eyes. “It's HERE!” he exclaimed and ran down the stairs, skipping them two at a time. Joey was not far behind.

Sure enough, when Tyler reached the bottom of the stairs, there stood his father holding a brand new puppy.

dog running

Joey was shocked. “How did you KNOW it was coming?” Joey asked.

Tyler turned around and, looking Joey square in the eye, said, “Because my father gave me his word that I would get a puppy on my birthday, and my father ALWAYS keeps his word.” With that, Joey and Tyler burst into laughter and raced outside to play with Tyler's new puppy.

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His master a wealthy centurion commanding officer in the Roman army sat beside his bed feeling totally helpless not knowing what to do A very long time ago, after Jesus finished preaching to a large crowd of people, He came down from the mountain and headed back toward the town of Capernaum.

As the crowd thronged the streets of Capernaum, a very dear servant lay on his bed, under his master's roof, paralyzed and so sick, he was ready to die. His master, a wealthy centurion (commanding officer in the Roman army), sat beside his bed, feeling totally helpless, not knowing what to do.

Quickly the news spread through the streets with much excitement. People were shouting everywhere — to the ones leaning out their windows above, and over their shoulders to people standing behind them, and far back to those standing at the edge of the crowd who could not see over taller people's heads:

Jesus is here


“The One Who has healed so many sick people...”

“...and even raised people from the dead!”


Word of Jesus' arrival soon reached the ears of the Roman centurion. Not wanting to leave his dying servant's side because he loved him so dearly, and realizing that Jesus was the only one who could help him, this loyal commanding officer sent for leaders of the synagogue, which he himself had built.

Go quickly and find Jesus As soon as the leaders came to his home, the centurion said, “Go quickly and find Jesus. BEG Him to come and heal my servant.” Knowing how very much the centurion loved their nation and how much he had given so they could have their very own synagogue, they quickly obeyed and started out to find Jesus.

It wasn't easy, for the men had to push their way through the crowded streets. However, the synagogue leaders soon found Jesus. They wasted no time at all getting right up to where Jesus could hear them and immediately started to earnestly plead with Him to come with them and heal the centurion's dying servant. “If anyone deserves your help, it is this man,” they urged. “He loves the Jews and even paid personally to build us a synagogue.”

After listening intently to the men, Jesus said, “I will come and heal his servant.” He then followed the synagogue leaders through the crowded streets, as they led the way to the respected centurion's home.

Not far from the home friends of the centurion arrived with a message for JesusWhen Jesus heard the centurion's words he was totally amazed

When the centurion and his friends returned to the house they found the servant had been completely healed in the same hour that Jesus promised healing Not far from the home, friends of the centurion arrived with a message for Jesus. “Sir, do not trouble yourself to come to my home, for I am unworthy for you to enter under my roof or even to come and meet you. Just speak a word, and I know my dear servant will be healed,” the centurion's message read. “I know how it is, for I receive orders from my superior officers and I give orders to those under my authority. All I have to say is, ‘Go!’ and they go, or ‘Come!’ and they come, and to my servant, ‘Do this or that’ and he does it. So if you just say, ‘Be healed,” my servant will be made well.”

When Jesus heard the centurion's words, he was totally amazed. Jesus marveled at the faith of the centurion. He turned around and said to the crowd that was following Him, “Never among all the Jews in Israel have I met a man with faith like this.” Then the centurion came himself and Jesus turned to him and said, “Go your way. Just as you have believed, it will be done.”

When the centurion and his friends returned to the house, they found the servant had been completely healed in the same hour that Jesus promised healing.

When Jesus gives his word, you can be sure He will keep his promise!

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1. Do you think the centurion was afraid to ask for Jesus' help?
2. Do you think Jesus understood why the centurion did not feel worthy for him to come into his house?
3. Why did Jesus marvel at the centurion's faith?


When Jesus gives his word, you can be sure He will keep his promise!


“Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalm 37:4).


Where can you find out about all the promises God has given you? Can you think of a couple promises God has given you in his Word? What's the one Big Promise God has given to people in the Bible, like Abraham, Moses, David and Isaiah, as well as to you? A clue: The Promise was a Man. Did God keep this promise?

Can you think of some things Jesus promised his disciples and all who would follow Him?

[After discussion:] Sending Jesus to earth is the greatest promise God has given to humankind, and He kept his Word by fulfilling this promise.

When Jesus was on earth, He gave promises as well. For one, He promised He'd always be with you till the end of the earth. How can He be in heaven and with us on earth at the same time? Well, just like He healed the centurion's servant without physically being there, He sent his Holy Spirit after ascending to heaven. Jesus has given his word that you'll receive the promise of the Holy Spirit to always be with you and help you when you ask in faith. Would you like to receive the Holy Spirit? Jesus is just as willing to fill you with the Holy Spirit as He was to grant the centurion's request. The centurion had great faith. Are you willing to put aside all feelings of unworthiness and follow his example of great faith by believing and receiving his blessing and promises?


Dog and boy praying

Dear God, thank You for the good things You do for
me each and every day. May I always put my trust
in You and in your ability to do what You say You will do.
Let me remember that nothing takes You by surprise
because You know all things and are in all places.
In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 7:1-10

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Last updated April 2, 2022

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