“When the centurion
Saw what had taken place,
He praised God.
This man was innocent!’”
ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ ἑκατοντάρχης τὸ γενόμενον ἐδόξαζεν τὸν Θεὸν λέγων Ὄντως ὁ ἄνθρωπος οὗτος δίκαιος ἦν.
Luke said that when the centurion saw what had taken place (ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ ἑκατοντάρχης τὸ γενόμενον), he praised or glorified God (ἐδόξαζεν τὸν Θεὸν). He said that certainly this man was innocent or righteous (Ὄντως ὁ ἄνθρωπος οὗτος δίκαιος ἦν)! Mark, chapter 15:39 said that this Roman centurion (Ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ κεντυρίων), the one facing or guarding Jesus (ὁ παρεστηκὼς ἐξ ἐναντίας αὐτοῦ), saw the way that Jesus had died or spent his last breath (ὅτι οὕτως ἐξέπνευσεν). He said (εἶπεν) that truly this man was the Son of God (Ἀληθῶς οὗτος ὁ ἄνθρωπος Υἱὸς Θεοῦ ἦν), not merely innocent. Matthew, chapter 27:54, said that the Roman centurion and the other Roman soldiers guarding Jesus (Ὁ δὲ ἑκατόνταρχος καὶ οἱ μετ’ αὐτοῦ τηροῦντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν), saw a seismic earthquake (ἰδόντες τὸν σεισμὸν). They saw what had taken place (καὶ τὰ γινόμενα). They were all very terrified and afraid (ἐφοβήθησαν σφόδρα). They said that truly this man was the Son of God (λέγοντες Ἀληθῶς Θεοῦ Υἱὸς ἦν οὗτος). Once again, Matthew emphasized the goodness of the Roman leaders versus the evilness of the Jewish leaders. It is interesting to note that the leader of the Roman soldiers, this centurion, who was in charge of 100 men, issued this statement. Both Matthew and Mark said that this gentile Roman centurion soldier was the one calling Jesus the Son of God. Luke indicated here that he said that Jesus was innocent, with nothing about the Son of God. Only Matthew had any mention of an earthquake among these canonical biblical writers. Do you believe that Jesus was the Son of God?