I understand authority (Lk 7:8-7:8)

“I am a man

Set under authority,

With soldiers

Under me.

I say to one.

‘Go!

And he goes.

I say to another.

‘Come!’

And he comes.

I say to my slave.

‘Do this!’

And he does it.’”

 

καὶ γὰρ ἐγὼ ἄνθρωπός εἰμι ὑπὸ ἐξουσίαν τασσόμενος, ἔχων ὑπ’ ἐμαυτὸν στρατιώτας, καὶ λέγω τούτῳ Πορεύθητι, καὶ πορεύεται, καὶ ἄλλῳ Ἔρχου, καὶ ἔρχεται, καὶ τῷ δούλῳ μου Ποίησον τοῦτο, καὶ ποιεῖ.

 

Interesting enough, Luke has the friends of the centurion speak in the first person singular to indicate that these are the exact words of the centurion.  The centurion said that he was a man who was appointed by authority (καὶ γὰρ ἐγὼ ἄνθρωπός εἰμι ὑπὸ ἐξουσίαν τασσόμενος) with soldiers under him (ἔχων ὑπ’ ἐμαυτὸν στρατιώτας).  He would say to one go (καὶ λέγω τούτῳ Πορεύθητι) and he went (καὶ πορεύεται).  He would say to another come (καὶ ἄλλῳ Ἔρχου) and he came (καὶ ἔρχεται).  He would tell his slave to do something (καὶ τῷ δούλῳ μου Ποίησον τοῦτο) and he would do it (καὶ ποιεῖ).  This saying of the centurion is exactly the same as in Matthew, chapter 8:9, perhaps indicating a Q source.  In Matthew, the Roman centurion spoke for himself directly to Jesus, but the message was the same.  This centurion understood authority, since he was a Roman solider under the authority of his superiors and yet at the same time, he had soldiers under him.  Thus, if he said to any of them to go or come, they would do precisely that.  The same would be true of his slaves who would do whatever he told them to do.  Are you willing to obey the commands of Jesus?

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Just say the word (Lk 7:7-7:7)

“Therefore,

I did not presume

To come to you.

But only say the word!

Let my servant

Be healed!”

 

διὸ οὐδὲ ἐμαυτὸν ἠξίωσα πρὸς σὲ ἐλθεῖν· ἀλλὰ εἰπὲ λόγῳ, καὶ ἰαθήτω ὁ παῖς μου.

 

Luke said that the friends of the centurion continued by saying he would not presume to come to Jesus (διὸ οὐδὲ ἐμαυτὸν ἠξίωσα πρὸς σὲ ἐλθεῖν).  Instead, he wanted Jesus to only say the word (ἀλλὰ εἰπὲ λόγῳ), and thus his servant would be healed (καὶ ἰαθήτω ὁ παῖς μου).  This saying of the centurion’s friends is exactly the same as the centurion himself in Matthew, chapter 8:8, perhaps indicating a Q source.  The Roman centurion’s friends responded to Jesus that the centurion merely wanted Jesus to say the word, and then his servant would be healed.  Perhaps, he was aware that Jewish people were not expected to go into the homes of gentiles like himself.  Once again, this saying of the centurion and his friends has made its way into the Roman Catholic pre-communion prayer Eucharistic liturgy.  Would you rely on the word of Jesus?

He sent the Jewish elders (Lk 7:3-7:3)

“When he heard

About Jesus,

The centurion sent

Some Jewish elders

To him.

They asked Jesus

To come

And heal

His slave.”

 

ἀκούσας δὲ περὶ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ ἀπέστειλεν πρὸς αὐτὸν πρεσβυτέρους τῶν Ἰουδαίων, ἐρωτῶν αὐτὸν ὅπως ἐλθὼν διασώσῃ τὸν δοῦλον αὐτοῦ.

Luke uniquely said that when this centurion heard about Jesus (ἀκούσας δὲ περὶ τοῦ Ἰησοῦ), he sent some Jewish elders or presbyters to him (ἀπέστειλεν πρὸς αὐτὸν πρεσβυτέρους τῶν Ἰουδαίων).  They asked or begged Jesus (ἐρωτῶν αὐτὸν) to come and heal or save his slave (ὅπως ἐλθὼν διασώσῃ τὸν δοῦλον αὐτοῦ).  In Matthew, chapter 8:6, this Roman centurion came to Jesus himself and called him “Lord,” an honorific title, instead of sending any Jewish elders as here.  Have you ever sent someone to ask a favor for you?

This man was the Son of God (Mk 15:39-15:39)

“When the centurion,

Who stood

Facing Jesus,

Saw that

In this way,

Jesus breathed

His last breath,

He said.

‘Truly!

This man

Was God’s Son!’”

 

Ἰδὼν δὲ ὁ κεντυρίων ὁ παρεστηκὼς ἐξ ἐναντίας αὐτοῦ ὅτι οὕτως ἐξέπνευσεν, εἶπεν Ἀληθῶς οὗτος ὁ ἄνθρωπος Υἱὸς Θεοῦ ἦν.

 

This is similar to Matthew, chapter 27:54, except that there is no mention of an earthquake here, just the centurion statement alone.  In Luke, chapter 23:47, the centurion simply said that this man was innocent, without any earthquake.  There was nothing about a centurion or an earthquake in John, chapter 19.  Mark 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).  It is interesting to note that the leader of the Roman soldiers, this centurion, who was in charge of 100 men, issued this statement.  He, the gentile Roman soldier, was the one calling Jesus the Son of God.

He was the Son of God (Mt 27:54-27:54)

“The centurion,

And those with him

Who were guarding Jesus,

Saw the earthquake.

They saw

What took place.

They were very terrified.

They said.

‘Truly!

This was the Son of God!’”

 

Ὁ δὲ ἑκατόνταρχος καὶ οἱ μετ’ αὐτοῦ τηροῦντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν ἰδόντες τὸν σεισμὸν καὶ τὰ γινόμενα ἐφοβήθησαν σφόδρα, λέγοντες Ἀληθῶς Θεοῦ Υἱὸς ἦν οὗτος.

 

This is similar to Mark, chapter 15:39, except that there is no mention of an earthquake there, just the centurion statement alone.  In Luke, chapter 23:47, the centurion simply said that this man was innocent, without any earthquake.  There is nothing about a centurion or earthquake in John, chapter 19.  Matthew said that the Roman centurion and the other Roman soldiers guarding Jesus (Ὁ δὲ ἑκατόνταρχος καὶ οἱ μετ’ αὐτοῦ τηροῦντες τὸν Ἰησοῦν), saw the 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).  It is interesting to note that the leader of the Roman soldiers, this centurion, who was in charge of 100 men, was afraid.  He and his fellow Roman soldiers were the ones calling Jesus the Son of God.  Once again, Matthew emphasized the goodness of the Roman leaders versus the evilness of the Jewish leaders.

The authority of the centurion (Mt 8:8-8:9)

“The centurion responded.

‘Lord!

I am not worthy

To have you

Come under my roof!

But only say the word,

Then my servant

Will be healed.

I am a man

Under authority,

With soldiers

Under me.

I say to one.

‘Go!’

Then he goes.

I say to another.

‘Come!’

Then he comes.

I say to my slave.

‘Do this!’

Then he does it.’”

 

ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ ἑκατόνταρχος ἔφη Κύριε, οὐκ εἰμὶ ἱκανὸς ἵνα μου ὑπὸ τὴν στέγην εἰσέλθῃς· ἀλλὰ μόνον εἰπὲ λόγῳ, καὶ ἰαθήσεται ὁ παῖς μου.

καὶ γὰρ ἐγὼ ἄνθρωπός εἰμι ὑπὸ ἐξουσίαν, ἔχων ὑπ’ ἐμαυτὸν στρατιώτας, καὶ λέγω τούτῳ Πορεύθητι, καὶ πορεύεται, καὶ ἄλλῳ Ἔρχου, καὶ ἔρχεται, καὶ τῷ δούλῳ μου Ποίησον τοῦτο, καὶ ποιεῖ.

 

This saying of the centurion is exactly the same as in Luke, chapter 7:6-10, perhaps indicating a Q source.  The Roman centurion responded to Jesus (ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ ἑκατόνταρχος ἔφη).  Calling him “Lord” (Κύριε) again, this centurion said that he was not worthy to have such an important man as Jesus enter into his house (οὐκ εἰμὶ ἱκανὸς ἵνα μου ὑπὸ τὴν στέγην εἰσέλθῃς).  He merely wanted Jesus to say the word (ἀλλὰ μόνον εἰπὲ λόγῳ), and then his servant would be healed (καὶ ἰαθήσεται ὁ παῖς μου).  He explained that he understood authority (καὶ γὰρ ἐγὼ ἄνθρωπός εἰμι ὑπὸ ἐξουσίαν), since he was a Roman solider under the authority of his superiors and yet at the same time, he had soldiers under him (ἔχων ὑπ’ ἐμαυτὸν στρατιώτας).  Thus, if he said to one to go (καὶ λέγω τούτῳ Πορεύθητι, καὶ πορεύεται,) or come (καὶ ἄλλῳ Ἔρχου, καὶ ἔρχεται), they would do precisely that.  The same would be true of his slave who would do whatever he told him to do (καὶ τῷ δούλῳ μου Ποίησον τοῦτο, καὶ ποιεῖ).  This saying about not being worthy has entered into the Roman Catholic liturgy as a prayer before receiving Holy Communion.

The paralyzed servant (Mt 8:6-8:7)

“The centurion said to Jesus.

‘Lord!

My servant

Is lying at home,

Paralyzed,

In terrible distress.’

Jesus said to him,

‘I will come,

I will cure him.’”

 

καὶ λέγων Κύριε, ὁ παῖς μου βέβληται ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ παραλυτικός, δεινῶς βασανιζόμενος

λέγει αὐτῷ Ἐγὼ ἐλθὼν θεραπεύσω αὐτόν

 

This story about the sick servant of the centurion can be found in Luke, chapter 7:1-10, where there is a more elaborate story.  Meanwhile John, chapter 4:46-54, has the sick person as the son of the centurion and not his slave or servant.  This Roman centurion called Jesus “Lord,” (καὶ λέγων Κύριε) an honorific title.  He said that one of his young servants or slaves was at his home paralyzed (ὁ παῖς μου βέβληται ἐν τῇ οἰκίᾳ παραλυτικός) and in a great deal of trouble or torment (δεινῶς βασανιζόμενος).  Jesus then responded to him (λέγει αὐτῷ) that he would come (Ἐγὼ ἐλθὼν) and treat, cure, or heal him (θεραπεύσω αὐτόν).  Jesus was willing to heal this paralyzed young man.