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  • Writer's pictureDavid and Marilynn Chadwick

Hidden Heroes: The Unnamed Roman Centurion

by David Chadwick

My final hidden hero is an unnamed Roman centurion.

He was a Roman leader of over 100 soldiers. A powerful person, he knew what it was like to order people to do something and have them respond immediately. He understood authority.

Nonetheless, in spite of his power, he felt unworthy to have Jesus even enter his home to heal his beloved servant! Take note of the humility he displayed as he realized there was one more powerful than him.

We see this story unfold in Matthew 8:5-13. The Roman centurion’s servant was very sick. In fact, he was lying at home paralyzed and suffering greatly. He went to Jesus and said these remarkable words: “Just say the word and I know he will be healed” (Matthew 8:8).

Now, remember. This was a Gentile man of tremendous authority who knew all about authority. There is no biblical evidence that he followed Jesus. Yet he believed Jesus had the ultimate authority to heal! It was a simple, but profound faith.

Jesus, from a distance, with a word, healed his servant in a moment. He didn't lay hands on him. He couldn’t! He just spoke a word and it happened.

This is one of the reasons I so admire this man. I call him one of my hidden heroes first, because of his humility. He knew that in spite of his earthly power, he was nothing and Jesus was everything. Secondly, he was a man of great faith! In fact, Jesus said he had never found anyone in Israel with such great faith. And this man was a Gentile!

I want to have faith like the Roman centurion. I want my Lord to admire my faith as well. And even brag about it to others! I want to be a person of faith who notes Jesus’s authority and his ability to do absolutely anything!

“And without faith it is impossible to please God!” (Hebrews 11:6).

May we learn to be people of faith. May we seek out all of the treasures God has given us in the Bible. So vast and full of wonder! And may we aim to live like the heroes in the Bible, both known and hidden. Most importantly, may our lives look like Jesus.

The one, true Hero!

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