Healing the centurion's servant

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Healing the Centurion's servant by Paolo Veronese, 16th century.

Healing the centurion's servant is one of the miracles of Jesus in the Gospels of Matthew [1] and Luke.[2]

According to the Gospels, a Roman centurion asked Jesus for help because his boy servant was ill. Jesus offered to go to the centurion's house to perform the healing, but the centurion suggested that Jesus perform the healing at a distance. When Jesus heard this, he said:

Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, whern there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.

And the boy was healed at that very hour.


Matthew 8:5-13 (TNVI)

Luke 7:1-10 (TNVI)


Author John Clowes commented that the use of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob refers to the degree of blessedness by which people are admitted to the feast, in that Abraham signifies the celestial degree, Isaac the spiritual and Jacob the natural degree.[3]

Only Luke 7:2 refers to the servant as doulos, unambiguously meaning "servant". Elsewhere the term translated from the Greek as "servant" is pais, which can be translated in a number of different ways including "child" (e.g., Matt 2:16; Luke 2:43,8:51-54 where it refers to a girl), "son" (John 4:51), "servant" (Luke 15:26, Acts 4:25), or be unclear whether "son" or "servant" is meant.[4] (this word is cognate to the root of the term "pederasty," which was already in widespread use at the time).

The Gospel of John narrates a similar account of Jesus healing the son of a royal official at Capernaum at a distance in John 4:46-54. Some, such as in Fred Craddock in his commentary on Luke,[5] treats them as the same miracle. However, in his analysis of Matthew, R. T. France presents linguistic arguments against the equivalence of pais and son and considers these two separate miracles.[6] Merrill C. Tenney in his commentary on John[7] and Orville Daniel in his Gospel harmony[8] also consider them two different incidents.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Biblegateway Matthew 8:5-13
  2. ^ Biblegateway Luke 7:1-10
  3. ^ John Clowes, 1817 The Miracles of Jesus Christ published by J. Gleave, Manchester, UK page 27
  4. ^ Marston, Paul (2003). Christians, Gays and Gay Christians. Free Methodists. Archived from the original on 2006-04-27. 
  5. ^ Fred Craddock: Luke, 2009 ISBN 0-664-23435-6, page 94
  6. ^ The Gospel according to Matthew: an introduction and commentary by R. T. France 1987 ISBN 0-8028-0063-7 page 154
  7. ^ Merrill Tenney: John, Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol. 9, Zondervan.
  8. ^ Orville Daniel: A Harmony of the Four Gospels, 2nd Ed, Baker Books Pub.