Messiah in Yom HaBikkurim Chapter 83

Miracle #12. Healing servant of Centurion.

  1. The Twelfth Miracle of Messiah
  2. Opening-up questions and clues
  3. The Village of Compassion, Consolation, and Comfort
  4. The Miracle was requested by Jewish agents
  5. This G-d fearing Gentile built our synagogue!
  6. He begged the Messiah to heal his servant
  7. “I will come and heal him!”
  8. The great faith of the G-d fearing Gentile
  9. “Say the word and my boy will be healed!”
  10. The Rest of the Story

The Twelfth Miracle of Messiah:

Mattai 8:5-13

{Classical & Mishnaic Hebrew}

וַיְהִי כְּבֹאוֹ אֶל־כְּפַר־נַחוּם וַיִּגַּשׁ אֵלָיו שַׂר־מֵאָה אֶחָד וַיִּתְחַנֶּן־לוֹ לֵאמֹר׃ אֲדֹנִי הִנֵּה נַעֲרִי נָפַל לְמִשְׁכָּב בְּבֵיתִי וְהוּא נְכֵה אֵבָרִים וּמְעֻנֶּה עַד־מְאֹד׃ וַיֹּאמֶר יֵשׁוּעַ אֵלָיו אָבֹא וּרְפָאתִיו׃ וַיַּעַן שַׂר־הַמֵּאָה וַיֹּאמַר אֲדֹנִי נְקַלּתִי מֵאֲשֶׁר תָּבֹא בְּצֵל קוֹרָתִי רַק דַבֶּר־נָא דָּבָר וְנִרְפָּא נַעֲרִי׃ כִּי אָנֹכִי אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר תַּחַת מֶמְשָׁלָה וְגַם־יֵשׁ תַּחַת יָדִי אַנְשֵׁי צָבָא וְאָמַרְתִּי לָזֶה לֵךְ וְהָלַךְ וְלָזֶה בּוֹא וּבָא וּלְעַבְדִּי עֲשֵׂה־זֹאת וְעָשָׂה׃ וַיִּשְׁמַע יֵשׁוּעַ וַיִּתְמַהּ וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־הַהֹלְכִים אַחֲרָיו אָמֵן אֹמֵר אֲנִי לָכֶם גַּם־בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא־מָצָאתִי אֱמוּנָה רַבָּה כָּזֹאת׃ וַאֲנִי אֹמֵר לָכֶם רַבִּים יָבֹאוּ מִמִּזְרָח וּמִמַּעֲרָב וְיָסֵבּוּ עִם־אַבְרָהָם וְיִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב בְּמַלְכוּת הַשָׁמָיִם׃ אֲבָל בְּנֵי הַמַּלְכוּת הֵמָּה יְגֹרֲשׂוּ אֶל־הַחשֶׁךְ הַחִיצוֹן שָׁם תִּהְיֶה הַיְלָלָה וַחֲרוֹק הַשִׁנָּיִם׃ וַיֹּאמֶר יֵשׁוּעַ אֶל־שַׂר־הַמֵּאָה לֵךְ וְכֶאֱמוּנָתְךָ כֵּן יִהְיֶה־לָּךְ וַיֵּרָפֵא נַעֲרוֹ בַּשָׁעָה הַהִיא׃

{Modern Hebrew}

כאשר נכנס לכפר נחום נגש אליו שר-מאה אחד והתחנן לפניו: אדוני, נערי שוכב בבית והוא משתק וסובל מאד. אמר לו ישוע: אני אבוא וארפא אותו. השיב שר-המאה ואמר: אדוני, אינני ראוי לכך שתבוא בצל קורתי. רק דבר דבר וירפא נערי. גם אני איש כפוף למרות וכפופים לי אנשי צבא, וכאשר אני אומר לזה, לך!, הוא הולך; ולאחר בוא!, הוא בא; ולעבדי, עשה זאת!, הוא עושה. שמע ישוע והתפלא. אמר אל ההולכים אחריו: אמן אומר אני לכם, אצל שום איש בישראל לא מצאתי אמונה כזאת. ואני אומר לכם, רבים יבואו ממזרח וממערב ויסבו עם אברהם ויצחק ויעקב במלכות השמים, אבל בני המלכות יגרשו אל החשך החיצון; שם יהיו היללה וחרוק השנים. ולשר-המאה אמר ישוע: לך וכאמונתך כן יהיה לך. אותה שעה נרפא נערו. פ

As he (the Messiah) was entering Kefar Nachum, a certain centurion (שַׂר־מֵאָה-“commander of a hundred”) approached him and begged him, saying, “Master, listen!” My servant (boy) has become bedridden at home. He is paralyzed and suffering terribly!” Yeshua said to him, “I will come and heal him.” The (Roman) centurion answered, saying, “Master! I do not deserve for you to come under my roof. Please, just say the word and my servant (boy) will be healed. For I am a man who is under authority, and there are soldiers under my command. I tell one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, I tell my servant, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” Yeshua heard this and was amazed, and he said to those following him, “Amen, I say to you, even in Yisra’el (i.e. among the Jewish people) I have not found faith as great as this! I say to you, many will come from east and west and recline with Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya’akov in the kingdom of Heaven, but the sons of the kingdom will be driven away to the outer darkness. In that place, there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.” Yeshua said to the centurion, “Go. It will be done for you according to your faith.” His servant (boy) was healed at that very hour.

וַיֹּאמֶר יֵשׁוּעַ אֶל־שַׂר־הַמֵּאָה לֵךְ וְכֶאֱמוּנָתְךָ כֵּן יִהְיֶה־לָּךְ וַיֵּרָפֵא נַעֲרוֹ בַּשָׁעָה הַהִיא׃

ולשר-המאה אמר ישוע: לך וכאמונתך כן יהיה לך. אותה שעה נרפא נערו. פ

Yeshua said to the centurion: “Go. It will be done for you according to your faith.” His servant (boy) was healed at that very hour.

Lukas 7:1-10

וַיְהִי אַחֲרֵי כַלּוֹתוֹ לְדַבֵּר אֶת־כָּל־דְּבָרָיו בְּאָזְנֵי הָעָם וַיָּבֹא אֶל־כְּפַר־נַחוּם׃ וְעֶבֶד לְאֶחָד מִשָּׂרֵי הַמֵּאוֹת חָלָה לָמוּת וְהוּא יָקָר בְּעֵינָיו מְאֹד׃ וַיִּשְׁמַע אֶת־שֵׁמַע יֵשׁוּעַ וַיִּשְׁלַח אֵלָיו אֲנָשִׁים מִזִּקְנֵי הַיְּהוּדִים וַיִּשְׁאַל מֵאִתּוֹ לָבוֹא וּלְהוֹשִׁיעַ אֶת־עַבְדּוֹ׃ וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל־יֵשׁוּעַ וַיִּתְחַנְנוּ־לוֹ מְאֹד וַיֹּאמְרוּ רָאוּי הוּא אֲשֶׁר תַּעֲשֶׂה בַּקָּשָׁתוֹ׃ כִּי אֹהֵב עַמֵּנוּ הוּא וְהוּא בָנָה־לָנוּ אֶת־בֵּית הַכְּנֵסֶת׃ וַיֵּלֶךְ אִתָּם יֵשׁוּעַ וַיְהִי כַּאֲשֶׁר קָרַב אֶל־הַבַּיִת וַיִּשְׁלַח אֵלָיו שַׂר־הַמֵּאָה אֶת־רֵעָיו לֵאמֹר לוֹ בִּי אֲדֹנִי אַל־נָא תִטְרַח כִּי־נְקַלּתִי מֵאֲשֶׁר תָּבוֹא בְּצֵל קוֹרָתִי׃ וּבַעֲבוּר זֹאת גַּם־אֶת־עַצְמִי לֹא חָשַׁבְתִּי רָאוּי לָבוֹא אֵלֶיךָ אַךְ דַּבֶּר־נָא דָבָר וְיֵרָפֵא נַעֲרִי׃ כִּי גַם־אָנֹכִי אִישׁ נָתוּן תַּחַת הַמֶּמְשָׁלָה וְיֶשׁ־תַּחַת יָדִי אַנְשֵׁי צָבָא וְאָמַרְתִּי לָזֶה לֵךְ וְהָלַךְ וְלָזֶה בוֹא וּבָא וּלְעַבְדִּי עֲשֵׂה־זֹאת וְעָשָׂה׃ וַיִּשְׁמַע יֵשׁוּעַ אֶת־דְּבָרָיו וַיִּתְמַהּ עָלָיו וַיִּפֶן וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־הֶהָמוֹן הַהֹלֵךְ אַחֲרָיו אֹמֵר אֲנִי לָכֶם גַּם־בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא־מָצָאתִי אֱמוּנָה גְּדוֹלָה כָזֹאת׃ וַיָּשׁוּבוּ הַשְּׁלוּחִים אֶל־הַבָּיִת וַיִּמְצְאוּ אֶת־הָעֶבֶד הַחֹלֶה וְהִנֵּה נִרְפָּא׃

לאחר שהשמיע את כל דבריו אלה באזני העם, נכנס אל כפר נחום. אותה עת היה עבדו של שר מאה אחד חולה ונוטה למות, והעבד היה יקר לו מאד. כיון ששמע על-אודות ישוע, שלח אליו אנשים מזקני היהודים ובקש ממנו לבוא להציל את עבדו. בבואם אל ישוע הפצירו בו מאד ואמרו: ראוי הוא שתעשה לו זאת, משום שהוא אוהב את עמנו והוא בנה לנו את בית הכנסת. ישוע הלך אתם, אך כשהיה לא הרחק מן הבית שלח אליו שר המאה את ידידיו לומר לו, אדוני, אל תטריח את עצמך, כי אינני ראוי שתבוא בצל קורתי. משום כך אף לא חשבתי עצמי ראוי לבוא אליך. אבל אמר נא מלה ונערי יתרפא. הרי גם אני איש כפוף למרות וכפופים לי אנשי צבא, וכאשר אני אומר לזה, עשה זאת, הוא עושה. כאשר שמע ישוע את הדברים האלה התפלא עליו. הוא פנה ואמר אל ההמון ההולך אחריו: אומר אני לכם, אפלו בישראל לא מצאתי אמונה כזאת. השלוחים שבו אל הבית ומצאו את העבד בריא. פ

After he finished speaking all His words in the hearing of the people, he came to Kefar Nachum. A servant of one of the centurions was deathly ill, and he was very dear to him. He heard the news of Yeshua, so he sent him men from the elders of the Yehudim and asked him to come and save his servant. They came to Yeshua and pleaded strongly with him and said, “It is appropriate for you to carry out his request. because he loves our people and built the synagogue for us.” Yeshua went with them. When He drew near the house, the centurion sent his friends to him, saying, “My Master, please do not be burdened by me. For I am not worthy for you to come in the shade of my roof! On account of this I do not even consider myself worthy to come to you; but please say a word and my boy will be healed. For I myself am a man placed under authority, and there are soldiers under my command. I tell one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and my servant, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” Yeshua (the Salvation of Adonai) heard these words and was amazed by them. He turned and said to the crowd following him, “I say to you, even in Yisra’el (among the Jewish people) I have not found faith as great as this!” The emissaries returned to the house and found the servant healthy!

Opening-up questions and clues:

The following opening-up questions and clues are provided as an introduction to this study on the 12th Miracle of Messiah:

1.  Look at the symbolism of the above miracle narrative: At what location does the miracle occur?

2.  What is a Roman Centurion? If this commander of over a 100 (מֵאָה-one hundred) is assigned to Kefar Nachum would he not have to know and report on the coming and going of the Messiah to his superiors?

3.  Was this commander of the Roman occupation force in Kefar Nachum a friend of Israel? Who built the synagogue in Kefar Nachum? What proof is there that this Gentile was a convert to Judaism?

4.  Was this slave most likely a Jew or a Gentile? Why did the Gentile soldier care so much about his slave? Why does this military commander alternate in his description of his slave between calling him his boy and his slave?

5.  Under both Roman and Jewish law: When there is no heir to succeed the master of a household can a servant be adopted to become the heir? (1, 2, 3) What proof is there that this boy, after he had proven his worthiness and was of sufficient age to be adopted, would become the heir of his master, the centurion?

6.  What do we learn from the centurion about the authority of the Messiah of Adonai?

7.  Where else in the Besorah of Lukas (Luke) does the Messiah refer to a Gentile soldier who exercised more faith than his Jewish counterparts? (See Chapter 4, verse 27.

8.  What do we learn about faith from the the Syrian General Naaman (2 Kings 5:1-19)?

9.  In Lukas 6 read and meditate on the midrashim (interpretation of the Scriptures) and halachot (the applications) that the Messiah was teaching just prior to his healing of the Jewish slave of the centurion:

Lukas 6:27-30

אֲבָל אַתֶּם הַשֹּׁמְעִים אֲלֵיכֶם אֲנִי אֹמֵר אֶהֱבוּ אֶת־אֹיְבֵיכֶם הֵיטִיבוּ לְשׂנְאֵיכֶם׃ בָּרֲכוּ אֶת־מְקַלֲלֵיכֶם וְהִתְפַּלֲלוּ בְּעַד מַכְלִימֵיכֶם׃ הַמַּכֶּה אֹתְךָ עַל־הַלְּחִי הַטֵּה־לוֹ גַּם אֶת־הָאַחֶרֶת וְהַלּקֵחַ אֶת־מְעִילְךָ אַל־תִּמְנַע מִמֶּנּוּ גַּם אֶת־כֻּתָּנְתֶּךָ׃ וְכָל־הַשֹּׁאֵל מִמְּךָ תֶּן־לוֹ וְהַלּקֵחַ אֵת אֲשֶׁר לָךְ אַל־תִּתְבַּע מֵאִתּוֹ׃

אבל אליכם, השומעים, אומר אני: אהבו את אויביכם, היטיבו עם שונאיכם. ברכו את מקלליכם והתפללו בעד הפוגעים בכם. המכה אותך על הלחי, הטה לו גם את השניה. הלוקח את מעילך, אל תמנע ממנו גם את כתנתך. היה נותן לכל המבקש ממך ; והלוקח את אשר לך, אל תתבע ממנו. פ

But to you, the (Jewish) listeners, I (the Messiah) say: Love your enemies, be good to those who hate you (your enemies). Bless those who curse you and pray on behalf of those who humiliate you. To the one who strikes you on the cheek, turn the other as well. From one who takes your cloak, do not withhold your tunic. Whoever asks of you, give to him. If one takes what is yours, do not demand it from him (i.e. do not demand it from him in court).

Lukas 6:31-36

וְכַאֲשֶׁר תִּרְצוּ שֶׁיַּעֲשׂוּ לָכֶם בְּנֵי הָאָדָם כֵּן תַּעֲשׂוּ־לָהֶם גַּם־אַתֶּם׃ וְאִם־תְּאֵהֲבוּ אֶת־אֹהֲבֵיכֶם מֶה חַסְדְּכֶם כִּי גַם־הַחַטָּאִים אֹהֲבִים אֶת־אֹהֲבֵיהֶם׃ וְאִם תֵּיטִיבוּ לְמֵטִיבֵיכֶם מֶה חַסְדְּכֶם גַּם־הַחַטָּאִים יַעֲשׂוּ־כֵן׃ וְאִם־תַּלְווּ אֶת־הָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר תְּקַוּוּ לְקַבֵּל מֵהֶם מֶה חַסְדְּכֶם גַּם הַחַטָּאִים מַלְוִים אֶת־הַחַטָּאִים לְמַעַן יוּשַׁב לָהֶם הַמִּלְוֶה׃ אֲבָל אֶהֱבוּ אֶת־אֹיְבֵיכֶם וְהֵיטִיבוּ וְהַלְווּ וְאַל תְּצַפּוּ לְתַשְׁלוּם וִיהִי שְׂכַרְכֶם רַב וִהְיִיתֶם בְּנֵי עֶלְיוֹן כִּי טוֹב הוּא גַּם־לִכְפוּיֵי טוֹבָה וְלָרָעִים׃ לָכֵן הֱיוּ רַחֲמָנִים כַּאֲשֶׁר גַּם־אֲבִיכֶם רַחוּם הוּא׃

מה שתרצו שיעשו לכם בני אדם, כן תעשו להם גם אתם. ואם תאהבו את אוהביכם, איזו זכות תעמוד לכם? הלא גם החוטאים אוהבים את אוהביהם. אם תיטיבו למיטיבים עמכם, איזו זכות תעמוד לכם? הלא גם החוטאים עושים זאת. ואם תלוו לאנשים שאתם מקוים לקבל מהם, איזו זכות תעמוד לכם? גם החוטאים מלוים לחוטאים כדי שיחזר להם הערך השוה. אדרבא, אהבו את אויביכם והיטיבו והלוו מבלי לצפות לגמול, ורב יהיה שכרכם ובני עליון תהיו, כי טוב הוא גם לכפויי טובה וגם לרעים. היו רחמנים כשם שאביכם רחמן הוא. פ

Whatever you want people to do to you, do so to them. If you love those who love you, what kindness (זְכוּת תַּעֲמֹד-entitlement) do you have? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what kindness do you have? Even sinners do so. If you lend to people from whom you hope to receive something, what kindness do you have? Even sinners lend to sinners so that the loan may be returned to them. But love your enemies. Do good and lend, and do not anticipate being repaid. Then your reward will be great and you will be sons of the Highest, because He is good also to those who are ungrateful and evil (lit. “those on whom goodness is upset and who are evil”).

Lukas 6:37-38

וְאַל־תִּשְׁפְּטוּ וְלֹא תִשָּׁפֵטוּ אַל־תְּחַיְּבוּ וְלֹא תְחֻיָּבוּ נַקּוּ וְתִנָּקוּ׃ תְּנוּ וְתִנָּתֵן לָכֶם וּמִדָּה יָפָה דְּחוּקָה וּגְדוּשָׁה וּמֻשְׁפָּעָה יָשִׁיבוּ אֶל־חֵיקְכֶם כִּי בַמִּדָּה אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם מוֹדֲדִים יִמַּד לָכֶם׃

אל תשפטו ולא תשפטו. אל תרשיעו ולא תרשעו. סלחו ויסלח לכם. תנו וינתן לכם; מדה יפה, דחוסה, גדושה ושופעת יתנו בחיקכם, כי במדה שאתם מודדים ימדד לכם. פ

Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not hold others liable, and you will not be held liable. Acquit and you will be acquitted. Give and it will be given to you; *They will return to your lap a beautiful measure pressed, crammed full, and overflowing. For with the measure that you use to measure, it will be measured to you.

*Adonai Eloheinu and His Heavenly Court.

10.  Consider the following seven precepts (מִצְוֺת) of the Messiah our Tzaddik—our Righteous One:

Precept #1:  Love your enemies.
Precept #2:  Do good to those who hate you.
Precept #3:  Bless those who curse you.
Precept #4:  Pray for those who mistreat you.
Precept #5:  Do not retaliate.
Precept #6:  Give freely.
Precept #7:  Treat others the way you want to be treated.

11.  Also, consider the five underlying guiding principles (עקרונות מנחים) of the Messiah’s seven mitzvot:

Guiding Principle #1:  Mercy will lead to mercy.
Guiding Principle #2:  Judgment will lead to judgment.
Guiding Principle #3:  Condemnation will lead to condemnation.
Guiding Principle #4:  Pardon will lead to pardon.
Guiding Principle #5:  Giving will lead to more receiving and more giving.

12.  How does the Messiah, a Yehudi (Jew), apply this teaching to the Gentile military commander who is the head of a Roman occupation force in Kefar Nachum, Yisra’el?

13.  What is the Messiah of Israel teaching us (his fellow Jews) is the best method to convert the hostile gentile world to faith in Adonai Avinu? Clue: hachnasat orchim (הכנסת אורחים).

14.  When in the first eleven recorded miracles of the Messiah—while miles away from the sick person— did he heal a sick boy solely by speaking the Word of G-d?

15. How do we know that the boy was healed at the exact same time as the Messiah spoke the Word of G-d?

16. Who was the father of the boy that was healed? Why is it that the centurion definitely would know the father of the healed boy? What high position did this father hold in the ruling government of Herod Antipas?

17.  What future period of time is the Messiah referring to when he says: “I say to you, many will come from east and west and recline with Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya’akov in the kingdom of Heaven.”

The Village of Compassion, Consolation, and Comfort:

Kefar Nachum (כְפַר נַחוּם) means the Village (כְפַר) of Compassion, Consolation, and Comfort (נַחוּם). This Village (Capernaum) is where the Messiah lived. He lived in the home of two of his disciples: Shim’on (Peter) and his brother Andrew.

This is the Twelfth recorded miracle of our Messiah and of these twelve miracles this is the sixth miracle that has been performed in Kefar Nachum (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). This means that fifty percent of all of the miracles of the Messiah that we have studied thus far have occurred in the home town of the Messiah.

The Miracle was requested by Jewish agents:

As the Messiah was passing through the entrance (the gate) of Kefar Nachum the centurion was waiting for him. He is waiting for the Messiah by proxy; that is the Gentile centurion has sent his urgent personal request to the Messiah through Jewish representatives—-the Jewish elders of Kefar Nachum.

Why did the Gentile military commander make his request through the Jewish elders?

This was due to the centurion’s correct belief that he as a gentile had no right (at that *time) to make a claim on the Jewish Messiah; whereas the Jewish elders that he sent in his place could and did make a request of the Jewish Messiah on his behalf; due to his personal support of the Jewish community in Kefar Nachum.

*Later, after Messiah’s atoning death, life-giving resurrection, triumphant ascension into heaven and the outpouring of the Spirit (cf. מעשי השליחים – “Acts of the Shlichim”): then the wall of separation between G-d, Jew, and Gentile could be and was removed.

The accounts, therefore, of Mattai (the centurion met the Messiah) and Lukas (his Jewish representatives met the Messiah) are both in accord. Therefore, according to Lukas the centurion did not meet the Messiah personally; his appeal was made to the Messiah through Jewish intermediaries. However, in Mattai’s Jewish thinking when the Messiah met the representatives of the centurion it was just like he had, in fact, met the centurion in person. For in Jewish thought it is said:

.ששלוחו של אדם הוא כמותו

“That a man’s agent is as himself.”

This G-d fearing Gentile built our synagogue!

This centurion was assigned by Rome to support the rule of the tetrarch Herod Antipas (the ruler of Galilee and Perea). He was highly respected by the local Jewish elders. He was a “God-fearer” (ה’ יִרְאֵ֣י). He was a Gentile who reverenced the G-d of Israel. He was a friend to the local Jewish community and the village elders informed the Messiah that he was responsible for the construction of their synagogue in Kefar Nachum.

This Gentile military officer built a synagogue at his own expense, and he gave it to the Jewish community. How interesting a historical fact is this? For it is written:

.אם אדם בונה בית, ואחר כך מקדיש אותו לבית כנסת, זה כמו בית כנסת

“If a person builds an house, and afterwards devotes it to a synagogue, it is as a *synagogue.”

*Piske HaRosh (פסקי הרא”ש-“Decisions” of Rabbi Asher Ben Yechiel).

This means that the Jewish house of worship in the city where the Messiah dwells was built by a G-d fearing Gentile who believed that “Salvation is of the Jews.” We Jews who are followers of the Messiah, therefore, should ask ourselves the question, What does this mean?

How has our Synagogue of the Messiah been built at the expense of the G-d fearing Gentiles?

He begged the Messiah to heal his servant:

The Gentile centurion begged our Jewish Messiah to heal his deathly ill servant boy.

The servant boy was paralyzed and suffering terribly. This beloved servant was obviously more than a mere servant. We believe that he was the designated heir of the centurion. The Roman and Jewish custom of the day was that if there was no physical heir a servant boy could be chosen to be trained to one day become the heir. Throughout this special boy’s childhood he was required to remain a servant until his master determined that he was deserving to become his heir. Once the servant was proven ready and deserving, then he would be adopted as a son and legally declared the heir.

“I will come and heal him!”

This declaration by our Messiah that he would go to the house of the servant boy and heal him is very unique. Nowhere in the historical Jewish besorah (gospel; lit. good news) accounts of the Messiah do we see that he ever offered to visit or actually visited a Gentile home. From a first century (CE) Jewish point of view such a visit would not be appropriate. The Gentile centurion knew this and quite appropriately he respectfully *informed the Messiah that it was not necessary for him to personally visit his home. For the Messiah did say, “I will come and heal him.” Why? and what exactly did he mean by this declaration, “I will come and heal him?”

We believe the Messiah was willing to visit the home of the centurion because the deathly ill servant boy was a Jew!

In fact, if the beloved servant boy was a Jew, and we believe he was, then the Jewish Rabbi would have been obligated to attend to the boy’s desperate need of assistance. Why was this so? The Messiah was sent by Adonai (our Father and our G-d) to first minister to the needs of his nation and people Israel. Exceptions were made but these exceptions did not include G-d sending M’shicho (His Messiah) to visit the homes of gentiles to minister to ‘their’ physical and spiritual needs.

The fact is the outreach of the Spirit of the Holy One to the lost gentile nations, peoples and families only took place ‘after’ our Messiah had completed his initial outreach to ‘his’ own people of Israel. Thereafter, his disciples, the Jewish shlichim (sent ones; his emissaries) began to take his Message of the Salvation of Adonai to all of the gentile nations, peoples, and families of the world.

*Note: After hearing the Messiah was actually coming to his home the centurion immediately sent messengers to tell him (and the Jewish elders who were his official representatives) that he believed that he need not visit his home to heal his (beloved) servant. He informed the Messiah of his belief that from a distance he only needed to command his servant to be healed—-and he would be healed!

The great faith of the G-d fearing Gentile:

“Amen, I say to you, even in Yisra’el I have not found faith as great as this!

What was it that was so unique about the faith of this G-d fearing Gentile? It was his great faith. What was most remarkable about this commanding officer’s faith in G-d was his understanding of the operating system of the kingdom of Heaven. He knew that Adonai had delegated authority to men to fulfill His rule (governance) on earth. Therefore, the centurion communicated to the Messiah:

“Please say a word and my boy will be healed. For I myself am a man placed under authority, and there are soldiers under my command. I tell one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and my servant, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”

In the case of the Messiah, the centurion believed that he was in command of the authority of G-d (His rule over creation) sufficient to miraculously heal “his boy” of any disease. The military commander of a cohort (a hundred men) believed that by the authority of the word of the Messiah his boy would be healed. This meant that all that the Messiah needed to do was say the word—from any distance—and his boy, his son (his designated heir) would be swiftly and completely restored to health!

“Say the word and my boy will be healed!”

How did the centurion know that the Jewish Messiah did not need to come to his home to heal his boy?

One way for the centurion to have learned about the healing power of the D’var HaShem (G-d’s Word) would have been from his study of the Jewish Scriptures. The Gentile military commander, the Syrian General Naaman, was healed by the spoken word of G-d without the prophet Elisha ever even meeting with him (2 Kings 5). The Gentile General was miraculously healed of his leprosy by obeying the Word of G-d that was delivered to him through a messenger who was sent to him by the prophet Elisha. The General immersed himself seven times in the Jordan River and was immediately healed. This miracle occurred, therefore, solely by the spoken word of the prophet Elisha, who was not present when Naaman was healed.

Another way for the centurion to have learned about the healing power of the Word of G-d would have been from his own knowledge about the miraclulous healing ministry of the Messiah. No doubt this centurion received regular reports on the daily whereabouts and activities of the most famous (royal) person of Kefar Nachum—-Rabbi Yeshua ben Yosef ben David. This leads us to the question:

When did the Messiah—while in a different location miles away—first instantly heal a sick boy by speaking the Word of G-d?

The Messiah first healed a sick boy while in a different location, a distance of some twenty miles, when the Spirit of the Holy One manifested His Second Sign and Second Miracle through His servant M’shicho (His Messiah). We read (Yochanan 4:46-54):

{Classical & Mishnaic Hebrew}

וַיָּבֹא יֵשׁוּעַ עוֹד הַפַּעַם אֶל־קָנָה אֲשֶׁר בַּגָּלִיל אֶל־מְקוֹם אֲשֶׁר שָׂם הַמַּיִם לְיָיִן וַיְהִי אִישׁ מֵעַבְדֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וּבְנוֹ חֹלֶה בִּכְפַר־נַחוּם׃ וַיְהִי כְשָׁמְעוֹ כִּי־בָא יֵשׁוּעַ מִיהוּדָה לְאֶרֶץ הַגָּלִיל וַיֵּלֶךְ אֵלָיו וַיִּשְׁאַל מֵאִתּוֹ לָרֶדֶת וּלְרַפֵּא אֶת־בְּנוֹ כִּי נָטָה לָמוּת׃ וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו יֵשׁוּעַ אִם־לֹא תִרְאוּ אֹתוֹת וּמוֹפְתִים לֹא תַאֲמִינוּ׃ וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלַיו הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר מֵעַבְדֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲדֹנִי רְדָה־נָּא בְּטֶרֶם יָמוּת בְּנִי׃ וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו יֵשׁוּעַ לֵךְ בִּנְךָ חָי וְהָאִישׁ הֶאֱמִין לַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּר אֵלָיו יֵשׁוּעַ וַיֵּלַךְ׃ וַיְהִי בְרִדְתּוֹ וַיִּפְגְּעוּ־בוֹ עֲבָדָיו וַיְבַשְּׂרוּ אֹתוֹ כִּי־חַי בְּנוֹ׃ וַיִּדְרשׁ מֵאִתָּם אֶת־הַשָּׁעָה אֲשֶׁר רָוַח לוֹ וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו תְּמוֹל בַּשָּׁעָה הַשְּׁבִיעִית רָפְתָה מִמֶּנּוּ הַקַּדָּחַת׃ וַיֵּדַע אָבִיהוּ כִּי הָיְתָה הַשָּׁעָה אֲשֶׁר אָמַר־לוֹ יֵשׁוּעַ בִּנְךָ חָי וַיַּאֲמֵן הוּא וְכָל־בֵּיתוֹ׃ זֶה הָאוֹת הַשֵּׁנִי אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יֵשׁוּעַ בְּבֹאוֹ מִיהוּדָה לְאֶרֶץ הַגָּלִיל׃

{Modern Hebrew}

הוא בא שוב אל קנה שבגליל, אשר שם הפך את המים ליין. ואחד מאנשי המלך, שבנו היה חולה בכפר נחום, שמע כי ישוע בא מיהודה לגליל. הלך אליו ובקש ממנו שירד וירפא את בנו, כי נטה למות. אמר לו ישוע: “אם אינכם רואים אותות ומופתים, בשום פנים לא תאמינו. אמר אליו האיש: אדוני, רד נא בטרם ימות בני. השיב לו ישוע: לך, בנך חי. האמין האיש לדבר שאמר לו ישוע והלך. כאשר ירד באו עבדיו לקראתו ואמרו לו שבנו חי. שאל אותם באיזו שעה הוטב לו, ואמרו לו: אתמול בשעה אחת אחרי הצהרים הרפה ממנו החם. אז נוכח האב כי זה היה באותה שעה שאמר לו ישוע בנך חי, והאמין הוא וכל ביתו. זאת הפעם השניה שישוע עשה אות עם בואו מיהודה לגליל. פ

Yeshua (the Salvation of Adonai) came again to Kanah, which is in the Galil (Galilee), the place where He had made the water into wine. There was a man who was a servant to the king whose son was sick in Kefar Nachum. When he heard that Yeshua had come from Yehudah to the land of the Galil, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was about to die. Yeshua said to him, “If you (plural) do not see signs and wonders, you will not believe!” The man who was a servant of the king said to him, “My master, please come down before my son dies!” Yeshua said to him, “Go. Your son is alive.” The man believed the word that Yeshua spoke to him and left. When he came down (to Kefar Nachum), his servants encountered him and gave him the good news that his son was alive. He inquired of them the hour that he felt better, and they said to him, “Yesterday, at the seventh hour, the fever faded.” His father knew that this was the hour when Yeshua had said to him, “Your son is alive.” He believed and so did his entire house. This was the second sign that Yeshua did when He came from Yehudah to the land of Galil.

As indicated above in the above account of the Second Miracle and Second Sign of G-d manifested through His Messiah, while he was located in Kanah of Galil (Cana of Galilee), he healed a sick boy in Kefar Nachum. This boy’s father was a man who enjoyed a very high ranking position in the court of Herod Antipas. He was the ruler’s chief financial officer.

“There was a man who was a servant to the king whose son was sick in Kefar Nachum.”

This (Jewish) royal official asked the Messiah to heal his son at his home in Kefar Nachum. His name was Kuza (כּוּזָא-shortened version of Aramaic: Chu’zas). Kuza is a variant of Chuzas (חֹזֶה-chozeh) which means “seeing ones,” “seer(s),” “prophet(s).” His name, therefore, is derived from the verb chazah (חָזָה), “to see.” The name of his wife was (Joanna) Yochanah (יוֹחָנָה).

Kuza’s name means “seeing one,” “seer,” “to see.”

Chuza’s wife Yochanah is referred to in the Brit HaChadashah as one of a small group of women who were close to the Messiah, who ministered to him and his talmidin (1, 2, 3, 4). Her name means, “Grace of Adonai.”

Yochanah’s name means “Grace of Adonai.”

There can be no doubt that the centurion knew all about the miracle above when the Messiah previously healed the son of Kuza and Yochanah. For this family lived in Kefar Nachum; the home of the Messiah; and the home of the centurion. From the miracle of the healing of Kuza’s son the centurion learned about the power of the word of the Messiah—that his power to heal was not limited by space and time. Therefore, as in the case of Kuza’s son the centurion believed that the  Messiah did not need to physically be in the same location as his son (chosen heir) to heal him. Therefore, it must be said:

The Gentile centurion “saw” and believed in the “Grace of Adonai!”

This G-d fearing Gentile believed that the Jewish Messiah could heal his son (instantly) from anywhere he was. Therefore, the Messiah (the Voice of Adonai) said:  “Amen, I say to you, even in Yisra’el (i.e. among the Jewish people) I have not found faith as great as this!

The Rest of the Story:

In the first Hebrew Gospel of the Brit HaChadashah, in the Besorah of Mattai (Hebrew: מַתִּתְיָהוּ‎ – Mattityahu or מתי‬ – Mattaí, “Gift of Adonai”), we observe that the Messiah is informing his fellow Jews how Israel is going to be a “light to the Gentiles.” We are called to practice hospitality to the Gentiles and thereby encourage them to come into a saving knowledge of Adonai who is our heavenly Father and our G-d. It is the redemptive works of G-d our Father and His Messiah that brings the gentiles (hachnasat orchim – הכנסת אורחים – “bringing in the guests”) to be adopted into our faith. These G-d fearing Gentiles are not adopted as slaves but they are adopted as the sons and daughters of G-d. By faith these believing Gentiles become full citizens in the kingdom of G-d. For it is written:

כָּל אֲשֶׁר רוּחַ אֱלֹהִים אמַדְרִיכָה אוֹתָם, בָּנִים הֵם לֵאלֹהִים.פ

כל אשר רוח אלהים מדריכה אותם, בנים הם לאלהים.פ

“For all who are being led by the Spirit of G-d, these are children of G-d.”

As is the case here with Ha-Mashiach, it is the will of Adonai (our Father and our G-d) that He manifest his healing power and grace to all of the nations, peoples, and families of the world. It is the will of our heavenly Father (Avinu Shebashamayim) that His Spirit be poured out upon all flesh. For it is written (1, 2):

וְהָיָ֣ה אַֽחֲרֵי־כֵ֗ן אֶשְׁפֹּ֤וךְ אֶת־רוּחִי֙ עַל־כָּל־בָּשָׂ֔ר׃

והיה אחרי־כן אשפוך את־רוחי על־כל־בשר׃

“It will come about after this that I will pour out My Spirit on all *humankind.”

*Literally “flesh.”

Therefore, it is the will of Avinu Shebashamayim that the dividing wall of enmity between Jew and Gentile be (permanently) removed. For it is written:

הֵן הוּא שְׁלוֹמֵנוּ; הוּא עָשָׂה אֶת הַשְּׁנַיִם לְאֶחָד וְהָרַס בִּבְשָׂרוֹ אֶת מְחִצַּת הָאֵיבָה.פ

הן הוא שלומנו; הוא עשה את השניים לאחד והרס בבשרו את מחיצת האיבה.פ

He is our shalom; he made the two into one (unity) and destroyed the enemy’s barrier (between Jew and Gentile) in his flesh.

Therefore, we believe soon the Messiah of all the world must return from heaven to Israel so that both Jew and Gentile shall be made to dwell together in the shalom of G-d. At that (near future) time Israel (we Jews) will become the ruling host nation that shall serve all the other nations, peoples, and families (Gentiles) of the earth. However, with great privilege comes great responsibility. For notice what the Messiah says to our people and our nation (today) immediately after he gives his commendation to the G-d fearing centurion:

ישוע אמר: אמן אומר אני לכם, אצל שום איש בישראל לא מצאתי אמונה כזאת. ואני אומר לכם, רבים יבואו ממזרח וממערב ויסבו עם אברהם ויצחק ויעקב במלכות השמים, אבל בני המלכות יגרשו אל החשך החיצון; שם יהיו היללה וחרוק השנים. פ

Yeshua said: “Amen, I say to you, even in Israel (among the Jewish people) I have not found faith as great as this! I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline with Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya’akov in the kingdom of Heaven, but the sons of the kingdom will be driven away to the outer darkness. In that place, there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.”

The Messiah is saying here that “faith” in Adonai and His Messiah is required for entrance into the kingdom of Heaven. He is warning us—his fellow Jews—that we are not guaranteed entrance into the future golden (messianic) age of Israel. He is warning us that when he returns from heaven to Israel to establish G-d’s heavenly kingdom on earth that some of us will not be allowed to sit with our fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This will be so because we—the natural “sons of the kingdom” (the children of Israel)—will fail to exercise true faith in Adonai (our Father and our G-d) and His Messiah whom He sent to us. So these unbelieving (natural) sons of the kingdom will be “driven away” to a place where they should never be—-into “outer darkness.”

On the other hand, it is our (Israel’s) great joy to know that for those of us Jews who like our righteous fathers Avraham, Yitzchak, and Ya’akov embrace true faith in Adonai Avinu—we shall have fulfilled our calling and we shall recline with our fathers in the messianic kingdom (soon) to come!

NEXT, RAISING A WIDOW’S SON…

Messiah in Yom HaBikkurim Chapter 84 >>