In all likelihood, your first exposure to the term Centurion takes
place in the New Testament story of the Centurion who asked Jesus to
heal his servant in Matthew chapter 8. The Centurion was commended by
Jesus for his faith and his servant was healed. Jesus saw something in
that Centurion that we should all see and be like. Let’s look at the definition/job
description of a Centurion.
A Centurion was battle hardened - a veteran of at least sixteen
years and numerous campaigns where he distinguished himself with
valor….A Centurion could carry ninety pound of equipment at least
twenty miles/day and train under the harshest of conditions. He
provided his own equipment, armor, and paid for even the tools he
needed to fight the battle
He was the ultimate in professional competence. There were no
allowances made nor requested for persons of his position or stature
The enlistment period was for twenty-five years, after which a cash
payment and small plot of land were provided (unless the treasury was
short of cash, in which case, commitment to service was involuntarily
He was a leader who had a destiny to fulfill, a calling upon his life
that might very well cost him his life. At the end of his days, he
understood that his reward was not in the pittance of land or few
coins the treasury would dole out, but the knowledge and legacy he
left to those who followed him. In the end, no one could take his honor
To rise to Centurion was considered the highest honor a legionnaire
could attain. His life expectancy was uncertain, and the Centurion
always led his troops from the front
The reward for all of the hard work that would lead to rising to
Centurion was to be in the FRONT, the first place where swords and
spears would clash. The life expectancy was not promising for the
Centurion, yet it was their honor to lead by example from the front.
Finally, a Centurion
held ultimate sway over the welfare of every man who served in his
one-hundred man century
At times the Centurion had to be harsh, at other times he would
exhibit great care and compassion. It was common for the Centurion to
go the extra mile for his men. It was just this character trait that
prompted the Centurion in the gospel of Matthew to go out of his way
to seek the welfare of his servant.
To be a Centurion was a high and demanding honor/lifestyle.
Unfortunately, such men and women are far too few in number today. But
they should be models to us as we try to become all the person that God
created us to be.
In the movie The Gladiator, the character played by Russell Crowe
tells his men before battle, “What we do here echoes in eternity.” No
truer words were ever spoken.
We were designed to have a lasting impact on eternity. Everyone will
die, but few people will ever truly live. To live like a Centurion, to
live with honor before God and others, to live with commitment to
principle, to live with dedication to a cause, to live with compassion
for others, is to live in a way that will echo in eternity. Are you on
your way to being a Centurion?
To disciple men, to be followers of Jesus Christ and
become the men God designed us to be, men fully alive.
To grow a
honor bound Band of Brothers
committed to helping men discover their hearts no matter the costs. Brothers dedicated to fighting well
in this life set before us
Sam L Kloberdanz