Matthew 8:5-13

An officer in the army believes that Jesus can help him

5 Jesus went into Capernaum. An officer in the Roman army came to meet him. He asked Jesus to help him. 6 ‘Sir,’ he said, ‘My servant is lying in bed at home. He cannot move his legs and he has a lot of pain.’

8:5The officer was a soldier in the army of King Herod Antipas. He had authority over 100 men. The officer was a good man and he took care of his men. The officer was not a Jew, but the Jews said good things about him.

7 Jesus said to the officer, ‘I will go with you to your house and I will make your servant well again.’

8 But the officer answered, ‘Sir, I am not good enough for you to come into my house. Instead, just say that my servant will get better. I know that he will then be well again. 9 In my work, someone has authority over me. I also have authority over other soldiers. I say to one soldier, “Go!” and he goes. I say to another one, “Come!” and he comes. I say to my servant, “Do this!” and he does it.’

10 Jesus heard what the officer said. He was very surprised. He spoke to the crowd that was following him. ‘I tell you this: I have never found anyone like this man in all of Israel. Nobody else believes in me as well as he does. 11 I tell you, many people will come from all over the world to take their place in the kingdom of heaven. There they will sit down to eat with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 12 But other people who think that God's kingdom belongs to them will not be there. God's angels will throw them into the dark places that are far away from God. There those people will weep very much. They will bite their teeth together.’

8:12Jesus was talking about many of Israel's people, the Jews. God chose the Israelites to be his special people. But many of them did not obey God, so they could not belong to his kingdom. Biting their teeth together may have shown that they were angry. Or it may have shown they were in much pain.

13 Then Jesus said to the officer, ‘Go home. You believed that I would make your servant well again. So I will do it for you.’ At that moment, the servant did become well again.