|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
7:1-10 Servants should study to endear themselves to their masters. Masters ought to take particular care of their servants when they are sick. We may still, by faithful and fervent prayer, apply to Christ, and ought to do so when sickness is in our families. The building places for religious worship is a good work, and an instance of love to God and his people. Our Lord Jesus was pleased with the centurion's faith; and he never fails to answer the expectations of that faith which honours his power and love. The cure soon wrought and perfect.
Verse 3. - And when he heard of Jesus; better rendered, having heard about Jesus. His fame as a good Physician, such as never had arisen before, coupled with his reputation as a Teacher, had now travelled far and wide. The devout centurion probably had watched with extreme interest the career of the strange and remarkable Teacher-Prophet who had risen up among the people, and had apparently (see note on ver. 7) made up his mind that this Jesus was no mortal man. He sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant; better rendered elders without the article; that is, some of the official elders connected with his own synagogue. These would be able, with more grace than himself, to plead his cause with the Master, telling him how well the centurion had deserved any assistance which a Jewish physician could afford him.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And when he heard of Jesus,.... That he was come, as the Ethiopic version adds, into the city of Capernaum; or of his miracles, which he had done there, and elsewhere:
he sent unto him the elders of the Jews: in whom he had an interest, judging himself, being a Gentile, very unworthy and unfit to go himself, and ask a favour of so great a person as Christ was, such was his modesty and humility. These elders he sent, were not the more ancient inhabitants of the city, called , "the elders of, or among the common people", as distinguished from , "the elders of the law", or those that were old in knowledge; of both which it is said by R. Simeon ben Achasia (m), that
"the elders of the common people, when they grow old, their knowledge fails in them, as it is said, John 12:20 but so it is not with the "elders of the law"; but when they grow old, their knowledge rests in them, as it is said, Job 12:12.''
But these were either some principal officers of the city, called the elders of the people elsewhere; particularly, who were members of the sanhedrim; for as elders, when they design the elders in Jerusalem, mean the great sanhedrim (n) there; so elders, in other places, intend the sanhedrim, consisting of twenty one persons, or the bench of three; and such were these, the centurion sent to Christ:
beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant: he besought him most earnestly by these messengers, that he would come to his house, and cure his servant of the palsy, by laying his hands on him, or commanding the distemper off, by a word speaking; or in what way he should think fit, for he made no doubt that he was able to heal him.
(m) Misn. Kenim, c. 3. sect. 6. (n) T. Hieros. Sota, fol. 23. 3.
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