Matthew 8:8
The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
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(8) Lord, I am not worthy.—In St. Luke’s report, the friends deliver the message as beginning with “Trouble not thyself,” the word being a colloquial one, which starting from the idea of flaying, or mangling, passed into that of “worrying,” “vexing,” and the like. The sense of unworthiness implied at once the consciousness of his own sins, and the recognition of the surpassing holiness and majesty of the Teacher he addressed.

Speak the word only.—This was the special proof of the speaker’s faith. He had risen above the thought of a magic influence, operating by touch or charm, to that of a delegated power depending only on the will of Him who possessed it.

8:5-13 This centurion was a heathen, a Roman soldier. Though he was a soldier, yet he was a godly man. No man's calling or place will be an excuse for unbelief and sin. See how he states his servant's case. We should concern ourselves for the souls of our children and servants, who are spiritually sick, who feel not spiritual evils, who know not that which is spiritually good; and we should bring them to Christ by faith and prayers. Observe his self-abasement. Humble souls are made more humble by Christ's gracious dealings with them. Observe his great faith. The more diffident we are of ourselves, the stronger will be our confidence in Christ. Herein the centurion owns him to have Divine power, and a full command of all the creatures and powers of nature, as a master over his servants. Such servants we all should be to God; we must go and come, according to the directions of his word and the disposals of his providence. But when the Son of man comes he finds little faith, therefore he finds little fruit. An outward profession may cause us to be called children of the kingdom; but if we rest in that, and have nothing else to show, we shall be cast out. The servant got a cure of his disease, and the master got the approval of his faith. What was said to him, is said to all, Believe, and ye shall receive; only believe. See the power of Christ, and the power of faith. The healing of our souls is at once the effect and evidence of our interest in the blood of Christ.I am not worthy ... - This was an expression of great humility. It refers, doubtless, to his view of his "personal" unworthiness, and not merely to the fact that he was a "Gentile." It was the expression of a conviction of the great dignity and power of the Saviour, and of a feeling that he was so unlike him that he was not suitable that the Son of God should come into his dwelling. So every truly penitent sinner feels - a feeling which is appropriate when he comes to Christ. Mt 8:5-13. Healing of the Centurion's Servant. ( = Lu 7:1-10).

This incident belongs to a later stage. For the exposition, see on [1234]Lu 7:1-10.

See Poole on "Matthew 8:10".

The centurion answered, and said,.... This, according to Luke 7:6 was said by his friends in his name, when he understood that Christ had agreed to come to his house, with the elders of the Jews, he first sent to him; and after he was actually set out with them, and was in the way to his house; who, conscious of his own unworthiness, deputes some persons to him, to address him in this manner,

Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst come under my roof. This is not said as rejecting and despising the presence and company of Christ; but is expressive of his great modesty and humility, and of his consciousness of his own vileness, and unworthiness of having so great a person in his house: it was too great a favour for him to enjoy. And if such a man was unworthy, having been an idolater, and lived a profane course of life, that Christ should come into his house, and be, though but for a short time, under his roof; how much more unworthy are poor sinful creatures (and sensible sinners see themselves to be so unworthy), that Christ should come into their hearts, and dwell there by faith, as he does, in all true believers, however vile and sinful they have been?

But speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. As the former expression declares his modesty and humility, and the mean apprehensions he had of himself; so this signifies his great faith in Christ, and the persuasion he had of his divine power: he does not say pray, and my servant shall be healed, as looking upon him barely as a man of God, a prophet, one that had great interest in God, and at the throne of grace; but speak, command, order it to be done, and it shall be done, which is ascribing omnipotence to him; such power as was put forth in creation, by the all commanding word of God; "he spake, and it was done, he commanded, and it stood fast", Psalm 33:9 yea, he signifies that if he would but speak a word, the least word whatever; or, as Luke has it, "say in a word"; let but a word come out of thy mouth, and it will be done.

The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
Matthew 8:8. Λόγῳ] Dat. of the means and instrument, as in Luke 7:7; speak it, i.e. command, with a word, that he become whole. This is by way of expressing a contrast to the proffered personal service. Lobeck, Paralip. p. 525.

Here again the ἵνα does not represent the infinitive construction, but: I am not sufficient (worthy enough) for the purpose that Thou shouldst go (John 1:27) under my roof (Soph. Ant. 1233). As a Gentile by birth, and loving, as he does, the Jewish people (Luke 7), he feels most deeply his own unworthiness in presence of this great miracle-worker that has arisen among them, and “non superstitione, sed fide dixit, se indignum esse,” Maldonatus.

Matthew 8:8, ἱκανὸς: the Baptist’s word, chap. Matthew 3:11, but the construction different in the two places, there with infinitive, here with ἵνα: I am not fit in order that. This is an instance illustrating the extension of the use of ἵνα in later Greek, which culminated in its superseding the infinitive altogether in modern Greek. On the N. T. use of ἵνα, vide Burton, M. and T., §§ 191–222. Was it because he was a Gentile by birth, and also perhaps a heathen in religion, that he had this feeling of unworthiness, or was it a purely personal trait? If he was not only a Gentile but a Pagan, Christ’s readiness to go to the house would stand in remarkable contrast to His conduct in the case of the Syro-Phœnician woman. But vide Luke 7:5.—εἰπὲ λόγῳ, speak (and heal) with a word. A bare word just where they stand, he thinks, will suffice.

8. The centurion answered] The argument lies in a comparison between the centurion’s command and the authority of Jesus. “If I who am under authority command others, how much more hast thou power to command who art under no authority? If I can send my soldiers or my slave to execute my orders, how much more canst thou send thy ministering spirits to do thy bidding?” The centurion was doubtless acquainted with the Jewish belief on the subject of angels, their subordination and their office as ministers of God.

Matthew 8:8. Στέγην, roof) Although not a mean one, cf. Luke 7:5. There were others whose reverence did not prevent them from seeing and touching the Lord, see ch. Matthew 9:18; Matthew 9:20. The same internal feeling may manifest itself outwardly in different modes, yet all of them good.—εἰπὲ λόγῳ, command by word) Thus does the centurion declare his belief that the disease will yield to our Lord’s command. Some few copies have rather more carelessly,εἰπὲ λόγον,[358] say the word.—ἰαθήσεται, shall be healed) The centurion replies by this glorious word: our Lord had said modestly, θεραπεύσω,” I will cure.[359]—ὁ παῖς μου, my boy) A kinder mode of speech than if he had said ὁ δουλός μου, my slave.

[358] BCbc Orig. 4,278d and Vulg. read λόγῳ. Rec. Text, without good authority, has λόγον.—ED.

[359] The word used by the centurion was confined to the notion of healing, and cognate with that which denoted a physician: that employed by our Lord had also the signification of attending upon, and was cognate with one which denoted an attendant. Bengel’s remark applies not to our Lord’s meaning, but to the mode in which He expressed it.—(I. B.)

Verse 8. - The (Revised Version, and the) centurion answered and said. His reply as reported in Matthew is almost verbally the same as his second message in Luke, save for the important addition there of his unworthiness to come. Lord, I am not worthy (ἱκανός); Matthew 3:11, note. That thou shouldest come under my roof. "My," probably emphatic: however thou mayest honour others. But speak the word only; but only say the word (Revised Version); ἀλλὰ μόνον εἰπὲ λόγῳ. Only say with a single word what is to be done, and it shall be done (cf. ver. 16). And my servant shall be healed (ἰαθήσεται); Matthew 4:23, note. Matthew 8:8
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