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A Centurion and a Feast

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  • A Centurion and a Feast

    Ready for the banquet?

    Link

    ------

    Who will take part in the banquet? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    As we look at eschatology in Matthew, we see next that Jesus is approached by a centurion for the healing of a servant. The centurion makes a statement that indicates that He knows Jesus is a man of authority and all He needs to do is speak a word and what He wants will be done. This is someone who really understands more about Jesus than Jesus’s fellow Jews did.

    So the eschatology in this comes when we see what Jesus says about this man who would be seen as a pagan at worst and a God-fearer at best. Nothing is said about his circumcision status. The only thing we know about him really is how he saw Jesus.

    You might want to think that this is just a guy pandering, like a politician might. There’s no reason to think that either. He really has a sick servant. He really wants Jesus to come to Him. He really believes Jesus is capable. This is a man who understands the authority that Jesus would have in relation to the God of Israel.

    Jesus is amazed at the faith of this Gentile man and then says that many will come to feast with the patriarchs but they will be cast out. What a shock this must have been for the Jewish people in the time of Jesus. They, the ones who have the blood of Abraham in their veins, will not get to dine with father Abraham in the new Kingdom?

    Yes. They won’t. Jesus is now saying at this point that your lineage doesn’t determine your status before God. God is looking for something else besides who’s your daddy. He’s looking for those who have faith in Him. Notice that Jesus doesn’t just say that this Gentile is coming.

    No. He says many will come from all over the world, hence the references to the directions. They will take part in that feast. They will be the recipients of the Kingdom.

    Not only this, but how does Jesus know this? He doesn’t tell us, but there’s nothing that says, “This is what I think will happen.” Jesus is not giving any hint He’s giving an opinion and frankly, He never does. This is something else amazing about Jesus. Jesus always speaks every time as if He’s 100% right and yet we still genuinely and rightly see Him as a man of humility.

    This also will show that my interpretation about the narrow and wide gate is likely right. Jesus says few will find His way and then right here says many will come. Jesus consistently says few of His generation will see the Kingdom. It’s when we get after His generation that we see people who will see the Kingdom more and more and these among the Gentiles.

    This would be staggering to a Jew to hear. Gentiles could come into the Kingdom, sure, but they would have to become Jews first. Jesus says nothing about this man becoming a Jew. What do we know about this man’s faith? It’s in Jesus. Jesus is setting this up as the new standard. Your position in the Kingdom is determined by how you see Him.

    More and more we have to realize that Jesus said the most incredible things that have been said by any human being ever. No one ever spoke like Him and if any of us tried, we would not be able to do it. Try and speak like you’re the one that all reality should focus on and everything you say is not an opinion but pure fact. See how well you do.

    Jesus tells His disciples at one point to strive to enter into the Kingdom. We know it is by faith in Christ. Let us have that faith in Christ.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters
    (And I affirm the virgin birth)

  • #2
    However is this passage historical or the theology of the writer of Matthew?

    I agree with many scholars that Jesus was an Eschatological Prophet but his focus seemingly was his own people. This was broadened when there was an actual mission to the Gentiles (pagans) and was in tune with the Prophets of the OT that 'all nations' would worship the God of the Jews in the new Kingdom.

    I think we can question whether the Jews of the time of Jesus ever heard this focus on the believing Gentile. However it makes total sense if Matthew's audience is Gentiles.

    Also in Christ
    Thormas
    (and I deny the virginal conception)

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    • #3
      I have no reason to think it's not a historical account.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
        I have no reason to think it's not a historical account.
        There was no Roman army in Galilee in the first part of the first century. Galilee at that period was an independent, albeit client kingdom, to Rome. The centurion would have been in the army of Antipas and, quite possibly, Jewish.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
          I have no reason to think it's not a historical account.

          Given the timing of Matthew and the research of a number of critical biblical and early Christianity scholars, it seems there is ample reason.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

            There was no Roman army in Galilee in the first part of the first century. Galilee at that period was an independent, albeit client kingdom, to Rome. The centurion would have been in the army of Antipas and, quite possibly, Jewish.

            Great points. There were Roman troops in Jerusalem, where Jesus traveled numerous times (depending on which gospel you accept on this) during the Passovers when Jesus was an adult. Not sure if there was a regular garrison in Jerusalem, also not sure when a Roman presence began.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by thormas View Post


              Great points. There were Roman troops in Jerusalem, where Jesus traveled numerous times (depending on which gospel you accept on this) during the Passovers when Jesus was an adult. Not sure if there was a regular garrison in Jerusalem, also not sure when a Roman presence began.
              I do not want to disrupt this thread but Judaea was made a province of Rome 6 CE after the disastrous rule of the Ethnarch Herod Archelaus. In the early first century and as a comparative "backwater" Roman province it had a small auxiliary garrison. The legions were in Syria and Egypt. In the early first century the Praefectus would come to Jerusalem on Jewish Holy Days bringing with him additional troops from the capital of the province which was Caesarea Maritima.

              Galilee, which had been part of the kingdom of Herod the Great, remained for the first 39 years of the first century as before, a separate but client kingdom to Rome.

              However, if you wish to discuss how early imperial Rome governed its provinces and dealt with its client states you should perhaps start a thread on on another board. This is not the correct platform for a discussion of that sort.

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              • #8
                All we are told is he was a centurion. We are not told if he was Roman or not. He could have been under Antipas. He could have been Syrian.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                  I do not want to disrupt this thread but Judaea was made a province of Rome 6 CE after the disastrous rule of the Ethnarch Herod Archelaus. In the early first century and as a comparative "backwater" Roman province it had a small auxiliary garrison. The legions were in Syria and Egypt. In the early first century the Praefectus would come to Jerusalem on Jewish Holy Days bringing with him additional troops from the capital of the province which was Caesarea Maritima.

                  Galilee, which had been part of the kingdom of Herod the Great, remained for the first 39 years of the first century as before, a separate but client kingdom to Rome.

                  However, if you wish to discuss how early imperial Rome governed its provinces and dealt with its client states you should perhaps start a thread on on another board. This is not the correct platform for a discussion of that sort.

                  And given this, could have been a Roman - if we take the story as historical (very questionable).

                  BTW, I'm fine on this thread,,,,,,,,thanks

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by thormas View Post


                    And given this, could have been a Roman - if we take the story as historical (very questionable).

                    BTW, I'm fine on this thread,,,,,,,,thanks
                    No the soldier would not have been a Roman. Rome had no military presence at that period in Galilee. A Hellenised Jew very possibly given the Herodian dynasty and its historical antecedents, but not a Roman citizen. Antipas had his own army and was an independent ruler [albeit a client king to Rome].

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Apologiaphoenix View Post
                      All we are told is he was a centurion. We are not told if he was Roman or not. He could have been under Antipas. He could have been Syrian.
                      The officer in question would have been under Antipas, Capernaum is in Galilee which at the time was a separate kingdom, albeit a client kingdom aligned to the super power of the period.

                      As we find today with military ranks and titles, the same forms are used in different countries.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

                        The officer in question would have been under Antipas, Capernaum is in Galilee which at the time was a separate kingdom, albeit a client kingdom aligned to the super power of the period.

                        As we find today with military ranks and titles, the same forms are used in different countries.

                        The opening of this thread identified the centurion as a pagan (Gentile). If the officer in question was under Antipas, he could have been a Jew (?) and Nick's argument falls apart as does the apparent contrast created by the evangelist.

                        Could have been a Jew, could have been a Roman, could have been a Syrian..........................lots of could haves...........also could not have happened and was the creation of Matthew to make the point presented in the beginning of the thread.
                        Last edited by thormas; 09-29-2020, 08:18 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by thormas View Post


                          The opening of this thread identified the centurion as a pagan (Gentile). If the officer in question was under Antipas, he could have been a Jew (?) and Nick's argument falls apart as does the apparent contrast created by the evangelist.

                          Could have been a Jew, could have been a Roman, could have been a Syrian..........................lots of could haves...........also could not have happened and was the creation of Matthew to make the point presented in the beginning of the thread.
                          I repeat again that the officer would have been in the army of Antipas and not the army of Rome.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Perhaps - but then possibly not a pagan and thus my point (above), if historical in the first place.
                            Last edited by thormas; 09-29-2020, 09:55 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by thormas View Post
                              Perhaps - but then possibly not a pagan and thus my point (above), if historical in the first place.
                              Irrespective of the historical accuracy of the account there is no "perhaps" about it. The Roman army had no military presence in Galilee at that point in history. Fact.

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