Matthew 8:9

9 For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes, and to another, 'Come,' and he comes, and to my servant,[a]'Do this,' and he does it."

Matthew 8:9 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 8:9

For I am a man under authority
Of Caesar the Roman emperor, and of superior officers under him, as a tribune

having soldiers under me;
an hundred of them at least, for military service, and some of them were used by him as his domestics:

and I say unto this man go, and he goeth, and to another come, and
he cometh:
for there is no disputing the commands of officers, by soldiers, in anything, in exercises, marches, battles

and to my servant,
that was more properly his domestic servant, who waited upon him, and did those things for him which every soldier under him was not employed in,

do this, and he doth it;
immediately, without any more ado; as indeed a servant ought. The Jews F12 have a saying, that

``a servant over whom his master (twvr Nya) , "hath no power", is not called a servant.''

Now, these words are not a reason excusing Christ's coming to his house, or showing how unworthy it was, and how unfit it would be for him to come thither, since he was a man that held soldiers under him, and his house was encumbered with them; for these were not with him, but quartered out elsewhere: but they are an argument, from the lesser to the greater, that seeing he was a man, and Christ was God, he was under the authority of others. Christ was subject to none; and yet he had such power over his soldiers and servants, that if he bid one go, and another come, or ordered them to stand in such a place, and in such a posture, or do this and the other servile work, his orders were immediately obeyed: how much more easily then could Christ, who had all power in heaven and in earth, command off this distemper his servant was afflicted with? He suggests, that as his soldiers were under him, and at his command; so all bodily diseases were under Christ, and to be controlled by him, at his pleasure; and that, if he would but say to that servant of his, the palsy, remove, it would remove at once.


F12 T. Bab. Kiddushin, fol. 72. 2.

Matthew 8:9 In-Context

7 And he said to him, "I will come and heal him."
8 But the centurion replied, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed.
9 For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes, and to another, 'Come,' and he comes, and to my servant,'Do this,' and he does it."
10 When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, "Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.
11 I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven,

Footnotes 1

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.