A Baptist website explains: "The Bible tells that there is one way to be saved and it is through believing Jesus died for your sins and asking Him to be your Savior."

Now if this is a true statement that "there is one way to be saved" how does the Centurion receive salvation before Jesus died for all those sins?

Now when Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, pleading with Him, 6 saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, dreadfully tormented.” 7 And Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” 8 The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this 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 it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, “Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! (Matthew 8:5-10 NKJV)

The text clearly does not say anything about Jesus Dying on the Cross. I want to know why faith is placed on Jesus Dying on the Cross in comparison to the type of faith shown by the Centurion?

  • 1
    It's right there in the text. Jesus says "I'll come to your house." The Centurion says "Not necessary, but only speak a word, and my servant will be healed."
    – user3961
    Jul 3, 2014 at 22:34
  • 1
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is trivial and shows a lack of research effort. The answer is plainly in the quoted text.
    – user3961
    Jul 3, 2014 at 22:36
  • 1
    @fredsbend The text clearly does not say anything about Jesus Dying on the Cross. I want to know why faith is placed on Jesus Dying on the Cross in comparison to this perspective?
    – Decrypted
    Jul 3, 2014 at 22:57
  • 2
    Are you thinking of the centurion who was present at the Crucifixion and said "Truly this man was the Son of God"? Jul 3, 2014 at 23:02
  • 3
    Why would this have anything to do with that in the first place? The centurion had faith that Jesus had the power to heal his servant, despite a lack of proximity. There is nothing in the passage about Jesus' death, so why would you think that relates to this?
    – user3961
    Jul 4, 2014 at 0:12

2 Answers 2


Faith = Belief/Trust in Jesus as the Son of God

The problem with your question is that you’re assuming that “faith” is “faith in Jesus dying on the cross,” but that is neither explicitly said, nor does it make sense in the context of the passage or in the context of the entirety of the New Testament.

The Greek word translated “faith” here (πιστις, 4102) means “trust, belief, faith, conviction of the truth.” “Faith in Jesus” is not “faith in Jesus dying on the cross” but “faith/trust that Jesus is who he said he was.” This is what faith means nearly everywhere in the New Testament when it is connected to Jesus.

“I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!”

Jesus praises the centurion because he has faith in Jesus as one with absolute authority over the universe. This has nothing to do specifically with Jesus dying on the cross. The importance of the cross is that Jesus allowed himself to be murdered, but because he was righteous, he was raised from the dead. Our “faith” is always in Jesus as Lord, not in anything less.

  • 1
    +1 Well said! Faith is not faith in Christ's death on the cross. Faith is faith in Christ! And if one believes in Jesus Christ, one should also believe in His death and resurrection. And His actions, journey, words etc. This question is indirectly stating that before Jesus died, no one had "faith" since Jesus had not been crucified on the cross yet....
    – Zoe
    Jul 4, 2014 at 4:13

The centurion showed his faith by believing that Jesus has the power to heal and that He has authority over all things, including himself.

Notice the word authority, which is a prominent theme in this passage. Jesus is King. But His kingship had not been made fully manifest before His death and subsequent resurrection. He lived His life on earth as a lowly servant. He was born in a manger, a most humiliating birth. And he died by crucifixion, a most humiliating death. If we fast forward to the events after His resurrection, and shortly before His ascension, He declared, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth" (Matthew 28:18). The original word for power here is the same as that used for authority in the passage you quoted. Now, as one who had not seen nor heard those words, it was great faith for the centurion to claim Jesus' authority over himself, and to place himself, being a centurion, in the position of a servant, just as Jesus did.

Also note that the servant could have died if Jesus did not intervene. But even God the Father did not intervene when Jesus was crucified. God withheld mercy to His own Son, in order that we may have mercy. We would all die in sin if Jesus did not die for us. "With his stripes we are healed" (Isaiah 53:5).

  • This answer show no connection between the Centurion's faith and Jesus Dying on the cross.
    – Decrypted
    Jul 3, 2014 at 22:59
  • @Onlyheisgood. why do you suppose so?
    – adipro
    Jul 3, 2014 at 23:07
  • Not from the angle that I am trying to explain. Some place their faith on Jesus dying for them. And although he did die for them and they are indeed saved because he died. This is a different type of faith. So technically you do point out a connection, but it is not what I mean.
    – Decrypted
    Jul 3, 2014 at 23:28
  • So I should append to my first comment. "shows no connection between the types of faith". Your answer expands on only one of the perspectives, you see?
    – Decrypted
    Jul 3, 2014 at 23:31
  • @Onlyheisgood. I have expanded my answer. I hope it answers your question.
    – adipro
    Jul 4, 2014 at 0:11

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .