5 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!
11 And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.
12 But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour.
This account also appears in Luke 7:1-10 in which we learn that the centurion made his appeal first through Jewish elders and then through friends. The Jews were willing to appeal on his behalf because the centurion had befriended them and built a synagogue for them in Capernaum.
servant (v.6) — the word sometimes is used to refer to an adult servant, but it usually is used for a child.
Though only a subordinate officer subject to his superiors, he had authority over his soldiers; and, if he had only to issue his commands and they were executed, might not Jesus, whom he recognized as the Lord of all principalities and powers, do the like and much more? There was no need for Him to approach the sufferer: let Him but speak the word. — Pentecost, page 191.
from east and west (v.11) — Psalm 107:3; Malachi 1:11, referring to the Gentile nations that will be blessed through Israel during the Millennial Kingdom
sit down (v.11) = recline to eat
I was a little confused by the phrase “sons of the kingdom” (v.12). I figured it had to refer to unbelieving Jews, but I wanted to be sure. I sent the following e-mail to Pastor Ricky Kurth of the Berean Bible Society:
I’m taking you up on your generous offer to answer my questions. I’ve made it to Matthew 8 with no large issues, but I do have a question about verses 11 and 12: “And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
I assume the “many from the east and west” will be the Gentile nations that are blessed through Israel during the Millennial Kingdom, based on Psalm 107 and Malachi 1. Am I right? All the commentaries I’m using say it’s a reference to the church today, but since this age wasn’t revealed until it was revealed to Paul, that doesn’t make sense to me.
But what about the “sons of the kingdom.” My first thought was that they were unbelieving Israel, but there won’t be unbelieving Israel then, will there? And even if there are some Jews who don’t believe during the Millennium, it doesn’t say “some,” it just says “the sons of the kingdom.”
Children of the kingdom are the children of Abraham by birth who are not his spiritual children (Matthew 3:9-10), i.e., his physical seed but not his spiritual seed (John 8:37-44). See Matthew 21:43. The children of the kingdom were “the children of the prophets and of the covenant” God made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Acts 3:25).
When the Lord establishes the kingdom, these unbelievers will be “cast out” as it says here in Matthew 8:12.