Matthew 8:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 8:9, NIV: For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it.'

Matthew 8:9, ESV: 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.”

Matthew 8:9, KJV: For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.

Matthew 8:9, NASB: For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.'

Matthew 8:9, NLT: I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, 'Go,' and they go, or 'Come,' and they come. And if I say to my slaves, 'Do this,' they do it.'

Matthew 8:9, CSB: For I too am a man under authority, having soldiers under my command. 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."

What does Matthew 8:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jesus was ready and willing to enter the Roman centurion's house to heal the man's servant (Matthew 8:5–7). The centurion, though, objected to this. He said he was not worthy to have Jesus in his home (Matthew 8:8). He respected the Jewish people (Luke 7:5) and likely understood that their custom prohibited them from entering the house of a Gentile (non-Jew). As this verse shows, though, the centurion also understood Jesus to be a man of great power and connection to God.

The centurion has said that Jesus can heal his servant merely by speaking a word. Now he explains why. He understands the principle of authority, which powered the Roman army. He himself was under the authority of his superiors, and he had authority over all the soldiers under him. He could accomplish anything with the words "come," "go," "do this." His soldiers would immediately carry out his will without any need for the centurion to be present with them. This is a man who respects and instinctively recognizes authority.

In short, the centurion recognized Jesus' authority over the natural world. He saw that Jesus' healings were not like the attempted supernatural works of the pagans of his day. They would offer sacrifices and perform rituals and sometimes work themselves into a frenzy attempting to convince their gods to do their bidding. They saw their gods as having the authority, and they attempted to win their favor. Jesus, though, simply spoke and it was done. He was the one with the authority.

As Jesus will show in the following verses, this was the conclusion the Jewish people should have reached when seeing His miracles. This was the faith in Him they should have shown.