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The Christians Of Caesar's Legions

When most people think of the Roman military at the time of the first coming of Jesus Christ, they think of the brutal thugs that sadistically tortured and crucified Him:

"27:27 Then the soldiers of the governor [see The Praetorium] took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. 27:28 And they stripped him, and put on him a Scarlet robe. 27:29 And when they had platted a crown of Thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! 27:30 And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. 27:31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him [see also Crossing The T]." (Matthew 27:27-31 KJV)

"Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof"

Not all of the Roman troops were evil however. Some became Christians, while in the military i.e. they served honorably, instead of as torturers and war criminals. An example, a centurion (a Roman officer in command of a hundred men) based near Capernaum, who the Messiah described as a man of great faith.

Roman Troops

"7:1 Now when he had ended all his sayings in the audience of the people, he entered into Capernaum. 7:2 And a certain centurion's servant, who was dear unto him, was sick, and ready to die. 7:3 And when he heard of Jesus, he sent unto him the elders of the Jews, beseeching him that he would come and heal his servant. 7:4 And when they came to Jesus, they besought him instantly, saying, That he was worthy for whom he should do this: 7:5 For he loveth our nation, and he hath built us a synagogue. 7:6 Then Jesus went with them.

And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: 7:7 Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed. 7:8 For I also am a man set under authority, having under me soldiers, and I say unto one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.

7:9 When Jesus heard these things, he marvelled at him, and turned him about, and said unto the people that followed him, I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 7:10 And they that were sent, returning to the house, found the servant whole that had been sick." (Luke 7:1-10 KJV)

Other Roman troops, some of whom were the men who actually tortured and killed the Christ, became believers at the moment of His death.

"27:50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost [see Giving Up The Ghost].

27:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; 27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, 27:53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

27:54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God." (Matthew 27:50-54 KJV)

It was to another Roman centurion that Peter's famous "clean and unclean" teaching was directed - that salvation is open to anyone who accepts and obeys Christ (see the notes for Acts 10 and Acts 11).

"10:1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, 10:2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway." (Acts 10:1-2 KJV)

"10:28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean." (Acts 10:28 KJV)

Fact Finder: What is going to happen to all of the military forces, of all of the nations of the world, that do not immediately surrender to Jesus Christ on the day of His return?
See The Coming World Dictator


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