Matthew, Mark, and Luke all introduce us to this centurion. None of them attribute a name to him and none of them tell us of his character. We are told nothing about him, with the exception of one thing — he recognized the Son of God. He cried, “Certainly this was a righteous man” (Luke 23:47). The Jewish people were brought up to serve the most high God, yet they did not know Jesus. However, this centurion, having no knowledge of the scriptures, cries forth the very statement that every Jew should have cried, “Truly this was the Son of God!” He was a Roman. He served no God; he served Caesar. Amidst the excitement of that day, the most unlikely of people sees Jesus as the Redeemer of mankind.
The centurion was an outsider as far as the events concerning Jesus. He had no reason to love Jesus, nor had he any reason to hate Him. No doubt he watched carefully the events of that day. He did not know who God was, but it would seem that he was quickly finding out. He realized that this was God, who hung before him on the cross. He realized that this Man, as He raised His head toward heaven, was God.
This man had no formal religious education. He never cared for the Jewish religion, nor for its Messiah — until he saw the Messiah. Then, he was amazed. Having seen the Savior, he could not turn away, but was compelled to stand and stare in wonder and amazement. May we ever have the reaction of this centurion!