During one of Jesus' visits to the town of Capernaum, a centurion, through intermediaries, asked Jesus to heal the centurion's servant who was ill and near death. Jesus agreed to go to centurion's house and heal the centurion's servant. But the centurion, through his friends, told Jesus that the centurion felt unworthy to have Jesus come into his home. Jesus praised the centurion for his faith and the servant was healed.
As explained in the Gospel of Luke:
He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: "Lord, don't trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 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."
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel." Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.
- Luke 7:1-10, NIV translation.
A centurion was a Roman soldier who had authority over other soldiers. During the time of Jesus about 2,000 years ago, the Romans ruled over a vast empire that included the Biblical land of Israel.