Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Centurion's Faith

LUKE 7:1-10
After Jesus had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave whom he valued highly, and who was ill and close to death. When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, asking him to come and heal his slave. When they came to Jesus, they appealed to him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy of having you do this for him, for he loves our people, and it is he who built our synagogue for us.” And Jesus went with them, but when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; therefore I did not presume to come to you. But only speak the word, and let my servant be healed. For I also am a man set 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 slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.” When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, he said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.
I know this story is about
Your authority and power to heal!
"Just say the word and let my servant be healed!"
Extraordinary. Amazing.

And yet,
as I read this story
I'm more amazed by the relationships:
the centurion -- a Roman soldier
who cares about his slave.
Yes, maybe his care is self-serving
because she slaves for him.
And yet, he sends for Jesus' healing.

Then there are the Jewish elders.
Perhaps they went out of fear or complusion
because he was an officer in occupying army
of the Roman Empire,
and yet the Jewish leaders speak highly of him,
saying, he loves their people,
and he even built their place of worship!

Then there is how the centurion
relates to Jesus.
Humbly he seeks not to trouble Jesus,
claiming to be unworthy of Jesus coming to his house.
Instead the centurion understands Jesus.
He understands the nature of power
that Jesus can command and healing will be done.
The centurion also understands the nature of compassion
that Jesus cares and will act to heal.

Jesus praises the centurion for his faith!

Is my faith like the centurion's?
Does my faith lead to acts of compassion?
Humility in positions of power and authority?
Generosity to those over whom I hold office?
Caring in relationships with those who serve me?

teach me such faith today.

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