Summary: Jesus talks with a Roman soldier whose servant is seriously ill commending him for his faith.
A Centurion’s Faith
Second In The Series “Conversations With Christ
5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help.
6 "Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering."
7 Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him."
8 The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.
9 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."
10 When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.
11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.
12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go! It will be done just as you believed it would." And his servant was healed at that very hour.
Jesus had a bad habit of talking to people who were considered by the religious Jews of His time bad company.
This is one of the things I like about Him the most!
He was frequently caught talking to Roman soldiers, small children, shady ladies, people of other religions and people of other colors.
Jesus frequently modeled a kingdom lifestyle that was impervious to prejudice of any kind.
Jesus did not see people in the categories we place them.
To Him, there was and there is no color.
You heard the story bout the two apples hanging in a tree looking down on all the fighting, hating, robbing and rioting in the world?
The first apple say; “Look at all those people destroying each other…no one seems to be willing to get along with his fellow-man. Someday, we apples will be the only ones left…then we’ll rule the world”
The second apple said; “Which of us – the reds or the greens?”
When will we as people who live in His kingdom understand:
To Him there is no race or culture.
To Him there is no net worth economically.
To Him there is no age.
To Him there is no gender.
To Him there is no scar, stain or sin…that conditions or affects in anyway His desire and ability to give those who come to Him…
His complete and undivided attention.
His love, acceptance and forgiveness.
This outlander , obviously an Italian…certainly not a Jew.
This stranger who comes publicly imploring Jesus to heal his servant.
This human-being dressed in a uniform, un-Kosher in every meaning of the word…desperately asking for help.
Dody Gadient, a school-teacher for thirteen years, decided to travel across America and see the sights she had been teaching about. Traveling alone in a pick-up with a travel trailer in tow she launched out on her great adventure.
One afternoon rounding a curve on I-5 near Sacramento, California in rush-hour traffic, her water pump blew on her truck. She was tired, exasperated, scared and alone. In spite of the traffic jam she caused, no one seemed interested in helping.
After waiting awhile, a huge Harley drove up driven by an enormous man sporting long, black hair, a beard, and tattooed arms. With an incredible air of confidence, he jumped off and without even glancing at Dody, went to work on the truck.
Within five minutes, he flagged down a larger truck, attached a tow chain to the frame of Dody’s disabled truck and whisked the whole rig off the freeway onto a side street where he calmly continued to work on the water pump.
The intimidated, middle-aged school teacher was too dumbfounded to talk. Especially when she read the paralyzing words on the back of his leather jacket – “Hell’s Angels – California”.
As he finished the task, she finally got up the courage to say; “Thanks so much,” and carry on a brief conversation. Noticing her surprise with the whole ordeal, he looked her straight in the eye and said; “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover…you may not know who you’re talking to.” With that, he smiled, closed the hood of the truck. Straddled his Harley. With a wave, he was gone as fast as he had appeared.
When I read that story, I am again reminded that…given half a chance, people often crawl out of the boxes into which we have relegated them because of our prejudices.