What kind of person are you?
The kind of person you are makes a huge difference in life. Roman centurions were the invading force in Israel, and normally would have been hated. But this person was very different. He was kind and generous towards the Jewish people. And that made a difference for him.
The Jews in Israel were convinced that they were God’s chosen people, and through them, the world would be blessed. But at the same time, they believed that spending time with non-Jewish people would contaminate them and so they were reluctant to socialise with non-Jewish people, who were known as Gentiles. Gentiles weren’t even allowed in the main part of the Temple. This Roman centurion was a Gentile, and so it was very unusual that the Jewish leaders would want to help him, especially to bring healing to his servant.
Jesus is up for going to his house though to help and to heal the servant. But the centurion through that was the wrong thing, and that he didn’t deserve Jesus to come. And more than that, that healing was a question of having authority over the disease – he recognises that Jesus has that authority, just as he had authority over the soldiers he commanded. He has faith that Jesus is God and that he had the power over illness.
Of course, Jesus just said the words and the servant was healed. Amazing as always.
Lord God, thank you that we can know you, even if we were once outsiders like the centurion. Thank you that you can heal, even just by saying a word from a distance. Help us to have faith like the centurion did. Amen.
Who can you see who is on the outside of things? What can you do to change that?