By Jim Orcutt, Co-Founder of My Brother's Keeper

These personal reflections on the Monday gospel represent my insight of Christ’s message as viewed through the lens of my life experience. It is my hope that others will be inspired to reflect upon their views as well.
Date: September 16, 2019
September 16, 2019

Gospel LK 7:1-10

When Jesus had finished all his words to the people,
he entered Capernaum.
A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die,
and he was valuable to him.
When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him,
asking him to come and save the life of his slave.
They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying,
“He deserves to have you do this for him,
for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.”
And Jesus went with them,
but when he was only a short distance from the house,
the centurion sent friends to tell him,
“Lord, do not trouble yourself,
for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.
Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you;
but say the word and let my servant be healed.
For I too am a person subject to authority,
with soldiers subject to me.
And I say to one, Go, and he goes;
and to another, Come here, and he comes;
and to my slave, Do this, and he does it.”
When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him
and, turning, said to the crowd following him,
“I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”
When the messengers returned to the house,
they found the slave in good health.

Reflection

When Jesus had finished all his words to the people,
he entered Capernaum.
A centurion there had a slave who was ill and about to die,
and he was valuable to him.
When he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to him,
asking him to come and save the life of his slave.

It took an exceptional individual to be a centurion in the Roman army. A centurion had 100 men under his direct command; they were the backbone of the Roman army. As a member of the occupying military force, the centurion had the right to demand Jesus appear before him.

As a person of authority, the centurion recognized power when he saw it; he believed in Jesus.

He was also compassionate and sensitive. He was concerned about the life of a slave and at the same time aware of Jewish culture and religious practices.

Under Jewish religious law it was forbidden for a Jew to touch or speak to a gentile (non-Jew). Instead of putting Jesus in the awkward position of speaking to him directly, the centurion was considerate enough to send Jewish emissaries to carry his message to Jesus.

They approached Jesus and strongly urged him to come, saying,
“He deserves to have you do this for him,
for he loves our nation and he built the synagogue for us.”
And Jesus went with them,
but when he was only a short distance from the house,
the centurion sent friends to tell him,
“Lord, do not trouble yourself,
for I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof.
Therefore, I did not consider myself worthy to come to you;
but say the word and let my servant be healed.
For I too am a person subject to authority,
with soldiers subject to me.
And I say to one, Go, and he goes;
and to another, Come here, and he comes;
and to my slave, Do this, and he does it.”

Understandably, the Jews held the centurion in high regard. In today’s world he could serve as a model for any solider serving in a foreign country.

When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him
and, turning, said to the crowd following him,
“I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”
When the messengers returned to the house,
they found the slave in good health.

When Jesus looks at a person He does not consider their religion or country of origin. He simply looks into the person’s heart.

In the heart of this pagan soldier from a foreign land Jesus saw humility, compassion, respect for others, and tremendous faith.

Our hope is to try emulating the centurion in our own lives so that when we prepare to receive the body of Christ, we too may say from the depths of our hearts, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof; only say the word and my soul shall be healed.”

“A great man is always willing to be little.”  Ralph Waldo Emerson



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