Let Nothing Stand Between You and Him

When Jesus had finished his sermon he went back into the city of Capernaum. Just at that time the highly prized slave of a Roman army captain was sick and near death. When the captain heard about Jesus, he sent some respected Jewish elders to ask him to come and heal his slave. So they began pleading earnestly with Jesus to come with them and help the man. They told him what a wonderful person the captain was. “If anyone deserves your help, it is he,” they said, “for he loves the Jews and even paid personally to build us a synagogue!”

Jesus went with them; but just before arriving at the house, the captain sent some friends to say, “Sir, don’t inconvenience yourself by coming to my home, for I am not worthy of any such honor or even to come and meet you. Just speak a word from where you are, and my servant boy will be healed! I know, because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my men. I only need to say ‘Go!’ and they go; or ‘Come!’ and they come; and to my slave, ‘Do this or that,’ and he does it. So just say, ‘Be healed!’ and my servant will be well again!”

Jesus was amazed. Turning to the crowd he said, “Never among all the Jews in Israel have I met a man with faith like this.” And when the captain’s friends returned to his house, they found the slave completely healed.

Since he was well aware of the Jewish hatred for Roman soldiers, the Roman army captain may not have wanted to interrupt a Jewish gathering. As a centurion, he daily delegated work and sent groups on missions, so this was how he chose to get his message to Jesus.

This army captain was a centurion, in charge of one hundred men in the Roman army. This man turned to Jesus not as a last resort or magic charm, but because he believed Jesus was sent from God. Yet he didn’t come himself to Jesus, and he didn’t expect Jesus to come to him. Just as this captain did not need to be present to have his orders carried out, so Jesus didn’t need to be present to heal. The captain’s faith was especially amazing because he was a Gentile who had not been brought up to know a loving God.

The Roman army captain could have let many obstacles stand between him and Jesus—pride, doubt, money, language, distance, time, self-sufficiency, power, race. But he didn’t. Neither should we.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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