Message from the Pastor

The story of the Roman officer in Luke 7:1-10 is fascinating.  In it, we read of a centurion (a quite high-ranking officer in charge of approximately 100 men) who is worried about his slave who is very sick with an illness which looks like it will take his life.

 Firstly, the man is worried about someone who most people in his position would have had little concern for.  He valued a slave so highly that he was willing to go to a Jewish man he had heard might be able to help.  He shows compassion for the lowly.

 Secondly, his generosity to the Jewish community whose country his empire has annexed, shows a genuine care for the local inhabitants who he might otherwise have looked down on or seen as troublemakers.

 Thirdly, he shows great faith, acknowledging Jesus’ power, and trusting that Jesus will be able and willing to heal his slave even without actually attending to him in the house.  His statements about Jesus’ authority suggests that he somehow knows that Jesus is more than a mere human.

 Fourthly, he shows great humility.  He acknowledges Jesus’ greatness and doesn’t believe he is worthy even to meet Jesus or host him in his house.   In doing so, he shows he fears the Lord which, as Proverbs tells us, is the beginning of wisdom (cf Proverbs 1:7)

 Jesus’ response is telling:  ‘When Jesus heard this, he was amazed.  Turning to the crowd that was following him, he said, “I tell you, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!”  And when the officer’s friends returned to his house, they found the slave completely healed.’ (Luke 7:9,10)

 The centurion is a great example.  May we likewise show the qualities we see here, that God can work freely in our lives and do great things through us.  May we show compassion and generosity to all, especially those who are struggling or thought little of, and also great faith in and humility towards our God, who we owe everything to.