Matthew 8:5-13 NRSVue

5When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, appealing to him 6and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, in terrible distress.” 7And he said to him, “I will come and cure him.” 8The centurion answered, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed. 9For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me, and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.” 10When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, “Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. 11I tell you, many will come from east and west and will take their places at the banquet with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12while the heirs of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13And Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; let it be done for you according to your faith.” And the servant was healed in that hour.

Some thoughts on this scripture

Lord, this centurion captures my heart. Along with the calm consciouness of his authority goes an extraordinary feeling for his sick servant, which leads him to forget his standing as the officer of an occupying power, and respectfully beg a favour; more than that, he respects the possible reluctance of a Jew to enter a Gentile’s house, and bows to the greater authority he senses in Jesus.

Are there any in my life, Lord, for whom I would go to such lengths? Yet I am one of those you welcome, who come from east and west to eat with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. May I be worthy of that calling.