Monday, 12 October 2009

THE CENTURION SERVANT

Now a centurion had a bond servant who was
held in honor and highly valued by him, who was sick
and at the point of death. And when the centurion
heard of Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to Him,
requesting Him to come and make his bond
servant well. And when they reached Jesus,
they begged Him earnestly, saying, He is worthy
that You should do this for him, For he loves our
nation and he built us our synagogue [at his own expense].

Luke 7: 3-5


This passage of scripture is about the story of when Jesus went into the city of Capernaum, which is by Galilee. At that time, there was a certain centurion who had a 'favourite servant' who was sick and at the point of death. When the centurion heard that Jesus was in the city, he called some Jewish elders and sent them to seek Jesus, asking them to tell Him (Jesus) to come and heal his bond servant. When the Jewish elders sought out Jesus and found Him, they 'begged' Him earnestly to come and heal the centurion’s servant. The basis of their plea was that the centurion is a worthy and good man, so much that he even build them a synagogue in their city, with his own money’.

Before I go any further and to help us understand the angle of this post, let me explain the meaning of a few key words.
  • Centurion: Roman officer in command of hundred men
  • Bond Servant: a person who serves in bondage; slave
  • Favourite: someone something regarded with special favor or liking
  • Begged: to ask humbly, begging for help
  • Earnestly: serious in intention, purpose, or effort
  • Worthy: having adequate or great merit, character
  • Good: morally excellent; virtuous; righteous; pious: a good man

When most of us hear or are taught the story of the Centurion, we are taught from the angle of the great faith the centurion showed in verse 7 -9 of the same chapter, where he tells Jesus not to physically come to the his house, but to send His healing word and command, that it was sufficient enough to heal the sick servant.


However, I want to bring this passage to you from a different angle. Sometime last week, I was listening to the audio Bible (God bless the makers), whilst on the treadmill (yes, I am still fitness crazy) to this passage, God gave me new understanding. I played the whole chapter back about 10 times, if not more, and God revealed to me another dimension of this passage.


The Holy Spirit started teaching me with a series of questions which went like this - “why would a centurion, who was in charge of 100 men, pick out this particular servant? After all he was a Bond servant, a slave? Why did he love the servant so much that he was moved to the point of finding a cure for him. He was moved to seek help from the Jewish elders (highly respectable men of the city, who were then moved to favour him), and SEND THEM on an errand. He sent them to go and find Jesus and for them to bring Jesus back to his house to heal the servant”?


I was taught this: For the centurion to love his bond servant this much, the servant must have been very diligent in all that he did. He must have worked in excellence and integrity, which must have been only through the spirit of humility, for we must not forget he was slave. He must have been a trust worthy and good man, for the master to set him apart from the other men (99 others), This reminds me of Joseph, who was still diligent in using his gifts, even when he was in prison - Genesis 40: 1- 20.


Question for us all: Can your good works and your living set you apart from others in your time of need? Can your boss, your parents, your friends, your elders, or the ones in charge of you, see you in your time of need and be moved to compassion to want to go the extra mile to help you. Selah


The lessons, however, did not end there, for another series of questions ensued … “Why did the Jewish elders take time to listen to the centurion, and why did he (the centurion) find favour in their sight? They did not only listen, but they obeyed. They WENT and sought out Jesus, and the Bible says they’ begged’ Jesus to come to the centurion’s aid.”

I was taught this: The centurion’s good work and living and his love for all things God brought him favour before the Jewish elders and before Jesus Christ.

The lesson from this passage is not complete without understanding how the Jewish elders came about to come and seek Jesus.

For you see, if the bond servant had not been a good man, he would not have found favour with the centurion. If he had not found favour with the centurion, there would have been no need for the centurion to find favour from the Jewish elders. If the centurion had not need to find favour from the Jewish elders, they would have no need to seek out Jesus, and there would have beeb no opportunity for the centurion to exercise his faith (which encourges us all today). Ultimately, thre would have been no healing for the bond servant.

Needless to say, at this point in time, I realised that I was peddling furiously on the cross trainer, mouth open and heart racing (must have been a confusing and shocking sight to the fellow gymers!)


My charge to everyone (myself included), is that in the name of Jesus Christ that, whatever we find yourself doing, we should make a decision to 'DO IT WELL'. Do it with all your mind, might, spirit and soul. Do it is as unto the Lord as we are taught in Colossians 3:23-24 which reads “Servants, do what you're told by your earthly masters. And don't just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you'll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you're serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn't cover up bad work”. We do not know how, what and whom God will use to promote us to the next level, or bring to our aid in our time of need; which will surely come.

Thus, as you commence a new week, as you live out the intricacies of every second, minute, hour, day of this week, I encourage you to work in the spirit of excellence, deligence and of integrity.


I encourage you to work with a good and pure heart, clothed with humility and in so doing, by God’s grace and power, imitating the wonderful saviour, master Jesus; making the excellent God famous along your way.



Much Love

Remi

***Picture by photobucket***

7 Comments:

jhazmyn said...

Thank you for sharing this Remi, true words they are, its amazing how God opens our hearts to understand His word, like they are new every single time...

Incidentally, that's one of my assignments for the week, to work with a spirit of excellence and make every second count for something worthwhile.

Have a great week dr

akaBagucci said...

a whole new angle to the story.. real food for thought too.. thanks for sharing...

David C Brown said...

"Whatsoever ye do, labour at it heartily, as [doing it] to the Lord, and not to men; knowing that of [the] Lord ye shall receive the recompense of the inheritance; ye serve the Lord Christ."

Anonymous said...

This is excellent, I just thank God for the confirmation of his word, I woke up this morning with Proverbs 22:29 - Seest thou a man diligent in all his ways, he shall stand before kings and not mean men.

And the word diligent kept ringing in my ears. My prayer was (and still is) for God to help me be diligent at my job, my volunteer activities, my side hustle... pretty much anything I *work* on. And then I came and read this...praise God!

Debbie said...

Well said, we sometimes get discouraged for lack of encouragement from those around, but if we keep in mind our calling and task is to the Lord and our reward comes from him, we will seek less of mens approval and look to the master for our reward.

simeone said...

ah..thanks for this insight...i have been workin on this particular lesson with my self for a while now...its good to read this as a form of encouragement..
thank you soo much..

Rodney Howard Browne said...

God fills many roles as our Good Shepherd. We see Him as a pardoning shepherd and a providing shepherd. He knows our wishes before we even ask Him for help, and He pleasures in meeting those wishes (Matthew 7:9-11).