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’.
- 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”?
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…
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.
***Picture by photobucket***