When Jesus returned to Capernaum, a Roman officer came and pleaded with him, “Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed and in terrible pain.” Jesus said, “I will come and heal him.” But the officer said, “Lord, I am not worthy to have you come into my home. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to those who were following him, he said, “I tell you the truth, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel! And I tell you this, that many Gentiles will come from all over the world—from east and west—and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob at the feast in the Kingdom of Heaven. But many Israelites—those for whom the Kingdom was prepared—will be thrown into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Then Jesus said to the Roman officer, “Go back home. Because you believed, it has happened.” And the young servant was healed that same hour.
Dear God, so faith is more important than sinlessness. I find this story interesting because we are talking about a sick slave here and Jesus doesn’t seem to care about the slave part. He had a goal and a mission. He had a limited amount of time. T
here were all kinds of societal issues of the day he didn’t address. I guess it is significant to examine what his priorities seemed to be: Faith, love, no hypocrisy, repentance, caring for poor, etc. He didn’t seem to even notice Rome or its power over everyone. He was grassroots, bottom-up, not top-down.
Father, help me to start with the basics Jesus taught and then build everything else in my life upon those things. Help me to create a foundation of repentance, faith, love, caring food the poor and no hypocrisy. Then I can put up walls that includes loving my family and those around me. I can put on a roof that sees me serving my community. And ultimately I will have a house that represents you to the world and invites them in to build the same for themselves—from the ground up.
In Jesus’s name I pray,