October 20, 2019, Luke 7:1-10 – Post 2

I am a little later getting back to you than I intended, but let’s take a couple of moments now to continue our reflection on this passage, a few questions and see what speaks to us.

What do we learn about the Centurion?

(1) He has a slave near death he wishes to be healthy again. (2) He had heard something about Jesus, and probably that “something” included information about Jesus healing people. (3) He build a synagogue. Does that speak to generosity? (4) Jewish elders told Jesus he “loves our people.” So he values his slave highly and loves the Jewish people. Does that suggest he is willing to disregard the usual culture and class distinctions that separate people? (5) He had a firm grasp of the meaning of authority (and I think we can say “power” also) at least as it pertained to giving and receiving commands. (5) When he sends word to Jesus that feels himself unworthy for Jesus to enter his home, would you count that as humility or something else?

What else would you want to call to our attention?

And in his amazement Jesus tells the crown following him to the Centurion’s home, “… not even in Israel have I found such great faith.”

In what did Jesus see this great faith?

An action of the Centurion? An attitude of the Centurion? In this love for some people? In his show of generosity? His hope/belief that Jesus could/would heal his slave?

All of these or none of these?

What is it that we use the word “faith” to describe or name? A set of theological ideas, a creed, a relationship. Is it the same as belief or trust or something different?

And I wonder how this Centurion came by his faith. How, or where, or when did his life, his actions, his work lead him to such a faith?

And that leads to one more question – How does faith come to maturity in us? What happens for us day by day that can give rise to a maturing faith.

As I have spent time this week with the Centurion and Jesus one thought has impressed me.

I have come to suspect that when we hear Jesus’ remark about the Centurion’s faith and think that refers simply to the Centurion’s confidence that Jesus can heal the slave, we miss something. Notice all we are told about the Centurion. Could it be that all this is in view as Jesus sees faith in this man? His faith is something that inhabits his whole being, his whole way of living, is lived out in all his relationships?

That makes me wonder how deeply rooted and lived out faith has become for me.

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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