ISSL Reflections April 14 2024 Luke 7:1–10 Post 2

Returning to the encounter of the Centurion with Jesus, focus today on what you can learn or even guess about who the Centurion is and any insight you have as to his character.

Luke 7:1-10 (NRSVue)

After Jesus had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave whom he valued highly and who was ill and close to death. When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, asking him to come and heal his slave. When they came to Jesus, they appealed to him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, for he loves our people, and it is he who built our synagogue for us.” And Jesus went with them, but when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; therefore I did not presume to come to you. But only speak the word, and let my servant be healed.For I also am a man set 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.” When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and, turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.

What do you think of the Centurion?

He is presented as a commander of a group of Roman soldiers who are there to occupy, police, and control a foreign territory.

What does it mean to you that he “had a slave whom he valued highly”? What do you think the slave’s value to the Centurion could have been?

Why would he “build [a] synagogue” for the Jews of Capernaum? So it was maybe easier for him to control the population? Was he just generous? Was he a “god-fearer,” one who believed in the God of Jews?

Why did he send Jewish elders to ask for Jesus’ help? He even admits he could have as easily sent any of his soldiers or slaves/servants?

Who is he?

{ubi caritas et amor, Desu ibi est}

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