After finishing the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus picked back up with his ministry. Immediately He was approached by two unlikely candidates for faith–A leper and a Roman Centurion. The amazing thing, was that Jesus neither hesitated, nor did He act uncomfortable with these two sets of outcasts from the Jewish people. Lepers were “unclean” and to expose oneself to them made that person unclean. Jesus did not even hesitate, He healed the leper, told him not to tell anyone that He had done so–but, to go make the proper showing and offering to be free from the curse and stigma he was under. Jesus was interested in the leper’s faith not his social position.
Next, a Roman centurion, considered the evil overlords of the Roman outpost, Israel. The Jewish people despised the Romans generally; and especially the leadership. They were gentiles,after all, and they were the nation that invaded and had taken them over, and they often exploited the Jewish people financially, physically and abused them verbally. So to have a centurion ask politely for the healing of a servant was not only unusual, but it was a test of will. Jesus was amazed at the centurion’s faith and gladly healed the servant. Jesus was not defined by cultural predispositions! He was blown away at the man’s faith! He wanted to honor it.
In our lives, we need to trust and follow Jesus’ teaching and allow Him to lead our lives. Like Jesus, we need not equate our faith with church attendance, tithing or other ritualistic benchmarks. We need to simply trust and follow His lead, love others and love Him most of all. As with the leper and centurion, Jesus accepts us as we are. He meets our needs without fanfare or expectation of remuneration. We also need to do the same. We are to love folks and realize that like us, most people are a mess. It is all about faith–faith in God and faith in our daily walk with him. As he said in the sermon, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added to You!” Matthew 6:33
God Bless You
When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2 A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. 4 Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
The Faith of the Centurion
5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.”
7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?”
8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west,and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment.