WEDNESDAY 29th FEBRUARY 1984
FAITH IN UNEXPECTED PLACES
READING: Luke 7:2-10 English - Viane Chinese - Raymond
2 Now a centurion had a slave who was dear to him, who was sick and at the point of death.
3 When he heard of Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his slave.
4 And when they came to Jesus, they besought him earnestly, saying, "He is worthy to have you do this for him,
5 for he loves our nation, and he built us our synagogue."
6 And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying to him, "Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof;
7 therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed.
8 For I 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 he does it."
9 When Jesus heard this he marveled at him, and turned and said to the multitude that followed him, "I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith."
10 And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave well.
COMMENTARY - Margaret
The remarkable thing about this story is not just the fact that Jesus performed a great miracle of healing. Just as remarkable is the kind of man who asked for this miracle to be performed.
The man was a Roman army captain. He seems to have been an unusual man. Firstly, he asked Jesus' help for a slave. Only a very special person would have cared for a slave in this way. It is difficult for us to understand how people thought about slaves in Jesus' time. Slaves were as low as the animals - not thought of as real human beings at all. Despite their low status, this army captain cared when one of them was sick.
Secondly, although he was not a Jew, the army captain had paid personally to build a Jewish church. Sometimes God works through non-Christians in remarkable ways, just as He worked through this non-Jew to help the Jews. The Holy Spirit is very powerful, and we should not be surprised if good comes from those who say they are not Christians.
Thirdly, he had great faith. It is a regrettable truth that often the people who believe most in the power of God are people who are not in the church.
Lord Jesus, we thank you for the power of the Holy Spirit to work in unexpected ways. Open our eyes and our minds to see God at work around us.