Our story begins with Jesus entering Capernaum, the town where He moved His ministry operations to. His fame has spread all around Galilee and people brought their sick to Him to be healed. This is where we find a Roman centurion, a captain over 100 men, and the representation of mighty Rome in the region. He has a servant whom he loves like a son but is nearing the point of death. Because of his love for his servant-son he sent a delegation of Jewish elders to meet Jesus and intercede on his behalf.
These Jewish elders asked Jesus to come and pray for this man’s servant. This was a big request because it would require a Jewish Rabbi to enter into the house of a Gentile. To convince Jesus they inform him that this isn’t an ordinary centurion, “He loves our nation and he has built our synagogue,” they tell Jesus. Jesus went.
However, the story takes an even more unexpected turn. As Jesus nears the house, the centurion sent friends to tell Jesus to not come into the house but to speak the word only and the servant would be healed. The centurion understood authority. He likely grew up in the Roman Empire, marched for its mighty generals under its Eagle standard, and climbed to a rank with authority to give commands. This is how he understood that at Jesus’ very word, His authority, the servant would be healed. When the centurion’s friends returned to the house, they saw the servant healed.
When trouble strikes, it’s the Word of God that will sustain you when your words and your friend’s words fail you.
It’s answered prayers that usher in the miraculous, not despair.
Faith moves God to miracles.
We’re not created to be people of fear, sickness, death, or despair. We were created from the very dawn of time to be people of faith, to apply that faith, and to see miracles in our midst. Amen.