Monday 29 January 2018

Bible Book:

“When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him … he said, ‘I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.’” (v. 9)

Luke 7:1-10 Monday 29 January 2018

Psalm: Psalm 10:1-12


In the previous chapter, Jesus has been teaching his disciples in the Gospel of Luke’s equivalent of Gospel of Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). Now Jesus enters Capernaum and, not for the first time, performs miracles of healing there (Luke 4:23, 31-43). Could it be that Luke’s Gospel included these healings at this point by way of demonstrating Jesus’ authority to teach as he had done?

In Luke’s other work, the Acts of the Apostles, we read of the criticism directed at Peter by Jewish Christians for daring to eat in a non-Jew’s house (Acts 10-11). Jews felt they would be made unclean by such an association. It is therefore interesting to note that it is Jewish elders (presumably local, rather than national leaders) who urge Jesus to go the Centurion’s house. This should challenge any notion we may hold that all Jews were wanting to cut themselves off from the non-Jews in their midst.

We should also notice that the Jewish elders felt the centurion worthy of receiving God’s blessing. It was the centurion who sent further word that he was by no means worthy for Jesus to come to his house. Although he had received much admiration from the local community, he had not fallen into the trap of celebrity but maintained a humble sense of his own standing.

So the centurion urges Jesus just to send word, convinced his servant will be healed. Whilst this provides an opportunity to make a statement about Jesus’ authority, it may also provide hope for the early readers of Luke’s Gospel. Jesus performed many miracles where he laid hands upon the person in need, yet here he healed the servant from a distance. If Jesus was able to heal without being physically present, then could he continue to heal even after he had ascended into heaven?

This account appears also in Matthew’s Gospel (Matthew 8:5-13). The climax of this account is the healing of the servant and the statement that many non-Jews will come into God’s kingdom. But for Luke, the climax is not the healing - which gets just a throwaway comment - but rather the extraordinary faith that is displayed.

To Ponder

  • When have you experienced a positive relationship across boundaries (someone from another country, faith, denomination etc)? How has it affected you?
  • Where do you see signs of Jesus’ healing ministry continuing today?
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