Sunday 29 May 2016

Bible Book:

Luke 7:1-10 Sunday 29 May 2016

Psalm: Psalm 96


In Luke chapter 6 Jesus spent time teaching thosehe was with. As he finished this teaching he made his way intoCapernaum, a village where he had already spent some time (Luke4:31). It was here that the people had begged him to stay inorder to continue carry on ministering amongst them.But Jesus had stood firm and told them he had to leave to teachelsewhere (Luke 4:43).

Upon his return to this village he is approached by some of theJewish elders (verse 3) who ask Jesus to come and heal one of thelocal Roman centurion's servants. This moment takes some unpackingas it is a strange happening when understood in the context ofJesus' day. The Centurion, who is praised so highly in verse 9,never actually appears on the scene but only speaks through otherpeople. On top of this he is an officer of the enemy state, even ifhe is said to love the nation (verse 4). Rome was the invader ofthe promised land and the Romans were disliked by many of the Jews,particularly the pharisees and some other religious leaders.

The Jewish elders who come to greet Jesus with the centurion'sinvitation are also an interesting group. When Jesus begins hispublic ministry (Luke 4:14-30), he is driven to a cliff by thosein the synagogue who had heard him speak and been offended by hiswords. They had challenged him by asking him to do in Nazareth whathe had done in Capernaum: in response Jesus had told them of howElijah and Elisha had been sent to foreigners and not to Israelites(Luke 4:23-27). As the people of Nazareth hadheard of what Jesus had done in Capernaum we would expect thatthese elders would have heard what had happened in Nazareth.

Whereas in Nazareth the people had chased Jesus away as he spokeof the prophets who ministered to foreigners, here the elders aresent by a foreigner and a representative of the Roman Empire to askJesus to heal his servant. It is a strange turn of events thatamazes Jesus and leads to him praising the centurion's faith as hetells Jesus he just needs to say the word and his servant will behealed (verse 7).


  • Have you been surprised by seeing faith in someone? To whatextent is that a good or a bad thing?
  • Has God ever led you to a person or group of people you wouldnot have expected him to? If so, what happened?
  • What does it mean for us as Christians to live under God'sauthority? What does Matthew 28:18 contribute to this?


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