July 22, 2011

Luke 7-7.10

When he had finished addressing the people, he went to Capernaum. A centurion there had a servant whom he valued highly; this servant was ill and near death. Hearing about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders with the request that he would come and save his servant's life.

They approached Jesus and pressed their petition earnestly: "He deserves this favor from you," they said, "for he is a friend of our nation and it is he who built our synagogue."

Jesus went with them; but when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends with this message: "Do not trouble further, sir. It is not for me to have you under my rood, and that is why I did not approach you in person. But say the word, and my servant will be cured. I know, for in my position I am myself under orders, with soldiers under me. I say to one, 'Go', and he goes; to another, "Come here," and he comes; and to my servant, "Do this," and he does it."

When Jesus heard this, he admired the man; and turning to the crowd that had followed him, he said, "I tell you, nowhere, even in Israel, have I found faith like this."

And the messengers returned to the house and found the servant in good health.


At 2:42 p.m., Blogger Random Arrow said...

A centurion ..”

What was this man doing? - hearing about Jesus? - requesting? - then sending a second message with a change of mind? -- "come!" -- "don't come!"?

At 3:10 p.m., Blogger forrest said...

Probably he's what a synagogue would call 'a God-fearing gentile': He's leaning toward conversion, but he hasn't gotten circumcized yet (Ow!) and he's not at all ritually 'clean'.

There was a whole lot of fuss, later on, about admitting people like that to Christian meals, etc.

So he knows Jesus is a Jewish holy man; he's the best healer available... but if Jesus comes to his house, there might be pork or oysters around, someone enjoying an Abomination in the boudoir, who knows?

At 2:06 p.m., Blogger Random Arrow said...

Good answers all around. That’s the kind of larger scale stuff you interweave here. And I’m thankful for it.

And the centurion got what he asked. And maybe more? – because something tells me that Jesus could handle (deal appropriately with) the “Abomination in the boudoir” (jealous! stealing that shamelessly here!) – since Jesus’s whole life amounted to an extended struggle against the abomination in the boudoir – of the Temple economy.

Wondering (playing in my sand box here) – whether the centurion felt motivated in any part (just any part) to consider Jesus a worthy healer precisely because Jesus did his own Temple cleansing ritual against the, “Abomination in the [Temple] boudoir”?

Maybe the centurion hoped that Jesus would go on a Temple cleansing walk-around from Jerusalem all the way to Rome? – isn’t it obvious (textually) that the centurion had seen a wee bit of the greater sicknesses of life in this big world?


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