37. The Faith of the Centurion
1After Jesus had ended all his sayings in the hearing of the people he entered Capernaum.a
2Now a centurionb had a slave who was dear to him, who was sick and at the point of death. 3When he heard of Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his slave. 4And when they came to Jesus, they besought him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy to have you do this for him, 5for he loves our nation, and he built us our synagogue.”
6And 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; 7therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed. 8For 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.”
9When 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.”c
10And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave well.
a “After Jesus had ended all his sayings in the hearing of the people he entered Capernaum.”—After completing their first preaching tour of Galilee, Jesus and his apostles return to their home base of Capernaum.
b “a centurion”—A captain of the Roman guard at Capernaum.
c “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.'”—Why does Jesus so exalt faith?
We are mortal and finite beings, living in a material world. With our physical senses and associated minds we may know and understand this world, but we are unable to know a world that lies above and beyond the material level. Jesus taught a spiritual world, a world that transcends the physical. He said, “God is spirit,” and centered his teachings on an inner spiritual kingdom, declaring, “The kingdom of God is within you.” As material and finite beings, we lack the capacity to know this spiritual kingdom and its infinite God.
It is only through the exercise of faith that we are able to go beyond ourselves and recognize a higher spiritual reality. It is only through faith that we may know the truth of the loving heavenly Father and experience our sonship with him.
Faith adds power to our quest for God.
Faith is the price of admission to the kingdom of heaven.
Lk. 7:1 After Jesus had / After he had (RSV) (147:0–1/1647–8)