Epistles to the Cyberchurch - Su Min

To: All
From: Su Min
Subject: Faithful Centurion

My Mishpachah,
(Strong's concordance #4941: mishpachah: "mish-paw-khaw" tribe, people, family)

Today we turn to Matt 8:5-13 to read of the healing of the servant of the Faithful Centurion. A parallel passage is found in Luke 7:1-10 and reading both passages helps us get a better understanding of this miracle and its implications.

From Luke 7:1 we read that the incident occurs just after the sermon on the Mount, as Jesus enters Capernaum. (We can assume that the healing of the leper has already taken place, but Luke does not record it).

Combining Luke 7:2 and Matt 8:6, we know that the Faithful Centurion had a servant and the servant was highly valued, lying in bed at home, terribly suffering, paralysed, sick and about to die.

The Centurion had heard of Jesus (Luke 7:3), and must have know of his healing powers. The Centurion was modest, and although Matthew records that He asked Jesus to heal his servant, in Luke we read that this approach was indirect: Not daring to appeal to Jesus directly, the Centurion had asked the Jewish elders to approach Jesus (Luke 8:3) to ask that Jesus might healed the valued sick and suffering paralysed servant. So good is the rapport of the Faithful Centurion with the Jewish elders that they effectively pleading earnestly his cause for him, testifying that the Centurion deserves the attention of Jesus for he loved the Jewish nation and has built a synagogue for them (Luke 7:4-5)

Jesus showed compassion for the sick servant and agreed to go along "I will go and heal him" (Matt 8:7, Luke 7:6).

Jesus was not far from the Centurion's house when a message of great faith and humility is delivered, not quite directly from the mouth of the Centurion as Matt 8:8 would have us understand, but through the intermediary of friends, perhaps from the very same group of elders first sent to ask Jesus, or other similar respectable Jews.

He understood that Jesus had authority over all things, and the healing could be commanded, just by saying the word, without Jesus having to be physically present by the side of the sick servant.

(But how are the millions from the East going to gain a place at the banquet if they have not heard the good news? And how are they going to hear the good news if no one tells them. And how shall they preach if they are not sent..

As it is written, How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things. (Romans 10:15) Pray for our Christian brothers and sisters in China. Do you feel the burden for China?).

Inheritance of Jewish identity is not good enough to gain salvation. A personal submission to the lordship of Christ is required. Many of the "subjects of the kingdom" (here referring to the Jews, but also in present day context to many superficial Christians,) will be thrown outside.

will be thrown out.. not enjoying the warmth, the brightness, the food, the fellowship, the rejoicing of the wedding feast of Christ and His bride, but instead cast out of the banquet room into the bitter cold and dark outside, lonely, bitter, regretting, wailing, weeping and gnashing of teeth.. too late for regret, too late to repent.. the door has closed, the chasm can not be crossed. You have to decide before hand. Will you accept Jesus as Lord or will you let the father of lies claim your soul? Can you have faith as simple as deep and as strong as the Faithful Centurion?

Jesus, having acknowledged the faith of the Faithful Centurion, says "Go! It will be done just as you have believed it would." And his servant was healed that very hour (Matt 8:13).The men returned to the house and found the servant well (Luke 7:10).

The deep faith of the centurion is something we want to emulate. His humility is something we can learn. His respect for Jesus is an example for us to copy. His love for the Jewish people and his financial contributions to them mark out for us exemplary behaviour. He, a gentile, earning a place at the banquet with Abraham Isaac and Jacob, gives us as gentiles great encouragement. Those failing to reach the standard be warned of the wailing and gnashing and the everlasting torment, and the fire that burns and cannot be quenched.

Shall we pray

For any comments or enquiries please write to Dr. Lim Su Min

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