Thought for the Day – 12th August 2020
Faith – Luke 7: 1-10
“After Jesus had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. A centurion there had a slave whom he valued highly, and who was ill and close to death. When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, asking him to come and heal his slave. When they came to Jesus, they appealed to him earnestly, saying, ‘He is worthy of having you do this for him, for he loves our people, and it is he who built our synagogue for us.’ And Jesus went with them, but when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to him, ‘Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; therefore I did not presume to come to you. But only speak the word, and let my servant be healed. For I also 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 the slave does it.’ When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, he said, ‘I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.’ When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.”
Jesus did some amazing things for the people of Capernaum, and showed them so much love. After living so close to Jesus, wouldn’t you think the entire village must have believed in him? Sadly, Jesus concluded that a foreigner displayed more faith than most of the locals. In Jesus’ time a Roman centurion was the equivalent of a present day Sergeant-Major and was the backbone of the Roman Army. It was in the very synagogue built by this same Roman centurion that Jesus suffered such frequent rejection. But the doubting hearts of the people of Capernaum would cost them dear. (Luke 10:15)
Do doubts about God’s love, or power to take care of us, ever bother us? They attack most of us, particularly during tough times, and none more than during this unprecedented pandemic of COVID-19. So do we brush these thoughts aside or do we think about them and show our faith and love to others, like the Roman centurion? It might be as well to consider that the God who taught us to trust in his name would not have brought us this far in our faith, only to put us to shame.
Lord, help us to treat our neighbours like you treated yours and not as they treated you. Give us faith like the Roman centurion and confidence in your love and power. Amen.