Saturday 12th Week of the Year
Matthew 8: 5-17
The backbone of faith that moves God to save and heal us is the love we have for others.
The faith of this centurion and
is very obvious to Jesus and us.
Perhaps he heard Jesus speaking about salt and light,
anger and divorce, adultery, loving our enemies and more,
including all that we have heard in these last couple of weeks.
The word of love with authority
that Jesus spoke so touched his heart
that he knew a simple command from Jesus
would heal his servant.
All the people said that Jesus spoke with authority,
not like the scribes and Pharisees.
But there’s more.
Notice how the centurion worded the request to heal his servant,
“Lord, my servant is lying at home paralyzed, suffering dreadfully.
The word “Lord” acknowledges Jesus authority
over his servant’s illness.
But it was the word, “suffering dreadfully,”
that truly moved the heart of Jesus.
This centurion, a pagan,
had so much care and compassion for his servant
that the distress of his servant was his distress.
Jesus saw himself in this pagan.
What was extraordinary is that Romans
treated servants and slaves – like animals.
For example, they could kill them
for no reason at all and face no consequences.
Faith in Jesus and the authority of his word over disease
was born in the heart of the centurion
because of the love he showed his servant.
Faith and love go together.
If a human being can show
and have so much love
for one of the least of peoples,
how much more will Jesus have
for this centurion and his servant!
Love for others, especially those
who have little or no worth,
melts God’s heart to respond
to all of our needs.
The backbone of faith that moves God
to save and heal us is the love we have for others.
Indiscriminating love transforms our hands and hearts
and words into the words and actions of Jesus.
“Lord increase our faith,
but first make our hearts like yours,
so no one is a nobody to us.”