08 Servant of the Centurion

8

 

THE CENTURION'S SERVANT

 

Matthew 8:5-13 (NIV)                                                
5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking               for help. 6 "Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering." 7 Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him." 8 The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one ,'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."                 10 When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go! It        will be done just as you believed it would." And his servant was healed at that very hour.                      

Luke 7:1-10 (NIV)

1 When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2 There a centurion's servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3 The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4 When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, "This man deserves to have you do this, 5 because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue." 6 So Jesus went with them.

He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: "Lord, don't trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof 7 That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it." 9 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel." 10 Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.

 

 

BASIC QUESTIONS

1.     Identify as completely as possible the person in need (e.g., age, ethnic origin, religion, gender, social status).

 

2. What was the immediate, obvious need?

 

3. Who took the initiative in effecting the healing?

      The person in need7                            Others?                         Jesus? ~.

      How was it expressed7

 

4.     Describe the actions or process leading to the healing that is, what was said (e.g., questions, requests, com­mands) and what was done (e.g., approaching, following, touching, publicly/privately), and by whom7

 

5.     Did the person in need or someone else verbally express faith? ~. Non-verbally? ~ Describe how and by whom faith was involved in this healing.

6. What were the evidences that the person was healed?

 

7. What were the reactions to the healing?

 

8. What in this narrative led Jesus to minister healing to the person in need?

 

DIGGING DEEPER

 

1.     What is the centurion implying when he says (or his friends say for him, in Luke) to Jesus, "For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it.' "?

2.     Contrast the attitude of the Roman centurion with that of the Jews ( as expressed in Matt. 8:11-12, and in Luke 7:3-5). In Luke's account, the interceding Jews say to Jesus that the centurion "deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue." Must we be deserving in order to receive healing? Don't we sometimes feel that someone who has been good, of faithful, or generous, etc. doesn't deserve the suffering she or he is enduring? Is good health a reward?

3.     What would have happened to the servant if the centurion hadn't interceded on his behalf?. Merely asking for healing may not be enough. How does this account make clear that the centurion's request is trustful and expectant? What does this teach you? Are your prayers expectant? Confident? Sometimes more expec­tant and confident than at other times? What causes the difference?

4.     How did Jesus express love, counselling or encouragement?

5.     What lesson(s) have you learned about healing from this account?