Proper 4: Luke 7:1-10
Reading: Luke 7:1-10
When In Rome
This is one unlikely believer.
On a scale of 1 to might-believe-in-Jesus, this guy stands at about a .03. In order, I guess you could say Jesus’ disciples were most likely to believe in him. Then maybe some of the disciples’ family members and friends. Then there’d be the people that Jesus had healed or shown compassion to. Then probably we’re on to several thousand people that had enjoyed an impromptu picnic after a sermon.
From there, we start running into difficulty. Now we’re trying to convert devout Jewish leaders, sticklers about the law. Beyond them is the corrupt priesthood. That’s pretty much where the line ends. So three steps past those guys, we somehow find a Roman centurion.
Rome, as you might remember, ultimately crucifies Jesus as a political insurgent.
We don’t really know why this centurion has any belief in Jesus’ abilities, but he was friendly enough with the Jews in the area that he had actually built their synagogue. So that was nice.
To top off the pile of unlikely going on here, the centurion doesn’t even want to bother Jesus with making him come all the way to the house. “You can heal from here, right?”
So I guess you never can tell. Which is roughly how Jesus replied.
When have you been reluctant to engage someone who you deemed unlikely to be responsive to the good news of Jesus?
How can we avoid making presuppositions about people’s responsiveness?
How can we even be intentional about reaching out to people we’d consider unlikely recipients?
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