In Luke 7:1-10 we find the story of the centurion’s servant. The centurion was a conqueror and a foreigner, but despite this we find that he is a God fearing man who supports the Jews by building a synagogue for them. He has a servant who is dying so he sends messengers to Jesus to have Jesus heal the servant. He shows great humility and faith in Jesus through his actions and the servant is healed because of his great faith. Faith unequalled in all of Israel according to Jesus.
I think there are a couple of important lessons in this.
First, maybe you are like the centurion, maybe you didn’t grow up in the church and are a new believer, and maybe you are looking at Christianity from the outside and wondering if you can even be a part of this community. Of course you can! Salvation and God’s work in the world is based on faith, not upbringing or culture or works. So don’t worry about your past, because God can work powerfully in your life no matter what is in your past!
Second, maybe you are like the Israelites in this story, you grew up in church or have been a Christian for a while and are maturing in your walk with God. I think for you this story has an encouragement and a warning. I encourage you to be like the Jewish people that the centurion sent to Jesus that were able to see past the fact that the centurion was a foreigner and conqueror and see the faith he had and to then recommend that Jesus help him. We should always be ready to welcome new believers based on their faith, and not judging them the way the world might judge them.
I also warn you to not be complacent or lukewarm like much of the Jewish community was when Jesus was with them. Jesus said that this centurion had more faith than any other in Israel. Many in Israel missed out on being healed and having their sins forgiven in Israel because they were out of tune with God and were not able to see when he was moving. I encourage you to be disciplined in your prayer life and in reading the scriptures so that your relationship with God will not grow stale.
I encourage you to read the rest of Luke 7, and especially verses 36-50, and to ask yourself a couple of questions.
Do I show my gratitude for Jesus’s sacrifice for my sins like the Pharisee or like the woman?
When I give God my time or money or talents do I give my best or do I give the leftovers?