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The Roman officer and people of goodwill
by Joseph Jagde
04/25/08
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From Luke Chapter 7 starting with verse 1 it says,” After Jesus had finished teaching the people, he went in to Capernaum. In that town an army officer’s servant was sick and about to die. And when he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish leaders to ask him to come and heal the servants.

The leaders went to Jesus and begged him to do something. They said, “ This man deserves your help. He loves our nation and even built us a meeting place. So Jesus went with them.

When Jesus wasn’t far from the house, the officer sent some friends to tell him,” Lord, don’t go to any trouble for me. I am not good enough for you to come into my house. And I am certainly not worthy to know you. Just say the word, and my servant weill get well. I have officers who give orders to me, and I have soldiers who take orders from me.
I can say to one of them, “ Go” and he goes. I can say to another.” “ Come” and he comes. I can say to another,” Come and he comes. I can say to my servant, “ Do this” and he will do it.
When Jesus heard this, he was so surprised that he turned and said to the crowd following him, “ In all of Israel I’ve never found someone with this much faith.
The officers friends returned and found the servant well.

Within this passage, the friends of the Roman officer, acting as go betweens talked of how this man deserved the help of Jesus,

He contrastingly says, “ That he is not worthy or deserving.

As a Roman officer, he had heard of Jesus, yet felt he was an outsider as opposed to the insiders who were the Jewish leaders. Yet he had helped them and even helped them build

He went out of his way to take steps towards seeking the help of Jesus.

One of the lessons in the story is not to hold back our requests but to bring them forward, whether it would be in this particular manner or that particular manner.

There may have been a belief that the help of Jesus was confined to the close followers and those of the Jewish tradition. This passage shows that this Roman officer was one of the people of goodwill, and as a member of the people of goodwill he was indeed part of those who deserve to know God.

He did take steps to find Jesus, and those steps did in fact lead to Jesus in the very same day and in the moment of his distress.

In that time, some of the choices for someone who was seeking help for a person who was extremely ill, might have included the local doctors, but also rituals of pagan origin, superstitious methods, or otherwise. But this Roman officer was able as part of the faith, to make the choice of moving towards and seeking the help of Jesus.

Jesus met with him in his need, in the presence of his faith and in his recognition of his faith.


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