Thank God today that he made you in his image and made you the very special person that you are!
 When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum.  There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die.  The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant.  When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this,  because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.”  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.  That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed.  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.”  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.”  Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.
Reflect: What did Jesus commend about this centurion?
Do you ever ask people to pray, either for yourself or for others? When our church’s prayer chain focuses in on a need, answers are soon seen. But I sometimes wonder if I am too quick to ask for help before I pray myself. Do I think God is more likely to listen to others than to me?
Today we meet a man of authority, but also a man of compassion, who doesn’t like seeing his servant suffer. He believes that Jesus can heal (3), but he doesn’t go to him himself. Instead he sends in high-ranking Jews, probably his equivalent of a prayer chain. It’s not because he thinks it’s beneath his dignity (8), but the very opposite. “I am not even worthy to come and meet you,” he says (7). And Jesus responds instantly to the Jews’ plea on his behalf (4-6).
Jesus and the centurion never actually meet but they obviously have a lot in common. They are both men of authority tempered with compassion. Jesus is amazed by the faith he sees (9). When we pray, we need to have the centurion’s confidence and compassion, having no doubt that the Lord is both able and willing to heal.
How does this passage challenge your faith or praying? Pray boldly for any situations that need God’s hand on them.
Lord, strengthen my faith in Your care and power so that I come to You in faith and prayer whenever I see a need.