When Jesus had finished teaching the crowd, he continued toward Capernaum (66).
A Roman officer who lived there had a servant who was very dear to him, but who was sick & about to die. When this Roman officer heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to ask him to heal his servant.
The Jewish elders came to Jesus and begged him, “You should really help this man. He loves our people and he personally paid to build a synagogue for us.” And Jesus agreed to help.
As they were approaching the Roman officer’s house, other friends came with this message for Jesus from the Roman officer:
“Sir, don’t take the trouble to come into my house. I’m not worthy for you to come to me, and I’m not worthy to come to you. Just give the order, and I know my servant will get well.
“I believe that you have the authority to do this, and I understand authority. I serve under superior officers, and I have soldiers who serve under me. I order one to go, and he goes. I order another to come, and he comes. I order another to do something, and he does it.”
Jesus was impressed when he heard this; he turned around and said to the people following him, “I’ve never found faith like this, even in Israel! Many faithful people, from every nation, will be welcomed to sit with the first people of faith — Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — & feast in the kingdom of heaven.
“But many of God’s chosen people — who should be faithful & who should be at that feast — will be excluded for their lack of faith. They will be sent out into the darkness, where they will cry and grind their teeth in perpetual pain.”
Then Jesus sent word to the Roman officer, “What you have believed will be done for you.”
And the officer’s servant was healed at that very moment!
(66) Matthew 8:5-13, Luke 7:1-10