The Holy Gospel: June 2, 2013 (Year C)

Read:  Luke 7:1-10

Meditation:  “How To Amaze Jesus”

All sorts of people were amazed by what Jesus said and did, but this is the only place where we are told that he was amazed. We’d better pay attention. Here we see how to amaze Jesus.

First, the centurion cared for his slave. He could have ignored the slave–after all, he was near death–and treated him as replaceable. Slaves died all the time, and centurions did not ask Jesus to do anything about it. Just get another one, right?

Second, the centurion was “worthy” to have this done. We do not know exactly what this meant, but it was not contrived. The whole experience was based on genuineness of some sort. He was a man who was respected by those who worked for him every day.

Third, the centurion operated in the context of humility. The messengers told Jesus that the centurion was worthy, but he did not say that about himself. He did not try to use his rank or reputation to curry favor with Jesus.

Finally, he believed Jesus not only could act, but would. He drew from his own experience to know that people who are able to something are likely to do it if it is a good thing to do. He believed Jesus’ heart was at least as big as his–and probably larger.

And so, it happened. And Jesus was amazed. He still is when he finds people caring for those whom others ignore or trash. He is sill amazed when people act on the basis of character instead of “What’s in it for me?” And Jesus is still amazed when people believe he is more willing to act than we are to ask.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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