Luke 7:1 After Jesus had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2 A centurion there had a slave whom he valued highly, and who was ill and close to death. 3 When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders to him, asking him to come and heal his slave. 4 When they came to Jesus, they appealed to him earnestly, saying, “He is worthy of having you do this for him, 5 for he loves our people, and it is he who built our synagogue for us.” 6 And Jesus went with them, but when he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to say to him, “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; 7 therefore I did not presume to come to you. But only speak the word, and let my servant be healed. 8 For I also am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and the slave does it.” 9 When Jesus heard this he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, he said, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.” 10 When those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.
It always interests me that the people most likely to have faith in Jesus were non-Jews or people on the margins of society: sinners, lepers, widows, and the like. It seems the more power and status people had among the Israelites the less likely they were to support Jesus, much less believe in him.
In some ways not much has changed. Today is July 4th, America’s birthday if you will. Seems that our nation has been walking away from Judeo-Christian ethic for many years now. The larger we get, the more wealth we accumulate, the more likely we are to leave faith behind. Lord Jesus, turn our hearts back to you that we might bear witness to your great love and mercy. Amen.