Faith of a “thinker”…

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Luke 7: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.

In many places in scripture faith appears to be something of an emotional response, a “feeling” thing. People approach Jesus in desperation, crying out and begging him to be healed or to have demons cast out of them, or whatever. But here we have a “thinker” centurion.

The centurion’s appeal to Jesus is based on logic. The centurion is a man with authority, who does not have to be physically present to issue a command. He reasons that Jesus is able to do likewise. A messenger will do just fine. Jesus is blown away by this, “not even in Israel have I found such faith”. The fact that the centurion is not blubbering at Jesus’ feet or weeping openly at the sight of his healed slave doesn’t matter. His is faith based in the cerebral rather than emotional.

There are many Christians who function more out of the cerebral than emotional. I have known some who experience exclusion by an expectation of “feelings” as a response to God. Well, if you might be one of these, I hope you consider yourself affirmed by today’s passage. Faith is more about actions than feelings. Don’t let us “feelers” tell you otherwise.

Lord, thank you for the thinkers in our midst. They are a precious gift to the Body of Christ. Amen.

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