One Word Is Enough
The centurion, or captain, in the story we just heard (Luke 7:1-10) is a good and righteous man. He is an officer in charge of an occupation force. Usually, such a figure would be regarded as an enemy and treated with contempt by the people whose village his forces occupy and control, and with good reason too. Occupation forces have reputations for behaving badly. They keep peace with violence and cruelty. They rule by intimidation and fear.
Yet, the people in this village in Galilee love this particular captain and his household, and the villagers acknowledge him as a lover of their people. He understands their customs and beliefs. He seems to at least open to their religion and its claims. He even built their synagogue. Since the captain has cared for the people in the village, they seize the opportunity to do something good for him in return. They put in a good word for him with Jesus – one of their own people, who has displayed God's power and earned a reputation as a healer. The villagers go to Jesus on behalf of the captain. They tell Jesus that he's not the usual Roman brute, but a man who loves their people, a man who has proven himself a friend of God and worthy of God's steadfast love, mercy and blessing.
Think of the numbers of prayers spoken by the billions of people on this planet each and every day. How many words prayed speak well of us to God, ask for God’s blessing on us.
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