The Story of the healing of the centurion’s servant is quite amazing in that the centurion, a Roman citizen would not have been a Jew! So here we have the Gospel writer using as an example a situation that is quite unusual! Surely he could have found examples of miraculous healings where the recipient of the healing was a Jew! What is Luke trying to say to us through this healing?

The words of the centurion give us a clue. He refuses to allow Jesus to come to his house and the reason that he gives is that he trusts fully the authority of Jesus and if He, Jesus, will only say the word, he knows that his servant will be cured! This is an incredible act of faith on the part of the centurion. It is here that we can learn something about faith.

Faith is not dependent upon your heritage! Just because your mother and father are people of faith is no guarantee that you will be one as well. The central aspect of faith is whether or not we are willing to place our lives under the authority of God and live according to His will. The centurion knows what that sort of life is like as he is a soldier. Luke is telling us that the life of a disciple is similar to that of a soldier. If we are not ready to be obedient to God’s will, then we had better not enlist ourselves in His army.

As we reflect upon the faith of the centurion and ask ourselves what does it mean for own faith it is important to remember that faith is something organic. It grows within us as we feed it with the food of prayer and the Word of God. We cannot expect our faith to grow unless we are willing to be disciplined in these things. Once again, the army image is instructive for us.

As soldiers for Christ, marked as His disciples at Baptism, let us live our lives in obedience to His will which we will discover through commitment to prayer and studying His Word.

Have I ever considered that being a Christian is like being enrolled in the army of God? Perhaps it could be helpful to my faith to reflect upon the demands of army life and then translate something of that to my walk of faith.

Lord Jesus, you were always obedient to your Father. You never wavered from following His will. Help me to learn obedience from your example and to live my life in submission to your word and will.