The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 37

The Ministry Continues ~ Part 1

After completing Mattityahu 5-7 on the Sermon on the Mount, we now move on chronologically to The Ministry Continues in K’far-Nachum (Capernaum). Most of the scripture references will be from the Gospel of Luke.

A Centurion‘s Slave Is Healed

The report of Yeshua healing the Centurion’s slave demonstrates that not just Jews but also Gentiles (non-Jews) can have faith that is acceptable to Yeshua. By including narratives like this one, Luke supports his central theme that Yeshua is the Messiah for the whole world.

When Yeshua had finished speaking to the people, he went back to K’far-Nachum.

A fishing town with Jewish and Gentile inhabitants, K’far-Nachum position on a trade route made it more cosmopolitan and diverse than other towns of similar size. Yeshua performed many of His signs in K’far-Nachum and made an extraordinary example of its residents’ unbelief (Matt 11:23). However, much of Galil was ruled by Herod Antipas or was considered part of Philip’s territory since it was close to the assumed border and since he ruled over the smaller enclave northeast of the Sea of Galil.

A Roman army officer there had a servant he regarded highly, who was sick to the point of death. Hearing about Yeshua, the officer sent some Jewish elders to him with the request that he come and heal his servant. They came to Yeshua and pleaded earnestly with him, “He really deserves to have you do this, for he loves our people – in fact, he built the synagogue for us!”

He loves our people – in fact, he built the synagogue for us! As is usual, the normal relationship between Romans and Jews between conquerors and conquered was not one of love and trust from either side. But this pagan Roman officer had demonstrated a love for the Jewish people, which moved the Jewish leaders to plead on his behalf before Yeshua, whose primary ministry was not to Gentiles but Jews (Mattityahu 10:5, 15:26; Yochanan 1:11). Love was demonstrated to be a matter of deeds – he built the synagogue for us! – not mere words or feelings, and this is its primary meaning throughout Scripture. Similarly, in modern times Righteous Gentiles have been honored by trees planted along the road to Israel’s Yad VaShem Memorial of the Holocaust because they risked their death to save Jewish lives. [1]

So Yeshua went with them. He had not gone far from the house when the officer sent friends who said to him, “Sir, don’t trouble yourself. I’m not worthy to have you come under my roof –

I am not worthy. Coming from a leader in the Roman occupying force, this would have been a shocking expression of reverence toward a Jewish teacher. The Centurion probably knew that a Jew who entered a Gentile’s house became ritually unclean. Thus, doing so would have been a severe inconvenience for a Jewish person like Yeshua.

this is why I didn’t presume to approach you myself. Instead, just give a command and let my servant recover. For I, too, am a man set under authority. I have soldiers under me, and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” Yeshua was astonished at him when he heard this, and he turned and said to the crowd following him, “I tell you, not even in Isra’el have I found such trust!”

Such trust. This statement, praising one of the Isra’eli foreign rulers, would not have been well received by Yeshua’s Jewish listeners. Yeshua frequently links faith and healing.

10 When the messengers got back to the officer’s house, they found the servant in good health. ~ Luke 7:1-10 (see Mattityahu 8:5-13)

Repeatedly, we have seen the crowds amazed at Yeshua. But on this occasion, Yeshua himself was amazed. This Gentile had more faith than anyone Yeshua had met in Isra’el. When the messengers returned home, they found the servant in good health. Yeshua healed the servant from a distance, rewarding the Centurion’s faith by doing precisely what he had believed Yeshua could do. The key to having truly great faith is to believe that the object of your faith is great. In the same way, Yeshua does not have to be physically present for his Word to work when we are operating under His Kingdom authority.

Ok, so there is but one sentence that is Red Letter, but I thought the background for it was important. I’m personally studying the Miracle of the Bible in my personal devotions.

In our next post, we continue to explore The Ministry Continues in Luke & Mattityahu’s Gospel.

Click here for the PDF version.

[1] David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary.

2 thoughts on “The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 37

  1. Pingback: The Red-Letter Words of Yeshua ~ Part 37 | Talmidimblogging

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