Posted by: Dr Churchill | September 16, 2020

Jesus Saves

As a Rabbi, as a Healer, and as a truly divine person — Jesus always cared for the poor, treated the infirm, and saved the invalid… And he did this far more often than he cared for anyone else, such as the rich & powerful or the politically connected to the two main parties of his day, the Saduccis and the Pharisees who were as corrupt and as evil as the Republicans and the Democrats are today…

Proof is in the pudding as always of course and that is why both the Pharisees and the Saduccis conspired together, in order to arrest, torture, and assassinate Jesus, in a monkey trial that they produced, staged and choreographed on the eying of the fateful Sabbath — a day of rest…

So in this story of Luke, it was not an exception that Jesus went to the aid of a poor and afflicted with deadly illness slave woman, at the invitation and behest of a Roman Centurion, who although was a wealthy and powerful man who sought his help — he was a foreigner and unclean as his Slave woman lover, or commonplace whore, was as well

And indeed it was this loving Jesus who went ahead and responded to that strange plea for mercy from a stranger — a Roman centurion who was at that moment stationed in Capernaum in what is today Israel, yet back then was the Jewish state of Palestine.

And because it was the Centurion who asked for the saving grace of Jesus “laying of the hands” upon his terribly ill slave lover hoping for a healing — this story is especially relevant today.

And it is a story of Faith above all else.

Because Faith is h is the true shibboleth.

It is the only qualifier to be a good Christian faithful person, and it does not distinguish between Jew, Greek or Gentile, nor is it distinguishing between rich, poor, slave or freedman.

And a Gentile Roman who asks for forgiveness for his Slave whore or his Lover owned woman, is not any less or any more important than any High priest and Rabbi at the temple of Solomon for Jesus.

That is the message here.

We all deserve Salvation and Faith and are promised the healing now and forever.

So now that Luke tells us how Jesus responded to the invitation by the Roman Centurion whose name is lost to history but whose fame remains eternal, it is Jesus that surprises by going to the assistance of an oppressor of the Jewish people.

And seeing as Jesus was prophetic enough and thus knew what would befall him at the hands of the Roman soldiers before long — it is far fetched even for Luke as the supreme story-teller and gospel writer who gave us a living, breathing and intimate account of the famous Physician, the magical healer and the great lover of all people, that Jesus Christ of Nazareth to glorify him as he truly was, and still is today, and will be so for evermore, bringing light into all of our tomorrows…

And although Luke is an awfully clear truth-teller, this is admittedly a difficult story to believe, because at the time, Capernaum was too small a city to even have a military garrison, let alone a Roman encampment that numbered in the hundreds of souls considering that the hundred Roman soldiers were assisted by many more hundreds of men of all classifications, such as armor bearers, blacksmiths, medicine men, doctors, iron workers, horse minders, aides de camp, slaves, whores, cooks, logistical support gage train attendants, camp followers, realties of the people attached to the force, wives & children, foragers, baggers, merchants, victualers and weapons makers.

And that constitutes a complete city on the move… that was in need of a healing that nobody could provide except the Great Healer Jesus of Nazareth.

This story is so unusual that we will not question how come that Capernaum at the time of the early pre-Jewish rebellion interstitial years, warranted a Centurion as a leader, as it is also unorthodox in our military history of the Jewish rebellions and the intervening years, because according to the Roman historical record, there were no Roman forces stationed in the territories of Herod Antipas.

So we have to accept it as an anomaly because at the time, although Herod Antipas had his own Jewish armed forces — he had recently lost most of his army in a failed conflict with his estranged former father-in-law, and that would have been enough reason for the Roman legions to be there and thus for the Centurion and his armed forces to be in Capernaum at the time…

You see Israel was always seating with trouble as it was awfully divided early on in its history, and the territorial troubles, disputes & divisions, had been simmering in that much maligned land, for thousands of years.

All the same, this is a fascinating story about the Christian generosity and the trust of faith that crosses and diminishes all the social, economic and political boundaries known to man.

Then this story is about the “slave.”

Who was that slave?

As we now know — she was indeed the beloved of the Roman Centurion.

So it is here that Jesus seeks to heal the officer’s lover.

And this is where Jesus oceans of compassion cross yet another major boundary … the firm wall of the “Caste system” of the time when the slaves where untouchables and this constituted a serious apartheid against them, so that since they were considered “unclean” — no self respecting Jew and especially a Rabbi, would ever deign to touch them.

Yet in this story of Luke, it is the message of Jesus who willingly went forth to heal the ‘Slave” right after he had finished his speech and announced within earshot of the people, that he would enter Capernaum to heal the “Salve” because the Roman Centurion (army leader) living there, had a slave whom he valued highly, and who was ill and close to death.

So, according to Luke, the story goes that when the Roman Centurion heard about Jesus speaking to the poor people near the City — the Centurion sent some of his friends who were indeed Jewish elders to Jesus, asking him to come and heal the slave woman.

And so when the elder Jews went to Jesus — they appealed to him in earnest to come and save the live of the slave by saying: “He is worthy of having you do this for him, for he loves our people, and it is he who built our synagogue for us.”

And thus Jesus bidder the people to guide him to the house of the Roman Centurion and he went with them… toward the city center.

Yet when he was not far from the house – the Centurion sent his friends to say to Jesus this: “Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; therefore I did not presume to come to you. But only speak the word, and let my servant be healed. 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.”

When Jesus heard these words — he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd that followed him, said: “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”

And indeed soon thereafter — when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave in good health.

–Luke 7:1–10


Dr Churchill



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