Jesus says to the centurion:
I have not found anyone Israel with such great faith.
A Roman centurion had a faithful servant who was seriously ill and in great pain. The centurion went to Jesus and told Him. Jesus said: “I will come and heal him”. But the centurion replied: “No, there is no need! So much trouble, no, it is not necessary. You know, I too must obey orders and my soldiers must obey my orders.” Jesus was amazed: “I have never found such faith in anyone in Israel! And this man is a Roman, not a Jew! I tell you, many will come from the east and west and sit at a table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; but those for whom the kingdom was set will be cast out into the outer darkness; there they will howl and gnash their teeth.” And to the centurion Jesus said, “Go! It shall come to pass, as thou hast believed. And in that same hour the servant was healed.”
It is quite amazing how much people trust Jesus when He has delivered them from the greatest filth. When they are just new in faith, their trust is greatest, unshakable, full of joy, full of mercy and compassion. They trust Jesus with everything. So it was with this Roman centurion. No question for him whether Jesus comes personally or gives the command: The servant will be healed. And so it happened, just as he had believed. Jesus was astonished, because in Israel, the people of God, He had never found such faith.
But He knows: when the Gospel is preached all over the world, many people will turn to Jesus and they will have the same faith as this pagan centurion. And then there will be a great feast. Everyone will sit around a table together and celebrate. It is a feast of joy, of fellowship. One gives the best morsels to the other and there shall be no jealousy. The beggar sits next to the highest official, the soldier next to the “enemy”, the policeman next to the former criminals. Old alcoholics, homeless people, drug addicts, thieves, everyone is represented there and all feel accepted by Jesus. They rejoice because He heals their wounds, stabilises them, fills them with peace, grants forgiveness. It is a heavenly atmosphere of enthusiasm for the Lord.
But all those, for whom the kingdom of God was meant, leave. It is too much for them, they can’t stand it. They crave order! Anyone could come ….. (well, hopefully everyone will come!).
Thank You Jesus, you have hope for everyone! It is wonderful with You! Thank You that You care so personally for everyone, that You are so fond of the outcasts, that You are salvation for everyone, that You are the Lord and not chaos, illness, addiction or anything else! Hallelujah!!!
PS: A small barbecue with our “clients” might be possible soon. As a little anticipation and foretaste of heaven! It will be good to talk over sausages and potato salad. Many are enthusiastic about the open atmosphere and the feeling of being accepted. Plan for it!