Today’s reading is Luke 7: 1-35
Today’s reading gives us three very interesting stories. The first one is one of my favorites in all the Gospels. In this story, the Roman Centurian has a servant who is sick. Jesus is sent for and is on the way to heal the servant (which in itself is amazing, here is a gentile, Roman soldier that reached out to Jesus to help, and Jesus responds. Another case where God’s love and healing extends to all humanity). But what always gets me about this passage is the conversation that the Centurion had with Jesus when he tells Jesus – “I too am a man under authority.” That’s a concept that we don’t always think about, authority and submission. The Centurion submitted to the will of Ceaser and Jesus submitted to the will of His Father. I think that is a powerful reminder, we don’t live for ourselves, we live for the will of our Father. Just as Jesus submitted to the will of His Father so are we to submit our lives to His will. Paradoxically freedom is found in submission.
In the second story we see Jesus raising the widow’s son at Nain. In this story Jesus shows compassion on this widow. She was left without a husband and a son. She would have literally had no one to care for her or provide for her. Jesus saw her need, and He met it. He was not blind to her need. He is not blind to our needs. He sees what we need, and He shows mercy to all the places in our lives where mercy and healing are needed.
The last story is different than these two. In this, we see that the first person to recognize Jesus is experiencing doubts. John the Baptist recognized Jesus in his mother’s womb. But now he is imprisoned for preaching the truth. So as he sits in prison, he reaches out to Jesus. Were you the one? Was I wrong? Should I wait for another? I think this passage is encouraging to us. It shows that even the bravest, even the strongest, even the most faithful at times can doubt. Don’t beat yourself up when you doubt, but hold tight to Jesus, knowing that He is always holding tight to you.
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