“When Jesus returned to Capernaum,
a Roman officer came and pleaded with him,
“Lord, my young servant lies in bed, paralyzed
and in terrible pain.”
“I will come and heal him.”
But the officer said,
“Lord, I am not worthy
to have you come into my home.
Just say the word from where you are,
and my servant will be healed.
I know this because I am under
the authority of my superior officers,
and I have authority over my soldiers.
I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go,
or ‘Come,’ and they come.
And if I say to my slaves,
Do this,’ they do it.”
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed.
Turning to those who were following him,
he said, “I tell you the truth,
I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!
And I tell you this, that many Gentiles
will come from all over the world -
from east and west -
and sit down with Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob at the feast
in the Kingdom of Heaven.
But many Israelites, those for whom
the Kingdom was prepared,
will be thrown into outer darkness,
where there will be weeping
and gnashing of teeth.”
Then Jesus said
to the Roman officer,
“Go back home.
Because you believed, it has happened.”
“And the young servant was healed that same hour.”
The faith of this Gentile is unbelievable.
He probably did not know
the written Word of God,
the Law or witnesses to it,
yet he recognized His sovereign power.
Jesus responded by saying the promise was his;
he would have access to the Kingdom of God,
which was created for God’s chosen people,
the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
I wonder if the Kingdom that Jesus speaks of
is the city of New Jerusalem
that sits at the top of Mount Zion?
Faith over fear is to be revered
“for the law applies to those
to whom it was given, for its purpose
is to keep people from having excuses,
and to show that the entire world is guilty
For no one can ever
be made right with God
by doing what the law commands.
The law simply shows us
how sinful we are.”
The Roman Officer, upon seeing Jesus,
knew that he did not come
“to a physical mountain,
to a place of flaming fire,
darkness, gloom, and whirlwind,
as the Israelites did at Mount Sinai.”
He did not hear the awesome trumpet blast
and a voice so terrible that he would beg God
to stop speaking to him."
The Roman Officer
did not stagger back under God’s command:
“If even an animal touches the mountain,
it must be stoned to death.”
The Roman Officer
was not like Moses
who experienced God’s voice -
“so frightened at the sight
that he was left terrified and trembling.”
Instead, the Roman Officer saw Jesus,
and the Love of God.
With a heart of faith,
produced from God’s spiritual DNA,
which only is birthed through the divine Holy Spirit,
this Roman Officer, a Gentile, came to Mount Zion,
to the city of the living God,
the heavenly Jerusalem,
and to countless thousands of angels
in a joyful gathering;
to the assembly of God’s firstborn children,
whose names are written in heaven.”
The Officer came “to God himself,
who is the judge over all things;
to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven
who have now been made perfect;
to Jesus, the one who mediates
the new covenant between God and people,
and to the sprinkled blood,
which speaks of forgiveness
instead of crying out for vengeance
like the blood of Abel.”
We must remember what the Apostle Paul said,
“We are made right with God through faith
and not by obeying the law.
After all, is God the God of the Jews only?
Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles?
Of course he is.
There is only one God,
and he makes people right
with himself only by faith,
whether they are Jews or Gentiles.”
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile,
there is neither slave nor free,
there is neither male and female;
for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
“God so loved the world
that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him
shall not perish but have eternal life.”
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth.
The first heaven and the first earth had disappeared,
and there was no sea anymore.
And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem,
coming down out of heaven from God.
It was prepared like a bride
dressed for her husband.
And I heard a loud voice
from the throne, saying,
“Now God’s presence is with people,
and he will live with them,
and they will be his people.
God himself will be with them
and will be their God.
He will wipe away
every tear from their eyes,
and there will be no more death,
sadness, crying, or pain,
because all the old ways are gone.”
The One who was sitting
on the throne said,
“Look! I am making everything new!”
Then he said, “Write this,
because these words
are true and can be trusted.”