Today's Gospel in Art - The Centurion and his Servant

The Centurion, Nathan Green

The Centurion, Nathan Green

Gospel of 16th Sep 2019 - Luke 7: 1-10

When Jesus had come to the end of all he wanted the people to hear, he went into Capernaum. A centurion there had a servant, a favourite of his, who was sick and near death. Having heard about Jesus he sent some Jewish elders to him to ask him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus they pleaded earnestly with him. 'He deserves this of you' they said 'because he is friendly towards our people; in fact, he is the one who built the synagogue.' So Jesus went with them, and was not very far from the house when the centurion sent word to him by some friends: 'Sir,' he said 'do not put yourself to trouble; because I am not worthy to have you under my roof; and for this same reason I did not presume to come to you myself; but give the word and let my servant be cured. For I am under authority myself, and have soldiers under me; and I say to one man: Go, and he goes; to another: Come here, and he comes; to my servant: Do this, and he does it.' When Jesus heard these words he was astonished at him and, turning round, said to the crowd following him, 'I tell you, not even in Israel have I found faith like this.' And when the messengers got back to the house they found the servant in perfect health.

Reflection on the Painting on Copper

In today's reading, we hear of a Roman centurion being very concerned for his slave, very commendable. He was genuinely concerned with the welfare of the less fortunate. But the story is about more than that. Our story today illustrates the two human attitudes necessary for God to work in us: humility and faith.

Humility. When the centurion utters the words 'I am not worthy to have you under my roof', it shows a tremendous humility. He would have been a high ranking official in the Roman army, well aware of power. This power had not corrupted the centurion, on the contrary, it had brought him an awareness of others and a humility to serve them.....

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Tags: Christian Art Today, Centurion, Patrick van der Vorst

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